Little Known Black History Fact: Alexander Crummell’s Thanksgiving Day Speech

Black America Web



On Thanksgiving day in 1875, Alexander Crummell, founder of the American Negro Academy, made a historic speech called  “The Social Principle Among a People and Its Bearing on Their Progress and Development.” His goal was for Blacks to reflect on racial progress in America on Thanksgiving Day.

Crummell was born in New York in 1819, the grandson of a West African chief. He was educated by Quakers, thus leading to his strong religious ties and work in the Episcopal church. By 1853, Crummell had graduated from the Queens College in Cambridge.

As an Episcopalian priest, Crummell spent many years advocating the emigration of blacks to Africa and for African self-help. By 1873, he ran into opposition in Liberia and returned to Washington D.C. to work as a “missionary at large to the colored people.”

He published several articles in his lifetime: “The Future of Africa: Being Addresses, Sermons…

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