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A Cry For Justice

Daniel A. Rudd's Ecclesiologically-Centered Vision of Justice in "The American Catholic Tribune"

Gary Agee

Publication Year: 2011

Daniel Rudd, born a slave in Bardstown, Kentucky, grew up to achieve much in the years following the Civil War. His Catholic faith, passion for activism, and talent for writing led him to increasingly influential positions in many places. One of his important early accomplishments was the publication of the American Catholic Tribune, which Rudd referred to as “the only Catholic journal owned and published by colored men.” At its zenith, the Tribune, run out of Detroit and Cincinnati, where Rudd lived, had ten thousand subscribers, making it one of the most successful black newspapers in the country. Rudd was also active in the leadership of the Afro-American Press Association, and he was a founding member of the Catholic Press Association. By 1889, Rudd was one of the nation’s best-known black Catholics. His work was endorsed by a number of high-ranking church officials in Europe as well as in the United States, and he was one of the founders of the Lay Catholic Congress movement. Later, his travels took him to Bolivar County, Mississippi, and eventually on to Forrest City, Arkansas, where he worked for the well-known black farmer and businessperson, Scott Bond, and eventually co-wrote Bond’s biography.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xii


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pp. xiii-xvi

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1. Daniel Rudd and the Establishment of the American Catholic Tribune

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pp. 1-53

Bardstown, Kentucky, was the childhood home of Daniel Arthur Rudd. It was one of the few rural communities south of the Ohio River with a numerically significant Catholic population. The region surrounding...

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2. A New Civilization Based on the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man

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pp. 37-54

Beginning in 1827 with the establishment of this country’s first African American newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, black journalists and editors have been on the front lines of the campaign for racial justice. Prior to emancipation, these...

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3. Archbishop John Ireland’s Masterly Plea for Justice

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pp. 55-82

Rudd found in the Catholic Church an organization that facilitated his development academically, spiritually, and professionally. This same institution also supported him in the refinement and promotion of his church-centered platform of racial justice. During the decade of the...

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4. Justice for African Americans

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pp. 83-108

Throughout his journalistic career Rudd consistently raised “a cry for justice.” In the Ohio State Tribune, the forerunner to the ACT, Rudd campaigned for “the eternal principles of liberty, justice and equality before the law.”1 Subsequent to the establishment of the ACT, Rudd continued...

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5. Beyond Concerns of Race

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pp. 109-140

Raising his “cry for justice,” Rudd advocated for causes that stretched beyond the editor’s campaign for racial equality. For example, he addressed the issue of women’s rights. Rudd was equally concerned over the exploitation of American laborers. As a member of the Catholic...

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6. The Colored Catholic Congress Movement, 1889–1894

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pp. 141-166

It is impossible to discuss Daniel Rudd’s vision of justice and equality for African Americans without an examination of the Colored Catholic Congress movement. In fact, this organizational initiative was an embodiment of Rudd’s campaign for justice. Moreover, the decision to organize...

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7. Daniel Rudd’s Post-ACT Years in the South

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pp. 167-188

Daniel Rudd skillfully led the ACT through a number of setbacks and difficulties on its way to financial viability. For example, in December 1890, about a month before Mackey’s departure from the ACT, Rudd decided to open a newspaper branch office and printing facility in...

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pp. 189-190

Biographers have published works on the lives of a number of Rudd’s contemporary black journalists, including T. Thomas Fortune, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Frederick Douglass, Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner, and Bishop Henry McNeal Turner...


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pp. 191-220

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 221-228


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pp. 229-236

E-ISBN-13: 9781610754910
E-ISBN-10: 1610754913
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557289759
Print-ISBN-10: 1557289751

Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 787842872
MUSE Marc Record: Download for A Cry For Justice

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Race relations -- History.
  • Social justice -- United States -- History.
  • Civil rights -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church -- History.
  • African Americans -- Biography.
  • African American Catholics -- Biography.
  • Rudd, Dan. A. (Daniel Arthur), b. 1854.
  • African American journalists -- Biography.
  • African American political activists -- Biography.
  • American Catholic tribune -- History.
  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- History.
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