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We Will Be Satisfied With Nothing LessThe African American Struggle for Equal Rights in the North during Reconstruction$
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Hugh Davis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450099

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450099.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
We Will Be Satisfied With Nothing Less

Hugh Davis

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the National Convention of Colored Men held in Syracuse, New York, in October 1864. The convention brought together a broader spectrum of northern black activists than had any previous African American meeting. It launched the northern black struggle for equal rights, which was undertaken in the face of widespread white opposition and indifference. This movement stands as the most important African American crusade for full citizenship rights prior to the modern civil rights cause of the 1950s and 1960s. The National Equal Rights League (NERL), which the Syracuse Convention created to coordinate the cause, became truly national in scope, with a network of state and local auxiliaries in every northern state from New England to the West Coast and in most of the southern states.

Keywords:   National Convention of Colored Men, northern blacks, equal rights, African Americans, citizenship rights, Reconstruction, National Equal Rights League

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