Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson

Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson

Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson

Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson

Excerpt

The Negro finds a friend indeed in the person of the gallant
and noble hero Albion W. Tourgée … he has sacrificed him
self for the Negro's rights as a loyal citizen. The general mass of
the white papers denounce him as a crank, fool, lunatic, and
etc. But, however, he bears the burden that is heaped on him
by his own race and continues to speak for a race that has been
oppressed and is yet oppressed. Surely indeed the heart that
beats within him is of the purest and loftiest kind.

—Indianapolis World, January 30, 1893

Civilization will not permit the permanent subjugation of a
race. … The wrong is moral, legal, and political. The colored
man is wronged as a man, having a right to equal liberty with
other men. He is wronged as a laborer, being deprived of free
opportunity. He is wronged as a citizen, being stripped of
lawful political power and civil privilege. He is wronged as a
Christian, being denied by his white brethren the just and
equal application of the Golden Rule.

—Albion W. Tourgée, Is Liberty Worth Preserving? 1892

IN HIS 1879 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL, A Fool's Errand. By One of the Fools, Albion Tourgée cast himself as the "Fool." Set in the Reconstruction South, A Fool's Errand was based upon the Northerner Tourgée's own fifteen-year struggle to revolutionize race and class relations as a carpetbagger in the war-torn state of North Carolina. A fool in the Shakespearean mold, Tourgée's fictional alter ego perceived reality better than the congressional "Wise Men" in Washington, and his . . .

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