Final Take Home Exam
African American History
December 10, 2009
African-American History Final Take Home Exam
Black Leadership Under Segregation
Throughout the civil rights movement and before, there was an emergence of many talen-
ted, civil rights leaders that were faithfully devoted to improving the social and economic condi-
tions of African-Americans in the United States. Paul Robeson emerged as on of the most talen-
ted orators, linguists, activist, and performers of this time. His work in the United States, Europe,
and Africa concentrated on rights for the working class, speaking out against racial oppression,
and learning about the colonialism and how its negative affects can be reversed. Paul Robeson
was also a controversial figure in regards to his alleged affiliation with the Communist party.
However, he shared views with prominent African-American activists as well as had some op-
Paul Robeson, a staunch believer in black pride and the education of African-Americans
about Africa, was also convinced that one of the only ways blacks could affect change in the
United States was through mass organization and mobilization, a belief he shared with Ida B.
Wells. In Here I Stand, Paul Robeson stated, “What power do we ourselves have? We have the
power of numbers, the power of organization, and the power of spirit” (92). Paul Robeson later
mentioned the Montgomery bus boycott. He proclaimed that the reasons for it’s success lay in
the fact that blacks in Montgomery organized themselves to make whites notice them. Ida B.
Wells, an anti-lynching crusader and activist, also advocated mobilization. In Finkenbine’s,
Primary Sources in American Past, Ida B. Wells is quoted as to have said, “The appeal to the
white man’s pocket has ever been more effectual than all the appeals ever made to his con-