Death of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner Hot

Death of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

Henry McNeal Turner

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Henry McNeal Turner, bishop for the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, dies in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

The most important figure in the history of the AME after Richard Allen (its founder), Henry McNeal Turner was the first southern black to made bishop in the AME Church.

Over time, Henry McNeal Turner became disenchanted with American politics and the efforts to achieve equality. Reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing racial discrimination in trains, hotels, and other public spaces, Turner wrote:

"The world has never witnessed such barbarous laws entailed upon a free people as have grown out of the decision of the United States Supreme Court, issued October 15, 1883.

For that decision alone authorized and now sustains all the unjust discriminations, proscriptions and robberies perpetrated by public carriers upon millions of the nation's most loyal defenders.

It fathers all the 'Jim-Crow cars' into which colored people are huddled and compelled to pay as much as the whites, who are given the finest accommodations.

It has made the ballot of the black man a parody, his citizenship a nullity and his freedom a burlesque. It has engendered the bitterest feeling between the whites and blacks, and resulted in the deaths of thousands, who would have been living and enjoying life today."

Turner ended up supporting the "back to Africa" movement — the idea that former slaves would be better off if they left America and returned to the home their ancestors were taken from.

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