Charles Lenox Redmond: One of the First African-American Orators and Abolitionists

Written by Jae Jones

Charles Lennox Remond was one of eight children born to a Curacaoan merchant and his wife in Salem, Massachusetts. At the age of 28, he was named the first African-American lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. By 1838, he began traveling with William Lloyd Garrison to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. He was a determined freedom fighter and often traveled for weeks at a time, giving two speeches a day.

When there were no meeting places for Remond’s groups to gather inside, he conducted his meetings outdoors. When a white mob would arrive, Remond disregarded their presence and tried to keep speaking. He appealed for “immediate, unconditional emancipation for every human regardless of tongue or color.”

Remond also protested against sexual discrimination at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Conference in London. On his way to the conference, he was forced to travel in steerage because he was black. He declined his seat on the main floor when he learned that female delegates had been refused their seats.

For several years Remond was the most distinguished black abolitionist in America. When his uniqueness was challenged by Frederick Douglass, Remond reacted bitterly. While he reportedly never got over his jealousy of Douglass, on several occasions the two found themselves allied.

In 1842, he became the first African-American to address the Massachusetts legislature, at which he appealed against the “odiousness and absurdity” of segregated seating on railroads. Redmond died in 1878.



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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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