Nell Irvin Painter – Leadership

The Exodus had no anointed leader. Rather than being deluded by false leaders, the Exodusters rejected leadership altogether. “We have found no leader to trust but the God overhead of us,” said a typical group of Exodusters.16 In New Orleans, a prospective migrant summed up their position: “Every Black man is his own Moses now.”17 Exodusters refused to hear out prominent Blacks who contradicted their beliefs.

  • 16 Chicago Daily Tribune, March 27, 1879
  • 17 Chicago Daily Tribune, March 23, 1879
  • P.188, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3



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