50. Nation Within a Nation: Martin Delany

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He is called a “father of black nationalism,” but Martin Delany also promoted integration in American society. Can the apparent tension be resolved?



Further Reading

• R.S. Levine (ed.), Martin Delany: A Documentary Reader (Chapel Hill: 2003).

• J. McGann (ed.), Martin R. Delany: Blake, or the Huts of America (Cambridge MA: 2017).


• T. Adeleke, Without Regard to Race: the Other Martin Robinson Delany (Jackson: 2004).

• T. Adeleke, In the Service of God and Humanity: Conscience, Reason, and the Mind of Martin R. Delany (Columbia: 2021).

• T.J. Curry, “Doing the Right Thing: An Essay Expressing Concerns toward Tommie Shelby’s Reading of Martin R. Delany as a Pragmatic Nationalist in We Who Are Dark,” APA Newsletter 9 (2009), 13-22.

C.E. Griffith, The African Dream: Martin R. Delany and the Emergence of Pan-African Thought (University Park: 1975).

• R.M. Kahn, “The Political Ideology of Martin Delany,” Journal of Black Studies 14 (1984), 415-40.

• R.S. Levine, Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, and the Politics of Representative Identity (Chapel Hill: 1997).

• T. Ogunleye. “Dr. Martin R. Delany, 19th Century Africana Womanist: Reflections on His Avant-Garde Politics Concerning Gender, Colorism and Nation Building,” Journal of Black Studies 28 (1998), 628-49.

• T. Shelby, “Two Conceptions of Black Nationalism: Martin Delany on the Meaning of Black Political Solidarity,” Political Theory 31 (2003), 664-92. [Revised version as ch.1 of T. Shelby, We Who Are Dark: the Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity (Cambridge MA: 2005).]

• D. Sterling, The Making of an Afro-American: Martin Robinson Delany, 1812–1885 (Garden City: 1971).


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