Americas First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. by Nikki M. Taylor

By Nikki M. Taylor

In pursuit of his premier objective, complete and equivalent citizenship for African american citizens, Peter Humphries Clark (1829--1925) defied effortless class. He was once, at a variety of instances, the country's first black socialist, a devoted supporter of the Republican celebration, and an suggest for the Democrats. A pioneer academic activist, Clark led the struggle for African americans' entry to Ohio's public faculties and have become the 1st black vital within the country. He supported all-black colleges and staunchly defended them even after the tide became towards desegregation. As a political candidate, highbrow, educator, and activist, Clark was once advanced and enigmatic.

Though Clark prompted a new release of abolitionists and civil rights activists, he's nearly forgotten at the present time. America's First Black Socialist attracts upon speeches, correspondence, and outdoors remark to supply a balanced account of this overlooked and misunderstood determine. Charting Clark's altering allegiances and ideologies from the antebellum period throughout the Twenties, this entire biography illuminates the lifestyles and legacy of a tremendous activist whereas additionally highlighting the black radical culture that helped democratize America.-Amazon.ca

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As a highly skilled master carpenter, his expertise would have been quite an asset in the jointstock enterprise. He likely helped to build its main communal residential structure—known as the phalanstery—designed to be the heart of every Fourierist community. The community built its phalanstery close to the Ohio River’s banks, a location that would play a role in an ensuing tragedy. Although the record is silent about why this experiment in communitarian socialism appealed to Peter’s relatives, they were not the only African Americans to join the Universal Brotherhood’s phalanx.

Both proposed to redesign society so that households combined their resources for the good of the whole. They both imagined that people would live and work together and the profits from work would benefit not just themselves and their families, but the entire community. Together, the philosophies of Owen and Fourier laid the foundation of early socialist thought and practice. Cincinnatians were particularly receptive Launching a Life 31 to socialist ideas; in fact, the city was well-known as an Owenite and Fourierist stronghold in the mid-nineteenth century.

1860s. (Photograph by Bradley & Rulofson. Carte de visite. ) 38 America’s First Black Socialist and their associates about cooperation and socialism; he would have read the writings of Maria L. Varney and other radicals published by their press. An added benefit was the fact that Stanley Matthews—destined to become a congressman, Ohio state senator, and associate Supreme Court justice— printed his Free-Soil paper, the Cincinnati Herald, in the same building as the Varneys’ press. 79 Clark would use the few things he learned from Varney when he started his own paper a few years later.

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Categories: African American Studies