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T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American AgitatorA Collection of Writings, 1880-1928$
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Shawn Leigh Alexander

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032320

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032320.001.0001

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Whose Problem is This?

Whose Problem is This?

Chapter:
(p.221) 26 Whose Problem is This?
Source:
T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American Agitator
Author(s):

Shawn Leigh Alexander

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813032320.003.0026

This chapter presents the essay, Whose Problem Is This? for the AME Church Review, where Fortune outlined the racial situation of the day. He did not see the problem as being substantially different from those that faced the country before the Civil War. These issues, argued Fortune, were “as much a menace to national liberty and the preservation of the union of the states as was the problem of slavery.” He discussed five problems—disfranchisement, mob and lynch law, miscegenation laws, separate coach legislation, and the convict lease program. These issues, according to Fortune, were affecting the “honor and credit” of the nation, and the country should address them. In the end, however, although Fortune saw the problem as an issue the government and the country as a whole needed to address, he also deemed it necessary for the race to organize and support its organizations that were employed in the act of educating the nation. Such a comment is a reference to Fortune's Afro-American League, which had collapsed the previous year on the national level.

Keywords:   race, disfranchisement, mob and lynch law, miscegenation laws, separate coach legislation, convict lease program, national liberty

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