Charlotte Maxeke: The mother of black freedom

In the second half of this essay by Panashe Chigumadzi, we see the full flowering of Charlotte Maxeke

25 April 2021 - 00:00 By Panashe Chigumadzi

In 1930, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in America commissioned Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma, an AME Church member and future president-general of the ANC, to write a "biographical sketch" of Charlotte Maxeke as a tribute to her achievements in religious and social activism: Charlotte Manye (Mrs Maxeke): What an Educated African Girl Can Do.

In the book's preface, leading pan-Africanist activist-intellectual WEB Du Bois praised his former student: "I regard Mrs Maxeke as a pioneer in one of the greatest of human causes, working in extraordinarily difficult circumstances to lead a people, in the face of prejudice, not only against her race but against her sex . I think that what Mrs Maxeke has accomplished should encourage all men, especially those of African descent."..

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