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The Afro-American Agitator: T. Thomas Fortune and Struggle of Historical Memory

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Abstract:

The radical journalist Timothy Thomas Fortune was one of the leading voices of black America from 1880 to 1928, a period of American history marked by tremendous growth and expansion for the nation as a whole. But for African Americans in particular it was an era marked with the necessity to turn inward in response to the continued erosion of their rights, privileges, and opportunities as well as the escalation of lynching and mob violence. Though recognized by his peers as an individual of great influence and intellect, historians have often neglected T. Thomas Fortune’s importance during the period in favor of individuals such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey or W. E. B. Du Bois.
Throughout his years as a journalist Fortune demonstrated by action and through his editorial page that he had the courage to speak whenever his rights or the rights of the race were abridged. He called for race pride, created civil rights organizations, supported industrial and higher education, and spoke out on nearly every issue important to the race throughout his forty-seven year career. His language was sharp and cutting and his invectives dipped in gall. This presentation will place Fortune back among his contemporaries as an individual who had a conscious commitment to the best interests of his race. In particular, the presentation will focus on how throughout his career, Fortune used the memory of Reconstruction to push his radical politics and provide a countermemory of emancipation while the “white supremacy memory" of slavery, emancipation, and Reconstruction was taking control of America’s national consciousness.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436175_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Alexander, Shawn. "The Afro-American Agitator: T. Thomas Fortune and Struggle of Historical Memory" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436175_index.html>

APA Citation:

Alexander, S. L. "The Afro-American Agitator: T. Thomas Fortune and Struggle of Historical Memory" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436175_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: The radical journalist Timothy Thomas Fortune was one of the leading voices of black America from 1880 to 1928, a period of American history marked by tremendous growth and expansion for the nation as a whole. But for African Americans in particular it was an era marked with the necessity to turn inward in response to the continued erosion of their rights, privileges, and opportunities as well as the escalation of lynching and mob violence. Though recognized by his peers as an individual of great influence and intellect, historians have often neglected T. Thomas Fortune’s importance during the period in favor of individuals such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey or W. E. B. Du Bois.
Throughout his years as a journalist Fortune demonstrated by action and through his editorial page that he had the courage to speak whenever his rights or the rights of the race were abridged. He called for race pride, created civil rights organizations, supported industrial and higher education, and spoke out on nearly every issue important to the race throughout his forty-seven year career. His language was sharp and cutting and his invectives dipped in gall. This presentation will place Fortune back among his contemporaries as an individual who had a conscious commitment to the best interests of his race. In particular, the presentation will focus on how throughout his career, Fortune used the memory of Reconstruction to push his radical politics and provide a countermemory of emancipation while the “white supremacy memory" of slavery, emancipation, and Reconstruction was taking control of America’s national consciousness.


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