The Voice of a People: Speeches from Black America (Hardcover)
The Voice of a People: Speeches from Black America (2021) is a collection of speeches from some of the leading African American intellectuals, artists, activists, and organizers of the past three centuries. While many of their names--such as Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Frederick Douglass--will be familiar to most readers, some--such as Jermain Wesley Loguen, Randall Albert Carter, and Samuel H. Davis--are less well known, but no less important to the history of Black America. The individuals whose voices make up this collection come from a range of professional and personal backgrounds. Many of them were born into slavery. Some escaped. Some were poets, preachers, ministers, and bishops. Some were educators, activists, academics, abolitionists, and suffragists. All of them, despite their differences, contributed to the vibrant, invaluable history of a people who first built this nation before fighting to reclaim its soul for future generations. In "What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?" abolitionist Frederick Douglass reflects upon his experiences as an escaped slave to offer a critique of American independence from the perspective of those who had never been free within its borders. Sojourner Truth, in "Ain't I a Woman?", addresses a crowd of abolitionists in her capacity as a former slave and early feminist figure. In "I am an Anarchist," pioneering leftist radical Lucy E. Parsons rejects the common depiction of the anarchist as a violent figure "with a bomb in one hand and a flaming torch in the other," instead making a case for the morality of an ideology dedicated to peace and equality. W. E. B. Du Bois' "To the Nations of the World" (1900), given as the closing address to the inaugural Pan African Convention, is a powerful call for justice that first named "the problem of the color line." Alongside such figures as Ida B. Wells, Ferdinand Barnett, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and James Weldon Johnson, their voices unite to form not only an invaluable record of America's past, but a vision of a just and equitable future for all. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, The Voice of a People: Speeches from Black America is a collection of classic speeches reimagined for modern readers.