Early life and education
Move to Boston
Walker's 1829 Appeal
“[t]o be an Abolitionist was not for the faint-hearted. The slaveholders represented for the first half of the nineteenth century the most closely knit and most important single economic unit in the nation, their millions of bondsmen and millions of acres of land comprising an investment of billions of dollars. This economic might had its counterpart in political power, given its possessors dominance within the nation and predominance within the South.”
Effects of slavery
Callaction Resist oppression
Education and religion
- “There is great work for you to do… You have to prove to the Americans and the world that we are MEN, and not brutes, as we have been represented, and by millions treated. Remember, to let the aim of your labours among your brethren, and particularly the youths, be the dissemination of education and religion.”
Opportunity for redemption
Inappropriate benevolent attitudes
Though scholars may continue to debate this, it would seem hard to disprove that the later advocates of black nationalism in America, who advocated a separate nation-state based on geographical boundaries during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, would not have been able to trace certain ideological concepts to Walker's writings. Stuckey's interpretation of the Appeal as a theoretical black nationalist document is a polemical crux for some scholars who aver that David Walker desired to live in a multicultural America. Those who share this view must consider that Stuckey does not limit his discourse on the Appeal to a black nationalism narrowly defined, but rather to a range of sentiments and concerns. Stuckey's concept of a black nationalist theory rooted in African slave folklore in America is an original and pioneering one, and his intellectual insights are valuable to a progressive rewriting of African-American history and culture.
- This country is as much ours as it is the whites, whether they will admit it now or not, they will see and believe it by and by.
Efforts to prevent distribution
“Walker’s Appeal is the first sustained written assault upon slavery and racism to come from a black man in the United States. This was the main source of its overwhelming power in its own time; this is the source of the great relevance and enormous impact that remain in it, deep as we are in the twentieth century. Never before or since was there a more passionate denunciation of the hypocrisy of the nation as a whole — democratic and fraternal and equalitarian and all the other words. And Walker does this not as one who hates the country but rather as one who hates the institutions which disfigure it and make it a hissing in the world.”
"But I must, really, observe that in this very city, when a man of color dies, if he owned any real estate it most generally galls into the hands of some white persons. The wife and children of the deceased may weep and lament if they please, but the estate will be kept snug enough of its white possessor."
- The Library of Congress had an exhibit, Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period, which noted Walker's significance, along with that of other key black abolitionists: "Free people of color like Richard Allen, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, David Walker, and Prince Hall earned national reputations for themselves by writing, speaking, organizing, and agitating on behalf of their enslaved compatriots."
- The National Park Service has walking tours developed for the Boston African American National Historic Site, including of the Black Beacon Hill community. The comprehensive narratives include discussion of David Walker, who was integral to the black neighborhood and city activists. An online version of the tour is also available.