While much is kwn about the white men and women who were involved in the anti-slavery movement, the black abolitionists have been largely igred. This book, written by one of America's leading black historians, sets the record straight. As Benjamin Quarles shows, blacks were anything but passive in the abolitionist movement. Many of the pioneers of abolition were black; dozens of black preachers and writers actively promoted the cause; black organizations were founded to support their brothers; black ambassadors for freedom crossed the Atlantic; blacks were instrumental in the operation of the Underground Railroad. Quarles puts it eloquently: To the extent that America had a revolutionary tradition [the black American] was its protagonist less than its symbol.
Benjamin Quarles (1904--1996) was a noted author, editor, and historian and the first African American to be published in what later became the Journal of American History. Africana hails him as a key figure in the emergence of African-American history as an academic discipline.