By Nikki M. Taylor
In pursuit of his optimal objective, complete and equivalent citizenship for African americans, Peter Humphries Clark (1829--1925) defied effortless class. He was once, at quite a few instances, the country's first black socialist, a faithful supporter of the Republican occasion, and an recommend for the Democrats. A pioneer academic activist, Clark led the struggle for African americans' entry to Ohio's public faculties and have become the 1st black crucial within the kingdom. He supported all-black faculties and staunchly defended them even after the tide became towards desegregation. As a political candidate, highbrow, educator, and activist, Clark used to be complicated and enigmatic.
Though Clark stimulated a iteration of abolitionists and civil rights activists, he's nearly forgotten at the present time. America's First Black Socialist attracts upon speeches, correspondence, and out of doors remark to supply a balanced account of this missed and misunderstood determine. Charting Clark's altering allegiances and ideologies from the antebellum period throughout the Nineteen Twenties, this finished biography illuminates the lifestyles and legacy of a massive activist whereas additionally highlighting the black radical culture that helped democratize America.-Amazon.ca
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Extra resources for Americas First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark
62 Even more significant is the fact that the Woodsons’ presence here proves that African Americans embraced socialism much earlier than previously believed. The Woodsons’ decision to move to such a community, plus Gilmore’s role in organizing it, introduced Clark to socialist principles. The teenaged Clark probably had conversations with the couple about the merits of the philosophy and lifestyle. He may have even visited them during the construction of the community. Regardless, the birth of the Universal Brotherhood phalanx marks the moment socialism first piqued Clark’s interest.
The community built its phalanstery close to the Ohio River’s banks, a location that would play a role in an ensuing tragedy. Although the record is silent about why this experiment in communitarian socialism appealed to Peter’s relatives, they were not the only African Americans to join the Universal Brotherhood’s phalanx. 62 Even more significant is the fact that the Woodsons’ presence here proves that African Americans embraced socialism much earlier than previously believed. The Woodsons’ decision to move to such a community, plus Gilmore’s role in organizing it, introduced Clark to socialist principles.
Both Peter Harbeson and John P. Woodson were considered highly respectable men because of their morality, industry, temperance, and engagement in church and civic affairs. Elizabeth Gaines’s sons, Michael and Elliott Clark, both assumed respectable professions as barbers. Elliott worked at Dennison House—a local whites-only hotel—for years before opening his own shop on Fifth Street, between Main and Sycamore Streets. 26 There is no record that either son received any formal education. Michael Clark married three times.
Americas First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark by Nikki M. Taylor