All That’s Black: Benjamin Singleton

Benjamin Singleton, Politician and Activist:

Photo Credit: Kansapedia

Benjamin “Pap” Singleton was an American activist and businessman best known for his role in establishing African-American settlements in Kansas.

Held in slavery in Tennessee, Singleton escaped to freedom in Ontario, Canada, in 1846, before returning to Detroit, MI, for a time. After returning to Tennessee during the Union Occupation, Singleton realized that Blacks would never be allowed to achieve economic equality under the white domination of the South and that the only way to obtain true freedom was to create our own establishments, Singleton went on a search to find land that would be suitable for colonies of Black people.

His first attempt to establish residency in Cherokee County near Baxter Springs failed in large part because he was unfortunately too late, arriving approximately one year after the beginning of the gold rush. Singleton continued to search and eventually found land near the town of Dunlap, Kansas, and in 1879 Dunlap County was established, with more than 2400 settlers.

By Aprille’ Morris & Emily Burke

Edited By Keshav Kant

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