David Walker's 1829 Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World

A Cause of Anti-Literacy Laws and Anti-Abolitionist Laws

6/14/20231 min read

  • The bare name of educating the coloured people, scares our cruel oppressors almost to death.

  • For I must truly say, that ignorance, the mother of treachery and deceit, gnaws into our very vitals. Ignorance, as it now exits among us, produces a state of things, Oh my Lord! too horrible to present to the world.

  • Remember, to let the aim of your labours among your brethren, and particularly the youths, be the dissemination of education and religion.

  • I pray that the Lord may undeceive my ignorant brethren, and permit them to throw away pretensions, and seek after the substance of learning. I would crawl on my hands and knees through mud and mire, to the feet of a learned man [. . .] —for colored people to acquire learning in this country, makes tyrants quake and tremble on their sandy foundation. Why, what is the matter ? Why, they know that their infernal deeds of cruelty will be made known to the world.