Timothy Thomas Fortune was one of the most influential Black thinkers of late 19th-century America. Born into slavery in 1856, Fortune came of age during Reconstruction and by the 1880s he had emerged as an uncompromising advocate of full racial and economic equality in the United States. He was the founder, editor, and owner of the influential newspaper The New York Age. Fortune helped found the National Afro-American League, one of the earliest equal rights organizations in the United States, which played a vital role in setting the stage for the Niagra Movement and the NAACP. His work has influenced generations of Civil Rights advocates. He lived in New York City and Red Bank, New Jersey, and died in 1928 at the age of seventy-one in Philadelphia. His house in Red Bank, New Jersey, is a designated National Historic Landmark and now houses the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation and Cultural Center.
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