Mar. 3, 2019
Daniel Alexander Payne Murray
Today, on joesmokeblackthoughts I would like to present one of the most impressive American of African Descent collector of our black ancestors' intellectual properties, Daniel Murray, who was born on March 3, 1852, in Baltimore, Maryland. If you ever get the chance you need to read "The Original Black Elite" a book that details many aspects of the life of this remarkable black man. If Daniel Murray had been born with white skin, Daniel Murray most likely would have been remembered as one most important individuals in the history of our nation in the relationship of processing, securing, and protecting the intellectual properties housed in the Library of Congress.
You see, Daniel Murray was the Assistant Librarian for Congress, which would eventually house all books, journals, and periodicals published in the United States. From 1870-1926, a time period that covered over a century Daniel Murray served in some capacity while being employed at the United States Congress's Library. During that period of time while employed at the Library of Congress, Daniel Murray amassed an enormous repository of the intellectual property history of Americans of African Descent.
To say the Daniel Murray valued to need for every AOAD capable of becoming a strategic comprehending reader is indeed an understatement. Daniel Murray's life revolved around the goal of ensuring that intellectual resources created by AOAD were not lost to carpets of white bigotry and ignorance. Daniel and his wife Anna lived in Washington DC during a time when racial segregation and aggressive efforts of white supremacists were totally ingrained into the day to day existence of every black resident in our nation's capital.
Yet, Anna and Daniel Murray refused to cower to the energies of those racist tactics and techniques. Daniel Murray raised his family, worked tirelessly in procuring and protecting our black history. So, today on the 177th birthday I recognize this remarkable brother who inspired others to value literacy and aspired to also protect the intellectual magnificence of AOAD. One side note, one of the sons of Anna and Daniel Murray, Nat Murray was one of the seven original founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, which began at Cornell University in 1906. The first black Greek-lettered fraternity in our country's history.
The Blackman Who Reads Aloud honors the memory of this intellectual giant, Daniel Murray. It is because of Daniel Murray's tireless efforts to protect our literary resources that so much of our history wasn't lost to the ages of time. I read aloud every day, respecting the memory of this great man and ensure that each and every black person able to become a comprehensive strategic reader. This excerpt comes from the book "The Original Black Elite" written by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor.
“Daniel Murray’s bibliography peaked at 7,500 titles. “His Encyclopedia of the Colored Race, the crowning achievement of his life, presents to the world for the first time the only authoritative and complete history of the achievement of colored people and their contributions to culture and civilization.” Thus wrote Anna Murray to W. E. B. DuBois, at his request for obituary details for The Crisis, three months after her husband’s death. She continued, “Mr. Murray continued his research into the literary fecundity of the colored race until his death and now his manuscripts contain over 250,000 indexed cards giving titles and condensed biographical sketches of all notable persons who were in blood-related to the African race. In addition, Mr. Murray had over 250 manuscripts giving complete and authentic biographies of the outstanding men of color. All this has been compiled in a great encyclopedia going back to the earliest period of Ismael . . . up to the present day.”
p.396 The Original Black Elite