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Black Founder in Two Worlds: Richard Allen's American and Haitian Dreams

A Lecture by
Richard Newman, Historian
Rochester Institute of Technology

Monday, September 22, 2008
4:30 P.M.
Science Center 199 (Cuniff Hall)

Richard Allen (1760-1831) was the leading black activist of the early republic. An ardent abolitionist, he dedicated his early life to achieving equality for African Americans within the United States. By the 1820s, however, a more cynical Allen became one of the leading proponents of Haitian Emigration, writing that America was an unreconstructed land of oppression. He died a divided soul -- the first African American leader to publicly express his double consciousness about racial identity and racial redemption.

Based on his new biography of Allen, Freedom's Prophet (NYU Press), Richard Newman's lecture examines the contours of Allen's American and Haitain dreams, showing that Allen's life and thought established the baseline for subsequent black protest, from Douglass and Delany to Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. Richard Newman is a historian at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Sponsored by Swarthmore's Black Studies Program and the Department of Religion