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Most non-Indigenous Australians know of Charles Perkins. Many are familiar with a few other Aboriginal leaders. Yet few have heard of William Cooper, one of the most important Aboriginal leaders in Australia's history. "Thinking Black" tells the story of Cooper and the Australian Aborigines' League, and their campaign for Aboriginal people's rights. Through petitions to government, letters to other campaigners and organisations, and entreaties to friends and well-wishers, the book reveals their passionate struggle against dispossession and displacement, the denial of rights, and their fight to be citizens in their own country. Bain Attwood and Andrew Markus document the circumstances behind the most significant moments in Cooper's political career -- his famous 1933 petition to King George V, his call for a 'Day of Mourning' in 1938, the walk-off from Cummeragunja in 1939 and his opposition to an Aboriginal regiment in 1939. It explores the principles Cooper drew on in his campaigning, not least his 'Letter from an Educated Black', surely one of the most intriguing political testaments by an Australian leader. "Thinking Black" sheds new light on the history of what it has meant to be Aboriginal in modern Australia. It reveals the rich and varied cultural traditions, both Aboriginal and British, religious and secular, that have informed Aboriginal people's battle for justice, and their vision of equality in Australia of two peoples: equal yet distinct.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780855754594
ISBN-10: 0855754591
Format: Paperback
(140mm x 215mm x 5mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Aboriginal Studies Press
Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press
Publish Date: 1-Jan-2004
Country of Publication: Australia

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Author Biography - Bain Attwood

ain Attwood is Associate Professor of History in the School of Historical Studies, Monash University, and Adjunct Professor, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, The Australian National University. Andrew Markus is Professor of Jewish Civilisation and Director of the Australian Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilisation, Monash University. They have both written extensively on Aboriginal history and Australian race relations.

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