DIGITAL: The Colored Conventions Project

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

“Mary A. Shadd,”, accessed February 24, 2015, “Mary A. Shadd,”, accessed February 24, 2015,

“From 1830 until well after the Civil War, free and fugitive Blacks came together in state and national political “Colored Conventions.” Before the war, they strategized about how to achieve educational, labor and legal justice at a moment when Black rights were constricting nationally and locally. And after the war, they continued to convene to discuss local, national and international possibilities, problems and challenges.

The delegates to these meetings included the most well-known, if mostly male, writers, organizers, church leaders, newspaper editors, and entrepreneurs in the canon of early African-American leadership—and many whose names and histories have long been forgotten. All that is left of this phenomenal effort are the minutes. Even these materials are rare and can only be accessed through out-of-print volumes.

This project seeks to not only learn about the lives of these male delegates, the places where…

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