Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought
A biography of a trailblazer for abolition, gender equality, and social justice.
Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought tells a crucial, almost-forgotten story of African Americans of early nineteenth-century America. In 1833, Maria Stewart (1803–1879) told a gathering at the African Masonic Hall on Boston’s Beacon Hill: “African rights and liberty is a subject that ought to fire the breast of every free man of color in these United States.” She exhorted her audience to embrace the idea that the founding principles of the nation must extend to people of color. Otherwise those truths are merely the hypocritical expression of an ungodly white power, a travesty of original democratic ideals. Like her mentor, David Walker, Stewart illustrated the practical inconsistencies of classical liberalism as enacted in the US and delivered a call to action for ending racism and addressing gender discrimination.