Read David Walker's Appeal: To the Coloured Citizens of the World by DavidWalker Peter P. Hinks Online


In 1829 David Walker, a free black born in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote one of America's most provocative political documents of the nineteenth century, Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Decrying the savage and unchristian treatment blacks suffered in the United States, Walker challenged his "afflicted and slumbering brethren" to rise up and castIn 1829 David Walker, a free black born in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote one of America's most provocative political documents of the nineteenth century, Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Decrying the savage and unchristian treatment blacks suffered in the United States, Walker challenged his "afflicted and slumbering brethren" to rise up and cast off their chains. Walker worked tirelessly to circulate his book via underground networks in the South, and he was so successful that Southern lawmakers responded with new laws cracking down on "incendiary" antislavery material. Although Walker died in 1830, the Appeal remained a rallying point for African Americans for many years to come, anticipating the radicalism of later black leaders, from Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, Jr.In this new edition of the Appeal, the first in over thirty years, Peter P. Hinks, the leading authority on David Walker, provides a masterly introduction and extensive annotations that incorporate the most up-to-date research on Walker, much of it first reported by Hinks in his highly acclaimed biography, To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren. Hinks also includes a unique appendix of documents showing the contemporary response--from North and South, black and white--to the Appeal itself and Walker's attempts to distribute it in the South. Historians and political activists have long recognized the importance of Walker's Appeal. At last we have an edition worthy of its persuasive immediacy and its enduring place in American history....

Title : David Walker's Appeal: To the Coloured Citizens of the World
Author :
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ISBN : 9780271019949
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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David Walker's Appeal: To the Coloured Citizens of the World Reviews

  • Desera Favors
    2019-06-03 12:40

    I believe this book expresses & reflects the essence of a Black Nationalistic Revolutionary! If you believe that we have progressed since captivity you may want to read this book! If you believe that we should forgive and forget you may want to pick up this book! If you have faith in the system and consider reform our only true hope, you have to get this book! If you feel that protesting, boycotting, sit-in’s, lock-in's, and demonstrations are the way to being heard, this book is for you! To all my true Black Revolutionary's pick up this book if you begin to feel hopeless and ineffective the war has just begun and we can’t afford for you to back out now!

  • Michael Strode
    2019-05-23 16:48

    David Walker's Appeal opens with an impassioned examination of the Black condition in America driving slow and painstakingly towards a radical crescendo at the close of the fourth article. Upon first glance, the Appeal seems to exhibit one the earliest written examples of the classical Negro sermon invoking the tools of emotional petition, scriptural analogy and historical scrutiny in outlining the core narrative. Through further revisions to the text, Walker was able to expand upon the original thesis to form the ideological framework of Black liberation theology, social theory and nationalist discourse with consideration towards both freedmen and enslaved Blacks.The Preamble of Walker's Appeal provides an intriguing context for the rise and influence of Black liberation theology where the theological construct exists as the last bastion of "free" intellectual inquiry available to those held in slavery. Walker mines the potentiality of biblical scripture in order to establish his case for the abolition of slavery through moral suasion, Pan-African struggle and armed resistance when necessary. For sewing these seeds of discord, Walker would find himself revered amongst enslaved Blacks and radical abolitionists, reviled amongst whites and slaveowners, held afar by moderate whites and Blacks alike who considered his approach too extreme and later murdered near his shop only a year from the publication of the manuscript.Walker divided his appeal into four distinct areas of discourse following the Preamble which considered the effects of Slavery, Ignorance, Religion and Colonization upon the minds of Black people. He used each of these areas to display how the historical treatment of Blacks in America was mired in moral, social and political hypocrisy which should prevent us from thinking naively that we could hope for a fairer treatment in the future than we had been afforded in the past. While he fiercely refuted the efforts to colonize members of the free Black community in the African nation of Liberia, he displayed a particularly warm kinship for the recently liberated island nation of Haiti whose inspiration he drew upon in outlining his impression of what steps could be taken in America to secure freedom for all Black people.While some concepts in the Appeal leave themselves open to misinterpretation in a modern context such as Walker's own fondness for the English whom he considered friends of the Negro, there are areas here which remain ripe for exploration in understanding the course of events which culminated in ending slavery. The Appeal was quite masterful at fomenting radical discourse when it was published in 1829 and taken together with the rebellion of Nat Turner in 1831 most certainly struck an alarming chord in states which had continued the practice of slavery. The Appeal was outlawed and at least one legislature, Georgia, placed a bounty upon Walker's head. It still managed to circulate widely through underground networks of abolitionists, freedmen societies, churches and maroon communities.As we stand in the aftermath of cases in Arizona, Texas and Tennessee on the cusp of seeing the necessity for the return of outlaw education, let us take a lesson from David Walker in thinking dangerously and writing fearlessly about the oppressive systems which continue to impact our quality of life in this day and the overlapping alliances we must forge in order to break them apart permanently.

  • Lanier
    2019-06-03 10:46

    Clever, rebellious early 19th Century text written by a Bostonian journalist/tailor who would sew copies of protest articles within clothing shipped to slave states. Walker didn't live very long, but this relatively little-known pamphlet awoke many sympathetic parties to the abolitionist movement's potential for extreme violence. Similar to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s incredible “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” which utilized religious fervor and rhetoric as the crux to dispelling and combating his “religious” brethren who criticized his involvement in the Non-violent protests. Walker uses Christian zealots’ own words to attack the Constitution’s “all men are created equal”. Equally like Malcolm X, he also advocated violence to overthrow “this bloody land” where he was born free—Wilmington, N.C.—but where millions remained in bondage.

  • Jonathan
    2019-06-14 17:44

    A remarkable book. David Walker's text is every bit as inflammatory and seditious as white Americans charged. It advocates what we can easily recognize as an early form of black nationalism, and it urges American blacks to be ready to come to the aid of a "new Hannibal" when one arises to visit divine judgment on America. It's no wonder that Southern states suppressed it ruthlessly -- and that even northern abolitionists condemned it. The pamphlet is also beautifully written in the style of a sermon as much as the style of a manifesto.

  • Romina
    2019-05-23 17:59

    Should also be known as "Thomas Jefferson, A Smack Down." Love it. Walker's anger and rage towards the racist U.S. system and calling out Jefferson's hypocrisy is wonderful. I think comparing Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks with this document would be really interesting and thought provoking. However, the author emphasizes a religious and anti-Catholic element I cannot totally dig.

  • Michael Benoit
    2019-06-14 15:52

    A hallmark of Black resistance, Walker's appeal is packed to the brim with raw fury. A must-read in its canon.

  • Sean
    2019-05-25 10:56

    Since this is more a historical document, it is not something that should be rated. Would I rate the Declaration of Independence? Anything less than five stars might seem "Un-American" or "socialisty." If I were to judge it, I wouldn't use a five-star system which is based on how much I enjoyed it.That said, I think David Walker's Appeal is a very important document, one which is often unfairly ignored in school curricula. It is not the most cogent piece of writing I've read, but at the very least a good excerpt or two should be mandatory reading for students all over the country.For myself, the book was repetitive, which made it tedious. The preamble and first two articles are by far the best, and the only part of the fourth article that was more illuminating was exposition on the colonization trick and the right that blacks had to American soil, perhaps more than anyone else. Otherwise, it's about a ninety page sermon on the evils of slavery.What makes the Appeal incredible is the anger which comes through. This is one of the earliest documents to so thoroughly condemn white Americans for their participation in the institution of slavery in the United States. You can almost feel Walker choking with rage at the hypocrisy of the white Christians. It's very powerful.Another reviewer on GR mentioned that he couldn't get behind this book because of the race baiting. I suppose that is true is the sense that a system of laws and privilege which work against you and oppress you might make you hate the oppressors, whom you have grouped according to race because they have grouped you into a race, and thus haranguing against those oppressors could be considered a form of race baiting. Let us not forget the prejudice whites encountered daily in 19th century America.

  • Eddie
    2019-05-27 15:54

    "We must and shall be free I say, in spite of you." (pg. 89)Compelling; probably even more so to the readers of early 19th century. Imagine David Walker, born a free black man, wrote the first edition of his Appeal in 1829 blistering slavery protagonists as he states his case in four Articles:Article I: Our Wretchedness In Consequence Of Slavery - Walker takes on Thomas Jefferson and his book Notes on the State of Virginia; refuting Jefferson's notion that blacks are inferior to whites. Walker also offers that the treatment of the Israelites under the Egyptian Pharaohs as being far better than the treatment of blacks under whites.Article II: Our Wretchedness In Consequence Of Ignorance - Walker is concerned about how blacks remain oppressed due to ignorance and mis-education and how this strategy, championed by the slave master, has allowed slavery to endure. The thought of an educated black man strikes fear in the heart of the white slave master but it's only through education and enlightenment can one envision freedom and break the bonds of slavery.Article III: Our Wretchedness In Consequence Of The Preachers Of The Religion Of Jesus Christ - Walker warns that enslavers will one day be called to judgment: "What right, then, has one of us to despise another, and to treat him cruel, on account of his colour, which none, but God who made can alter."Article IV: Our Wretchedness In Consequence Of The Colonizing Plan - Walker derides Henry Clay's Colonizing Plan, a scheme to return free blacks to Africa to a supposedly greater freedom while keeping the enslaved blacks in America. Notes on the State of Virginia & Confession of Nat Turner

  • Bookshark
    2019-05-21 17:41

    Everyone at UVA needs to read this. We're all so proud of our Jeffersonian heritage, but his name should probably evoke just as much shame as it does pride. David Walker draws to our attention some of the vile things that came out of Jefferson's mouth and issues a fiery repudiation of the man's ideas about race and slavery. I am a bit skeptical of some of the things Walker says (for instance, I think his condemnation of the black woman who helped a slave trader survive escape an attack by rebelling slaves is too harsh and fails to recognize the power of her indefatigable compassion), but there's no denying the great evil that he faced and the urgent necessity of the revolutionary changes he demanded. He reasons clearly and he writes beautifully. This text should not be forgotten.

  • Matt Shake
    2019-06-10 13:06

    This provocative pamphlet is one of the most revolutionary pieces of literature in America that nobody in contemporary society remembers! Walker was a free black who wrote this pamphlet in 1829 with the express objective of fomenting a slave rebellion in the South. He and his allies tirelessly worked the Underground to distribute this book (as Southern politicians worked to block it's sale there). Never have I read such an impassioned and explosive plea for freedom. His calls for the blood of slave owners sent chills down slave-owner's spines. This pamphlet is almost as important to the annals of freedom in America as Tom Paine's "Common Sense." So why have we forgotten it?

  • Humphrey
    2019-05-27 13:44

    What in interesting and idiosyncratic piece. Organizationally and argumentatively, Walker's Appeal is all over the place, frequently repeating itself and digressing. Yet the Appeal's oddities also contribute to its remarkable originality, and it is uniquely willing to vent unapologetically the brutal hardships and hypocrisies facing African Americans in the early republican period. The anger here is fully, even physically, palpable for the reader.

  • Ellies
    2019-06-14 18:06

    David Walker tells of his most radical dealings as a slave. David Walker lived 1785-1830The complete title is actually David Walker's Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, Written in Boston, State of Massachusetts, September 28, 1829.Boston: David Walker, 1830. A must read for black historians,

  • Diana
    2019-05-22 14:47

    Supplemental reading for my African American history class. It was a very interesting read, he doesn't pull any punches and lets everyone have it white or black, rich or poor it doesn't matter. The things he said about what could/would happen in the future if slavery wasn't abolished really hit home, since quite a bit sounds like the issues we are having now.

  • Olde
    2019-05-18 13:53

    excellent book. haven't read it in some time but the satire is clear and to the point. it goes well when read along side with UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. highly recommended for anyone concerned with how to define and defend justice.

  • Ahonsi
    2019-06-03 19:02

    Walker is repetitive. Very, very repetitive. The message was clear, but the execution was carried out in a way that was reflective of his education, which is no fault of his own. Garnet's Address at the end was all that Walker meant to say, which was done concisely and with tact.

  • Chris brown
    2019-05-30 14:54

    in many ways it wasn't what I thought it would be, his fire and conviction is present throughout. He truly was a God fearing man that only feared God & wanted liberation for the people & was willing to do what needed to be done to attain that freedom.

  • Stephen Bess
    2019-06-07 17:51

    David Walker's appealing and polemic pamphlet could, in many ways, apply to modern times but more in the sense of self reflection. There is a different type of bondage and oppression that is afflicting the American public.

  • Jeune Fille
    2019-06-16 18:54

    ". . .they want us for their slaves, and think nothing of murdering us. . . therefore, if there is an attempt made by us, kill or be killed. . . and believe this, that it is no more harm for you to kill a man who is trying to kill you, than it is for you to take a drink of water when thirsty."

  • Ivan
    2019-06-05 18:05

    Garnet's Address to the Slaves read.

  • Matt
    2019-05-28 15:37

    Some inspired rhetoric for sure, and Walker's complaint was just - but there is way too much demagoguery, race-baiting, and religious fervor here for me to endorse. Spartacus he wasn't.

  • Angel
    2019-05-22 15:40

    This is a must read for anyone who is serious about Civil War History. It's the most persuasive,contemporaneous argument against slavery I've ever read.

  • Shannon
    2019-05-28 17:50

    Read for US Intellectual History, Fall 2001.

  • R.K. Byers
    2019-05-24 18:47

    Walker was a genius.

  • ػᶈᶏϾӗ
    2019-05-26 17:43

    This is an amazing polemic. I thoroughly enjoy reading it and agree with much of what he has to say, even a century after slavery ended in the form he is writing about.

  • jeanette
    2019-06-04 14:45

    This text may get some people "fired-up" and that is a good thing.

  • Kayenne
    2019-06-18 17:05

    True warrior.

  • Kim
    2019-06-02 11:40

    I don't feel right rating a historical, political document. So no stars on this one means more of a 'no comment'. I just want to acknowledge Walker's courage in writing this pamphlet.