Textbook: None. Selected writings found online will constitute the textbook.
Read the following information on David Walker. Relate the information to the following questions to the best of your ability.
(1) What did David Walker say about educated Black individuals that is relevant to the struggle of Black People today?
(2) What did David Walker say about the flow of information that is relevant to the struggle of Black People today? Can that help explain why Black People are tuned into Black Nationalism so little?
(3) Are Black People in the United States actually free?
(4) What made David Walker a free person?
(5) Why is David Walker a Profile In Black?
In the early 1800s, David Walker traveled
throughout the South, where he witnessed the extreme degradation
of Black People. While in his late twenties, he left Wilmington,
North Carolina and moved to Boston, Massachusetts. While there,
he started a small business and became an active figure in the
abolition movement. The writing for which he is remembered, David
Walker's Appeal, is the result of a series of articles and speeches
he made as an antislavery advocate.
In 1829 David Walker published David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. In that little book, David Walker attacked slavery, aroused the fears of white power America, inspired numbers of Blacks to take matters in their own hands and laid out the ground work for a Black struggle that has changed little from his day to the present.
Several of the important points made by David Walker were:
(1) The land that makes up the United States of America belongs to Black People just as much as it does white people; (2) Black People, like all people, have natural rights, and Black People should leave no stone unturned trying to get everybody to recognize Our natural rights; (3) Each people's destiny is in the hands of that group of people, and that group of people alone; (4) Most so-called educated Blacks are in fact ignorant (5) The white slave holders are the enemies of Black People by nature and are a race of profiteers; (6) Religions are manipulated against Black People and condition Black People to a state of submission; and (7) The condition of Black People throughout the world is linked.
David Walker addressed the issues confronting Black People as if he were living in the 21st century. In his Appeal, Walker states that the wretchedness of Black People is a result of (1) Slavery (2) Ignorance (3) Religious Manipulation and (4) Colonization. A slave, according to Walker, is not simply someone who is bound in chains or forced to work for free, a slave is a person (or group) that has no political power, no economic power and no recognized human rights (a person whose humanity has been denied). Ignorance, according to Walker, has many of Us thinking We are smart and free, when in fact We are not, and causes Us to "tom" and attempt to appease whites. Religion, while setting Black People up to be servile, prepares white people to do evil and then provides a defense for their evildoings. And colonization is all about controlling the type of information Black People are exposed to. White people don't want Black People to realize that We don't need them, so they keep a steady supply of integrationist ideas in front of Us and hide non-integrationist ideas like Black Nationalism away from Us. In 1829, David Walker laid out the condition of Black People in the 21st century as if he had seen it with his own eyes and mind.
David Walker closed his Appeal by
repeating the following points: (1) No one can prove the worth
of Black People but Black People, and We won't get any respect
until We do so; (2) Black People have a right to kill those who
systematically victimize Us and injure Us; (3) Black People will
survive any confrontation with white people because We have a
history of fighting intelligently and surviving; (4) Those who
refuse to show a willingness to get their own freedom deserve
to be enslaved; and (5) If the world is to be civilized, Black
People cannot look to whites to lead. We have to look to Ourselves,
not only as leaders of Our race but as leaders of the world. We
have the civilized nature, concern for human beings and other
necessary qualities to offer the world. White people have no such
qualities to offer. Therefore they are not capable of leading
the world to a civilized way-of-life.
"What is the use of living, when in fact [We are] dead?" Walker asked. What is the use, indeed?
By fortune, David Walker was born a free Black person. His father was a slave, but his mother was free; and the law stated that the child took on the status of the mother. But David Walker was free in a way that went beyond the law. David Walker was free of fear, free of ignorance and free of the willingness to benefit at the expense of his fellows. That is why he is a Profile In Black.