Daughter of the Revolution: The Major Nonfiction Works of Pauline E. Hopkins

By Pauline E. Hopkins; Ira Dworkin | Go to book overview

PART VIII
Black Classics Series (1905)

In 1905, Hopkins self-published her pamphlet A Primer of Facts Pertaining to the Early
Greatness of the African Race and the Possibility of Restoration by its Descendants
with an imprint from Cambridge: P. E. Hopkins & Co., Publishers. The cover is headed

“Black Classics Series……….Number One”; however, there is no evidence that any
additional titles appeared in this series. As the title page acknowledges, it was “Com-
piled and Arranged […] by Pauline E. Hopkins,” who relied on Martin Delany's Principia
of Ethnology1 Despite her debt to Delany, the volume's only mention of him appears in a
list of famous black men and women that recognizes him as “Physician, Ethnologist,
Explorer.” The same list's most notable omission is Booker T. Washington, whom Hop-
kins no longer found worthy of mention in this context.

Even though she, like many of her contemporaries, was perceptibly grappling with
biological explanations of racial difference, her pamphlet is a clear expression of racial
pride. From the first issue of the Colored American Magazine, which described her com-
mitment to “uplifting the colored people of America, and through them, the world,” Hop-
kins articulated a vision of transatlantic racial unity that she further develops in A Primer
of Facts: “the obligation of the descendants of Africans in America” is to become “thor-
oughly familiar with meagre details of Ethiopian history, by fostering race pride and an
international friendship with the Blacks of Africa.”2A Primer of Facts continues the inter-
nationalism of Dark Races and represents Hopkins's ongoing global concerns.

1. The title page of James T. Haley, Afro-American Encyclopaedia; or, The Thoughts, Doings, and Sayings of
the Race, Embracing Lectures, Biographical Sketches, Sermons, Poems, Names of Universities, Colleges, Semi-
naries, Newspapers, Books, and a History of the Denominations, Giving the Numerical Strength of Each. In
Fact, It Teaches Every Subject of Interest to the Colored People, as Discussed by More Than One Hundred of
Their Wisest and Best Men and Women (Nashville, Tenn.: Haley and Florida, 1895), a work Hopkins knew,
provides a similar attribution, “Compiled and Arranged by James T. Haley.” As compiler and arranger,
Hopkins drew heavily on Martin Robison Delany, Principia of Ethnology: The Origin of Races and Color,
With an Archeological Compendium of Ethiopian and Egyptian Civilization, from Years of Careful Examina-
tion and Enquiry (1879; repr. as The Origin of Races and Color, Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1991), for the
first six chapters.

2. “Editorial and Publishers'Announcements” (CAM, May 1900), 64.

-333-

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