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Modern Voices
Albert Raboteau on Allen's reaction to the ACS
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Q: How did African Americans view the efforts of the ACS?
Albert Raboteau

A: Allen and the church were a vocal medium for attacking the American Colonization Society. It was not that Allen or many of the free blacks were against the idea of emigration if it were voluntary. But what they were afraid of was that the American Colonization Society would serve as a lobbying group which would, in effect, try to remove all free blacks from the country and force them to emigrate, repatriate to Africa. And this would, of course, mean that the major voice crying out against slavery in the country would have been silenced. It was free blacks, and particularly free blacks through the agency of the churches, the pulpits, the press, who were the major voices attacking the existence of slavery in the country.
Albert Raboteau
Professor of Religion
Princeton University

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