Theology professor Gary Agee gives presentation on Daniel Rudd's post-Civil War fight for equality

Agee's book is a biography about Rudd who was born a slave in Kentucky | February 6, 2013

Gary Agee, adjunct professor of theology, gives a presentation on Thursday, Feb. 7, on his biography about Daniel Rudd and the impact he had on the fight for equality after the Civil War and the onslaught of Jim Crow Laws. Agee wrote about Rudd in his book, A Cry for Justice: Daniel Rudd and His Life in Black Catholicism, Journalism and Activism, 1854-1933. There will be a reception and book-signing after the presentation, which takes place in Kelly Auditorium in Alter Hall at 5:00 p.m.

Rudd was born into slavery in Bardstown, Ky., in 1854, one of 12 children born to Catholic slave parents. He believed in Catholic theology that taught “the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of all people.” For him, it was cardinal truth of the Church.

During his lifetime, Rudd was a noted journalist, publisher, speaker and activist. He established his newspaper, the Ohio State Tribune, in January 1885. A year later, it became the American Catholic Tribune. At the height of its popularity, it served 10,000 subscribers. As an editor, Rudd advocated for women’s rights, equality and fairness in employment for blacks, and the opening of the Catholic Press Association. In 1889 he founded the National Black Catholic Congress to urge black Catholics to take collective action to demand racial equality. The first meeting was held at St. Augustine Church in Washington, D.C.

In 1888, Rudd wrote, “We think we will live long enough to see a black man president of this Republic,” 120 years before the election of President Barack Obama as president.

The event is co-sponsored in recognition of Black History Month by the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Xavier’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. For more information, please call 513-745-3181.