Despite extreme racism and white backlash, Martin R. Delany (May 6, 1812-Jan. 24, 1885) became the father of Black nationalism while achieving numerous academic and professional accomplishments.
Delany was a fearless activist who fought for Black rights in various ways during his lifetime. After becoming a newspaper man and doctor, he went full force into the Back to Africa movement in the 1850s by conceptualizing his vision of a Black Israel.
This “Black Israel” would be a homeland to the millions of displaced enslaved Black people in America. Delany also looked at creating the homeland in Central America and Canada when viable options in Africa were not available. His travels were detailed in the 1859 book “Blake or the Huts of America.”
Until the end of his life, Delany continued to break down barriers, even convincing President Abraham Lincoln to create Black regiments after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862.