Philosophy of T. J. Sellers

The articles in The Reflector and the book by Sarah Patton Boyle, The Desegregated Heart, are suggestive of Sellers' philosophy on race.  According to Boyle, Sellers reeducated her about race relations in the South, allowing her to "knock down (her) segregation walls".  Between 1951 and 1953, Boyle and Sellers met at least once a week for discussions of race that they jokingly called the "T. J. Sellers Course for Backward Southern Whites."

According to Jennifer Ritterhouse, Sellers deeply believed in principles of equality and justice in America.  Sellers also believed that segregation meant discrimination and double standards of justice by whites who failed to recognize blacks' constitutional rights.  Evidence of Sellers' philosophy on race is seen throughout the articles of The Reflector.
Wanted At Once!!  Action
Here, Sellers called for the establishment of an active civic league for African-Americans in Charlottesville.  He emphasizes actions over spoken words or promises. 
Eight Little Darkies???
Here, Sellers applauded African-American citizens who protested the "antebellum phraseology" used in a local theater's advertisement of a watermelon-eating contest. 
What Are We to Be Called?
Here, Sellers asserted that blacks were American citizens.  Sellers also seems to be arguing for whites to recognize that there are class distinctions within the black community.  This article could reflect middle-class black racial pride and identity. 
True Democracy
Here, Sellers argued that African-Americans were citizens of the State, and, as such, enjoyed the right to share the duties and responsibilities of American citizens. 

While speaking at a Charlottesville Freedom Fund dinner in November 1962, Sellers said, "[w]e can help educate our [white] friends not be sitting in at hot dog counters demanding the chance to spend a quarter, but by WALKING AWAY, and staying away, from all counters, everywhere that are not willing to give us the respect and consideration and courtesy that the 20 million dollars spent by American Negroes each year should deserve."  Sellers advocated self-reliance, pragmatism, and strong racial identity among African-Americans well before 1962, as suggested by other pieces in The Reflector.

Here, Sellers argued that African-Americans should not depend on whites, but, should be self-reliant.  Sellers also stated his fears of interracial alliance in labor unions, afraid  whites would take advantage of blacks. 
The Negro and the Emergency in Education
This article reveals Sellers' belief that education was the best tool for African-Americans to compete and succeed in America. 
Why Be Patriotic?
Here, Sellers argued against a writer who suggested that African-Americans should not be patriotic.  Sellers said that some whites race worked hard for the equality of African-Americans, and that America was not a completely oppressive environment for blacks.  In addition, Sellers argued that patriotism was the only guarantee to perpetual democracy. 


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