Second Annual Martin R. Delany Symposium
Join the African American Program for its Second Annual Martin R. Delany Symposium.
The two-day event will take an unprecedented look at the life, career, and legacy of Martin R. Delany, one the nation’s most influential African American leaders in the 19th century. This year’s theme, “Martin R. Delany: Family, Country, and the World,” will include a welcome reception on the evening of Friday, Aug. 18, and a two-session conference on Saturday, Aug. 19.
On Saturday, the morning session keynote address will be given by Robert S. Levine, University of Maryland scholar, who will discuss Delany’s rise as an abolitionist leader in Pittsburgh and his quest to pursue greater professional mobility in medicine, journalism, education, and enterprise. It will also examine Delany as a political figure in the era of Frederick Douglass.
The afternoon session keynote address will be given by Tera W. Hunter, Princeton University historian, who will frame a discission by panelists that will explore deeper into Delany as a family man and political figure that helped shape Black freedom. Martin and his wife Catherine had seven children, and each was named after an historic figure. What is the family legacy of Delany and how it intersects with events in African American experience years after his death?
The History Center’s Martin R. Delany Symposium will feature speakers and scholars from across the nation who have studied Delany and his indelible impact.
Stay tuned for more information about registration.
Call for Proposals
The Symposium welcomes paper proposals or panels that address Delany’s life, family, and country. Delany was a leader both in his community, state, nation, and internationally. This Symposium wants to address more deeply into Delany’s family life as a point of departure to a broader discussion of Delany as a national and international figure.
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About Martin R. Delany
Born on May 6, 1812, in Charles Town, Virginia to a free mother, Pati, and enslaved father, Samuel, Delany lived under the yoke of racial oppression. He spent his formative years in Pittsburgh, where his education in enterprise, medicine, and journalism would set him apart from other abolitionists.
A free Black man in Pittsburgh, Delany became an outspoken voice against slavery. In 1843, he published “The Mystery,” the first African American newspaper published west of the Alleghenies, which championed equality for Blacks and supported the abolition of slavery in other parts of the nation. In 1865, President Lincoln would commission him a Major of the 104th United States Colored Infantry (USCI), making him the highest ranking African American field officer in the US Army.