By Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society
Jefferson County can proudly declare a number of firsts by way of African american citizens in nationwide history.
The raid to loose slaves that served as a catalyst for the Civil battle was once led via abolitionist John Brown in Harpers Ferry. the 1st guy wounded within the uprising used to be Heyward Shepherd, a unfastened African American and a Jefferson County resident. Pres. Abraham Lincoln appointed Jefferson County local Martin Robison Delany because the first African American box officer of the Civil conflict. In 1906, the Niagara circulation, forerunner to the nationwide organization for the development of coloured humans (NAACP), held its first assembly on American soil at the Storer collage campus. the 1st girl to develop into the trainer of a men's university basketball workforce was once additionally an African American from Jefferson County. also, the coloured Horse express held in Charles city used to be the 1st of its sort for African Americans.
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Extra info for African Americans of Jefferson County (Images of America)
The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.
But the facing of so vast a prejudice could not but bring the inevitable self-questioning, self-disparagement, and lowering of ideals which ever accompany repression and breed in an atmosphere of contempt and hate. Whisperings and portents came borne upon the four winds: Lo! we are diseased and dying, cried the dark hosts; we cannot write, our voting is vain; what need of education, since we must always cook and serve? And the Nation echoed and enforced this self-criticism, saying: Be content to be servants, and nothing more; what need of higher culture for half-men?
Finally, on September 3, 1838, Douglass escaped, using forged papers written for him by Anna Murray,2 a free black woman, who became, almost at once, his first wife. Douglass settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he was hospitably received by Mr. Nathan Johnson who chose for him his new name of Douglass. Racial prejudice prevented Douglass from plying his trade as a caulker, and he made a living as a laborer. Three years later, much influenced by William Lloyd Garrison's antislavery weekly, The Liberator, Douglass attended a meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society where he was asked to speak of his life as a slave.
African Americans of Jefferson County (Images of America) by Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society