Rev. Alexander Crummell

“Another one that you may have heard of or may not have was Rev. Alexander Crummell. He emerged in the late 1850s. He was the first president of the American Negro Academy. He mentored none other than W. E. B. DuBois. If you’ve heard of DuBois and if you’ve read any of his things, then you have seen some of Crummell’s ideas. It was Crummell who gave DuBois the idea of developing the talented tenth to lead our people.

Economic Development

“What Crummell emphasized was the need for economic development in Africa and the need for Africa’s descendants around the world to develop economic ties with the motherland. This is what he believed: he said [that] strong economic ties with Africa will lead to the development of Negro commercial power in Africa and in other lands where people of African descent live. The prosperity of Africa could be assured if the natural resources and wealth of Africa were properly developed. And this is what he was saying: He was saying,

‘Not only do we need to bring evangelism and all the rest of that, but we must work together to empower the people we bring the gospel to develop economically and to begin to be empowered.’

Theology of Empowerment

“Remember, they carried, over to the continent, this theology of empowerment. He went on to say that, if Africa and her transplanted descendants could gain control of that development and the resulting benefits, then things would be rapidly improved — we can reach the whole continent for Christ. The God-given mission of the African Americans—or, as they said, the American Negro — was to rescue Africa from ruin, to empower the oppressed people of African descent, and, as he put it, to ‘destroy the power of the devil in his strongholds’ by ushering in light, knowledge, hope, and Christian faith.

The AME Church

Alexander Crummel (cropped).png

Alexander Crummell (1819 – 1898) pioneering African-American minister, academic and African nationalist.

“Crummell was aware of the presence of Islam in Africa; he was also aware of the Arabization of some of the tribes there, and he was also aware of the fact that the whole system of slavery was introduced largely, and exploited, by Arabs and Muslims. So, he pointed, then — he pointed to the ministry of the AME Church as proof that African Americans were up to the task. The AME Church had established home missions. They’d founded a college. And as a model of what Africans could do, he said the AME Church stands out. The AME Church, by this time, had the fourteenth and fifteenth Episcopal districts already established and functioning in western Africa and southern Africa.”

{Excerpt from Carl F. Ellis Jr., CS251 History and Theology of the African American Church, Logos Mobile Education (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press), 2017.



Looking at 5 American black theologians, pastors and missionaries

George Liele

Rev. Henry Highland Garnet

Next: Richard Allen

2 thoughts on “Rev. Alexander Crummell

  1. Pingback: Richard Allen | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  2. Pingback: Charles Price Jones better known as C. P. Jones | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.