Black Leaders of the Nineteenth Century

Author: Edited by Leon Litwack and August Meier
Profiles of seventeen well-known and lesser-known Black figures
Paper – $28
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1991
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About the Book

In this collection of original essays, leading historians of the Black experience offer compelling biographical accounts of nineteenth-century Black leaders. Focusing on the challenges and perils faced by these religious and political leaders at both local and national levels, Leon Litwack and August Meier curate writings that represent enslaved and free, southern and northern, and male and female Black people during a transformative period in Black history.

Entries: Richard Allen, by Albert J. Raboteau; Nat Turner, by Peter H. Wood; Harriet Tubman, by Waldo E. Martin, Jr.,; Mary Ann Shadd, by Jason H. Silverman; John Mercer Langston, by William Cheek and Aimee Lee Cheek; Henry Highland Garnet, by Sterling Stuckey; Martin R. Delany, by Nell Irvin Painter; Peter Humphries Clark, by David A. Gerber; Blanche K. Bruce, Robert Brown Elliott, and Holland Thompson, by Howard N. Rabinowitz; Alexander Crummell, by Alfred Moss; Henry McNeal Turner, by John Dittmer; William Henry Steward, by George C. Wright; Isaiah T. Montgomery, by Janey Sharp Hermann; and Mary Church Terrel, by Sharon Harley; "Black Reconstruction Leaders at the Grass Roots," by Eric Foner.

About the Author

Leon Litwack (1929-2021) was professor emeritus of history at the University of California at Berkeley. His book Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery received the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in history, and the Francis Parkman Prize. August Meier (1923-2003) was University Professor Emeritus at Kent State University. He is the author of Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915 and coauthor of Black History and the Historical Profession, 1915-1980.


"Fresh scholarly portraits of some of the most influential Black figures of the nineteenth century. . . . An excellent reader for all interested in American History."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"A remarkable volume that captures that diversity of individual experience, while also stimulating theoretical discussion of Black leadership in the nineteenth century."--David W. Blight, Journal of American History