What are the four key points in David Walker's Appeal.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Essentially, Walker's Appeal can be seen as identifying four elements that build its argument.  These points would involve Walker's treatment of "Slavery," "Ignorance," "the Preachers of the Religion of Jesus Christ," and "the Colonizing Plan."  In detailing the condition of "Slavery," Walker's main point is that the historical advancement of societies that have included slaves have been some of the most cruel and brutal known to the historical tradition.  Yet, Walker makes clear that even in these settings, slaves were able to find some sanctuary in being part of a "human family."  Walker's point is that the slavery seen in America is fundamentally different than any other previous time because it prevents the person of color from participating in this notion of "human family."  

Walker than engages in a study of how American slavery has been carried out to prevent people of color from participating in American society.  His discussion of political initiatives such as the Three- Fifths Compromise, or codes that limit education to people of color, as well as social marginalization that is reinforced through violence and repression are examples of how "ignorance" has become so much a part of the landscape. Walker wants his “afflicted and slumbering brethren” to arise out of this condition and take action.  From here, Walker criticizes the use of religion as a way to keep slaves in submission and to even justify slavery.  An ordained minister himself, Walker understands how religion has been used in a hypocritical manner and thus seeks to offer clarification as to how religion has been twisted. His criticism of "the Colonizing Plan" is a point that he wishes to emphasize.  Walker does believe that there can be an America with people of color in it.  The re-colonization of African- Americans is something that Walker himself cannot get behind and support because it removes people of color from their rightful place in America. In these four point, Walker's analysis lies in his Appeal.

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