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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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Separate the Douglass and Lincoln Birthdays

Separate the Douglass and Lincoln Birthdays

(p.255) 31 Separate the Douglass and Lincoln Birthdays
T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American Agitator

Shawn Leigh Alexander

University Press of Florida

This chapter presents the editorial, “Separate the Douglass and Lincoln Birthdays,” where Fortune called on the community to end the practice of celebrating the lives of both Lincoln and Douglass during Negro History Week. “Douglass belongs to us,” Fortune proclaimed. The race, he argued, should leave Mr. Lincoln to the whites, and “Mr. Douglass should become their priority, an individual praised and honored for all the generations.” Fortune's argument is reminiscent of his editorial debate with Frederick Douglass Jr. about John Brown in 1889 and is a good example of Fortune's race pride late in his life.

Keywords:   Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass Jr, editorials, African American community, Negro History Week

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