“If I remain in this bloody land, I will not live long…I cannot remain where I must hear slaves’ chains continually and where I must encounter the insults of their hypocritical enslavers.”
David Walker was an early advocate of black nationalism. He was an outspoken African-American abolitionist and anti-slavery activist. In 1829, while living in Boston, Massachusetts, he published “An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World,” which was a call to overthrow slavery with violence.
Walker was born in North Carolina to a free mother and an enslaved father. He eventually moved to Boston and opened a used clothing store. He also married during the 1820s.
However, Walker had witnessed slavery’s evils before moving to Boston, where he later joined the Massachusetts General Colored Association, one of the first African American political organizations.
He often asked his white readers, “Will you wait until we shall, under God, obtain our liberty by the crushing arm of power?” His work further brought attention to the abuses and inequities of slavery.
The information that Walker distributed with his publications were capital offenses in many southern states. In Georgia, a price was put on Walker’s head, which led to his early death in 1830. Some people believed he was poisoned because of the suddenness of his death, but others believed he died of tuberculosis.