BENJAMIN “PAP” SINGLETON
The Great Exodus
Benjamin “Pap” Singleton was an American activist and businessman best known for his role in establishing African-American settlements in Kansas.
Held in slavery in Tennessee, Singleton escaped to freedom in 1846 and became a noted abolitionist, community leader and spokesman for African-American civil rights. He returned to Tennessee during the Union occupation in 1862, but soon concluded that Blacks would never achieve economic equality in the white-dominated South due to the fact white land owners refused to sell land to blacks at fair prices.
After the end of Reconstruction, Singleton with the help of Columbus Johnson they organized the movement of hundreds of blacks out of Tennesse and into the Midwest known as the great Exodus. A prominent early voice for Black nationalism and became known as the “FATHER OF THE EXODUS” for the movement in 1879. He was involved in promoting and coordinating Black-owned businesses in Kansas.