By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is Martin Delany Week, a time to celebrate an extraordinary African-American, known as the father of Black Nationalism.

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Born in 1812, Martin R. Delany was a doctor, newspaper publisher, an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, and an author.

When much of the 19th-century anti-slavery movement supported deporting freed Blacks back to Africa, Delany, who grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania, spoke up.

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“He said, ‘You can’t tell us what we should do! We decide what we should do. If this country is not going to be a place where we can prosper, then we should leave, but it’s our choice,’ ” says Larry Robin, founder of Moonstone Art Center.

The Moonstone is hosting a number of events this week celebrating Delany’s life, featuring notables such as poet Sonia Sanchez and speaker Molefi Asante.

For more information, go to MoonstoneArtsCenter.org/MartinDelany.

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