The Anti Afrikan Empowerment Theory

by PoetryInked

There are many who have argued that the Anti Slavery movement began in America and England with the Quakers and other well meaning or 'sympathetic whites', however this view is inherently a racist viewpoint, taught by those who seek to further the doctrine of white supremacy by stealing even the fight for freedom from the African and claiming it as their own. It has always been taught that white people were the first abolitionists and that Blacks or Africans struggles for freedom were focused on the individual rather than the collective. In doing so the implication is that their efforts lacked the credibility, substance and sustainability to be effective leaders, and the voices of their own experience.

Many of the slave narratives that were published during the anti slavery movement in America were in fact written by whites and not by the actual persons themselves. Arguments can and have been made that this should not affect the authenticity of such pieces as most Africans could not read and or write in English, yet there were clearly some who could and did. While this may be a valid point why not allow these pieces to be transcribed by other Africans of an educated status rather than by whites? There were certainly persons of color who were sufficiently educated and motivated to bring these experiences to light and they possessed the tools to dispense this material as well, perhaps better than their white counterparts. Who better to voice the plight of the Africans than other Africans? Who rejected the institution of slavery more strenuously than the subjugated African? Who cried out more vociferously against his chains than the African who preferred to leap into the sea rather than subject him or herself to the dehumanizing process that had been methodically designed for their implicit exploitation?

Among those who preferred to fight for their rights rather than be complacent and in essence complicit in the enslavement of their brethren, Nat Turner and David Walker stand out for me because they did not think that their stance was radical. In contrast to the assimilationist and placating method taken by others such as Prince Hall, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, Turner and Walker were unwilling to allow the white majority to labor under the impression that they would reap no negative consequences for their participation in the institution of slavery.

At a time when whites were becoming aware that they could not continue in the same practices and survive the industrial revolution, Turner and Walker were not interested in waiting to see what 'sympathetic whites' were going to do to help the African escape their plight. In fact although William Lloyd Garrison was supposedly opposed to slavery he did not believe that it should end at any cost. He refused to print Walkers' appeal in its original form and only after his death did agree to print an edited version of the Appeal. Nat Turner was a pivotal figure because he acted on his belief that slavery was a violent institution and those who practiced or benefited from its practice were guilty of murder and other high crimes and thus deserved to be executed.

As well as these two gentlemen working here in America there were slave uprisings occurring in Haiti which is not very far from the United States. Influenced by the ideas of liberty that also influenced the colonists and the French Revolution, Haitian slaves rebelled and attempted to murder every French person on the Island of Haiti, where the Africans outnumbered the whites by millions. In fact Haiti is the first former colony to become independent following the American Revolution. The fact that its population was African majority is rarely mentioned, if Haiti's fight for independence is mentioned at all. I believe that these events had to have impacted the minds and actions of people such as Nat Turner and David Walker as well as others like Benjamin Banneker, and Maria Stewart.

Maria Stewart in her address was adamant that Blacks acquire for themselves those things like education and training that would allow them to function in an increasingly industrialized society. She was also adamant that Black people has every right to full enjoyment of the country that they had built with their blood and tears and sweat. The fact that she was greatly influenced by David Walker, who was of an age and education that he would have been fully aware of events taking place within Haiti points to direct link between the evolution of the antislavery movements among those of African descent. Even the way that his Appeal was structured after the Declaration of Independence indicates his awareness of the parallels he could draw from the colonials experience and those of his people. Nat Turner's refusal to speak in court is indicative of his contempt for their hypocrisy.

The Anti Afrikan Empowerment Theory by PoetryInked

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