OUR COMMON GROUND BLACK HISTORY NOTE
"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his "proper place" and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary."
-- Dr. Carter G. Woodson, "The Miseducation of the Negro"
John S. Rock (1858)
Schoolteacher, dentist, physician, lawyer, graduate of the American Medical College in Philadelphia, member of the Massachusetts bar, proficient in Greek and Latin, Dr. John S. Rock was unequivocally one of the most distinguished African American leaders to emerge in the United States during the antebellum era. On March 5, 1858, Dr. Rock delivered a speech at Boston’s Fanueil Hall as part of the annual Crispus Attucks Day observance organized by Boston's black abolitionists in response to the Dred Scott decision.
Rock shared the platform with William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Theodore Parker. Three years before the outbreak of the Civil War, Dr. Rock correctly predicted that African Americans were destined to play an important role in the impending military conflict over slavery.