Two conceptions of Black nationalism: Martin delany on the meaning of Black political solidarity

Political Theory 31 (5):664-692 (2003)
Abstract
The essay provides both an interpretation and a theoretical reconstruction of the political philosophy of Martin Delany, a mid-nineteenth-century radical abolitionist and one of the founders of the doctrine of black nationalism. It identifies two competing strands in Delany's social thought, "classical" nationalism and "pragmatic" nationalism, where each underwrites a different conception of the analytical and normative underpinnings of black political solidarity. It is argued that the pragmatic variant is the more cogent of the two and the one to which Delany is most committed. It is also suggested that pragmatic nationalism can still serve usefully as a theoretical schema through which African Americans can understand and carry out their current political projects
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