By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “Every people should be the originators of their own destiny,” said Martin R. Delany who, in the 1840s not only challenged slavery but challenged the thinking behind slavery and what allowed it to exist.

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Delany founded one of the first black newspapers, was one of the first blacks admitted to Harvard Medical School, and negotiated a treaty with the Yorba chiefs for African Americans to immigrate to Africa.

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He wrote one of the first novels by an African American male and became one of the first officers in the Union Army. He took pride in his blackness and is considered the Father of Black Nationalism.

Moonstone Arts Center is commemorating Delany’s 200th birthday with twenty events starting May 6th, looking at Delany’s life and writings, the fact that DNA shows that there is no biological basis for “race,” and the contemporary struggle against racism.

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