Born May 6th 1812, Martin R. Delany was born a Free Man. His family would move to Pennsylvania to avoid prosecution for knowing how to read & write. By the age of 19, Delany himself would be firmly entrenched in his study of medicine; but all the while developing his militant stance in opposition to the institution of slavery. By the late 1830's he had launched a newspaper, called "The Mystery," which spoke to the plight of Blacks and Women in America. Soon thereafter he would be recruited by Frederick Douglass, and the two would work together on "The North Star" weekly newspaper. This partnership would last from 1846 to 1849, but would end allegedly due to the Martin Delany's more militant approach to resolving the injustices faced by Black People daily. Around that same time, Delany would go on to enroll at Harvard; but continued fight & evolve his position in regard to how to resolve the concerns of his race. Starting around 1850, he would begin pushing the case for repatriation back to Africa, leading exploratory missions to West Africa & even temporarily relocating to Canada (that same year Delany & the two other Black Students would be kicked out of Harvard to pressure from angry Whites).
"We are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently and unconcernedly, indifferently, and stupidly, for masters to come and lay claim to us, trusting to their generosity, whether or not they will own us and carry us into endless bondage."
With the onset of The Civil War, however, he would return to The U.S. to serve as a surgeon for The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and leading recruiter of current & former slaves for The North. Commissioned as Major, Delany would be one of the first-if not The First Black Soldier to hold an official commission as an officer. After the war he also served on The Freedmen's Bureau. Delany spent the bulk of his remaining life pushing for emigration first to South/Central America, and then Back to Africa. Delany's position was that justice would never be achieved in any situation where Black People were not in the majority. This core value, along with his refusal to assimilate into American Culture or identify himself as anything other Purely African, are chief reasons why Martin R. Delany is largely hidden from the history books. But to the learned reader, his true impact clearly eclipses that of all of his contemporaries of that time. Martin R. Delany died January 24th 1885. He authored one book "The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Politically Considered" in 1852.