David Walker’s Appeal is a landmark work of American history which was written by an African American slave during the nineteenth century. David Walker’s Appeal arguably the most radical of all anti- slavery documents, caused a great stir when it was published in September of 1829 calling for slaves to revolt against their masters. The piece of work exposed white racism and gave inspiration to abolitionists in hopes that one day change would come. David Walker’s Appeal which consisted of four articles explored many factors which he believed contributed to the “wretchedness” of the blacks including slavery, religion, ignorance, and the colonizing plan.
Throughout David Walker’s piece of work he makes many religious references showing that he is a strong and devout Christian who believes deeply in his faith. Walker emphasizes that the only true master is Lord Jesus Christ. He goes on to explain that we are all created by the same God, therefore we are equal and that no man is “superior” or more worthy than another. With this said he poses the question what gives the white man the right to enslave a black man ? David Walker urges the slaves to remain strong and stay true to their fate. Throughout his writings he also points out to them that they are Gods children and that they should not allow or accept the treatment that they are receiving from their white masters. Walker expresses his anger because he knows the white people witness the cruelty that the slaves face but no one speaks up against it. He also leaves them with the message that God loves them and that through hope and prayer they one day will seek freedom.
Along with religion Walker believed that ignorance was one of the main contributions to the “wretchedness” of the blacks. In this article Walker addresses the ignorance white men and other cultures have toward slavery and the black people on general. Walker also states that the ignorance of political leaders such as Thomas Jefferson has greatly influenced the status of the blacks. Walker states that Jefferson’s belief that blacks are inferior to whites intellectually as well as physically is pure ignorance that has influenced the state of the blacks as well as their destiny. Walker reiterates many times throughout the novel that the slaves should not fall to the hands of the whites and asks them to question why would God, their true and only master suppress them to that kind of lifestyle? Walker goes on to point out that the slaves are the only ones that can change their own fate and that they should rise above the ignorance and prove to the white man that they too are equal and can contribute to society. Walker reminds the slaves that they themselves can at time contribute to the ignorance at times and they it is vital to their freedom that they must fight for their freedom as well as their salvation.
Another contribution to the blacks “wretchedness” was their enslavement by the white man. This truly angers Walker because he says that under one God, we are all equal and the blacks should not be punished for their skin color or be ashamed of the melanin differences. In his articles he also makes references to other time periods in history where other cultures, religions, and countries faced discrimination and enslavement, but he makes the point that the enslavement of the black people in America has been the lowest and cruelest form compared to any other. Walker wants the slaves to see that they were not put on this Earth to be the property of the white man so that they can be degraded and treated as “scum” but rather they are the ones that have contributed so much to God’s land . Walker reminds the slaves that they should not submit to the white mans ways but rise against their evils and seek freedom.
In the fourth article he attacked the American Colonization Society which was organized Dec. 1816–Jan. 1817, at Washington, D.C., to transport free blacks from the United States and settle them in Africa. The society believed that blacks were other than Americans and that they should bear the burden of relieving the United States of it’s problems through enslaving them. Walker believed that this kind of thinking was unjust and supported slavery for all the wrong reasons. He believed that this society was corrupt and that their mistreatment of blacks was for all the wrong reasons. Walker points out that no human beings should be treated with such cruelty and hatred for the better of their country. Walker questions the societies morals and the motive behind their “ colonizing plan”. He states the fallacies behind it and uncovers the truth which is the blacks were merely being used by the whites as property for their own convenience.
I believe thatAs you can see David Walker’s Appeal was a ground breaking piece of work during its time that stirred up controversy and unrivaled the dark world that the slaves were living in. Through his powerful words he was able to reach across to countless of slaves and gave inspiration to those that were fighting for change to come. David Walker’s strength and perseverance to shed light on the issue of slavery has truly contributed to the change that has occurred over the course of history that has made our nation what it is today, a place of equality for everyone.