The emigration movement, as well as the resistance against it, would press on for the next few decades. The legal triumphs of African Americans usually caused the debate to die down. For a while, the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment seemed to have effectively settled the emigration debate: African Americans can stay and enjoy their citizenship. However, the failure of Reconstruction, the immediate rise of white terrorism, and the passing of Jim Crow laws reignited the debate. The tenability of living in the US was again questioned, and the emigration movement continued to gain ground. The Black press was a crucial medium through which both sides of debate could be heard. The news coverage of the 1854 convention would have incited further conversations among African Americans of various statuses. And, for some, articles about the debates in the convention settled their minds as to whether to stay or to go. 


Curators: Part A: Ashley Durrance, Hannah Harkins, Nicholas Palombo, Leslie Rewis. Part B: Melanie Berry, Christy Hutcheson, Eli Jones, and Morgan Shaffer. Taught by: Benjamin Fagan, Auburn University, Fall, 2016.Taught by: Benjamin Fagan, Auburn University, Fall 2016.

Co-edited by Sarah Patterson and Samantha Q. de Vera, Co-Chairs of Exhibits team, the Colored Conventions Project. 

The Colored Conventions Project proudly partners with national and local teaching partners and student contributors to bring the buried history of nineteenth-century Black political organizing to digital life.

Special thanks to Gale®, part of Cengage Learning, for granting permission to host digital images of newpapers in its database, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers and Accessible ArchivesAfrican American Newspapers collection.