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David Walker's "Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World"

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Published on Jan 15, 2014

Excerpts from David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World Crafting Freedom Materials Project
This short video contains excerpts from David Walker's famous Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, a very significant document in American history. It is a call to freedom and to rising up and fighting against slavery with violence, if necessary, although that was not Walker's first choice. Walker wrote the Appeal intending that it be read aloud by literate blacks to illiterate blacks. The actor in the video is "sampling" parts of the Appeal and presents them as if he is giving a speech or sermon.

The accompanying EDSITEment lesson plan is here:
http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan...
Brief biography: http://edsitement.neh.gov/sites/edsit...

TRANSCRIPT:
The white man thinks that because he holds us in his infernal chains of slavery that we wish to be white. Well he is dreadfully deceived. We wish to be just as our Creator made us and no avaricious, unmerciful wretch has any business to hold us in slavery or to make slaves of us. However, any man that will not fight under our Lord in the glorious and heavenly cause of freedom ought to be kept along with his children, all his family, as a slave, or in chains to be butchered by his cruel enemies. Colored people of America, have we in consequence of oppression nearly given up the spirit of men and adopted that of brutes? And do you answer me, no? Well then, I ask you, what set of men can you point to who are so abjectly employed by their oppressors as we are by our natural enemies? And how can these enemies but say that we and our children are not of the human family, but were made by the Creator to be an inheritance to them and theirs? How can the slaveholder but say that he can bribe the best colored person in this country to sell his brethren for a trifling sum of money? How can Mr. Thomas Jefferson but write, "I have advanced it, as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race or made distinct by time and circumstance, are inferior to whites in areas of both mentality and physically. It is this difference that makes it so hard to emancipate these people." Well I'm happy that Mr. Jefferson advanced his theories for your sake. Why you will either have to contradict or confirm him by your own actions, not by what our white friends have said and done for us. This country is more ours than it is the whites. We have enriched it with our blood and our tears. I ask your attention to these words found in our own Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

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