The National Convention of Colored Citizens, one of the most significant conventions in abolition movements, began on August 15, 1843, in Buffalo. The Convention lasted four days, and its participants discussed their efforts to claim the rights of other American citizens. Perhaps the most notable of speeches was by Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, who radically encouraged slaves to strive for total emancipation.
The National Liberty Party was a minor political party founded in 1840, consisting of abolitionists who broke away from the American Anti-Slavery Society. They believed that the Constitution was an anti-slavery document and used the document to support their efforts. The National Liberty Party’s first national convention took place in Arcade, N.Y., on April 1, 1840.
Joseph Hodge was the first non-Native American settler in the Buffalo area. After escaping slavery in the mid 1700s, Hodge married into the Seneca tribe. He and his wife operated a fur trading post, and he often worked as an interpreter.
Booker T. Washington was a popular spokesman and leader of the African American community. Washington was born in 1956 in Hale’s Ford, Va., and belonged to the last generation of African Americans to be born into slavery. He was extremely influential to both black and white parties, and his followers called him the “Tuskegee Machine.” His other accomplishments include writing 14 novels, including his autobiography Up From Slavery, and co-founding West Virginia State University. He died in 1915 at the age of 58.
W. E. B. DuBois was an American sociologist, civil rights activist and university professor. He was born in 1868 in Great Barrington, Mass., and lived until 1963 at 95 years old. He was the first African American to earn a Ph. D. at Harvard University. DuBois also co-founded the NAACP, constantly relaying to other African Americans to reject Frederick Douglass’ idea of integration and instead brace their own heritage.
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