Homeworks academic service


The marcus garvey and universal negro improvement association papers

Proclaiming a black nationalist "Back to Africa" message, Garvey and the UNIA established 700 branches in thirty-eight states by the early 1920s. While chapters existed in the larger urban areas such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Garvey's message reached into small towns across the country as well.

Garvey's philosophy and organization had a rich religious component that he blended with the political and economic aspects. Considering the strong political and economic black nationalism of Garvey's movement, it may seem odd to include an essay on him in a Web site on religion in America.

  • The Caribbean Diaspora, 1910-1920 is a valuable resource for scholars and students of the man and the movement;
  • He took the self-help message of Washington and adapted it to the situation he saw in America, taking a somewhat individualistic, integrationist philosophy and turning it into a more corporate, politically-minded, nation-building message;
  • Pointing out that Garvey's message had a tremendous influence on later groups such as the Rastafarians and the Nation of Islam is also important;
  • However, his philosophy and organization had a rich religious component that he blended with the political and economic aspects;
  • The foundations of trade unionism in the Caribbean and the worker solidarity and nationalism it promoted are apparent in several of the documents in this volume.

However, his philosophy and organization had a rich religious component that he blended with the political and economic aspects.

His organization took as its motto "One God! Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God. Due to the economic hardship of his family, he left school at age fourteen and learned the printing and newspaper business. He became interested in politics and soon got involved in projects aimed at helping those on the bottom of society. Unsatisfied with his work, he travelled to London in 1912 and stayed in England for two years. During this time he paid close attention to the controversy between Ireland and England concerning Ireland's independence.

He was also exposed to the ideas and writings of a group of black colonial writers that came together in London around the African Times and Orient Review. Nationalism in both Ireland and Africa along with ideas such as race conservation undoubtedly had an impact on Garvey. However, he later remembered that the most influential experience of his stay in London was reading Booker T.

Washington's autobiography Up From Slavery.

Additional Information

Washington believed African Americans needed to improve themselves first, showing whites in America that they deserved equal rights. Although politically involved behind the scenes, Washington repeatedly claimed that African Americans would not benefit from political activism and started an industrial training school in Alabama that embodied his own philosophy of self-help. Garvey did not make much headway in Jamaica and decided to visit America in order to meet Booker T. Washington and learn more about the situation of African Americans.

By the time Garvey arrived in America in 1916, Washington had died, but Garvey decided to travel around the country and observe African Americans and their struggle for equal rights. What Garvey saw was a shifting population and a diminishing hope in Jim Crow's demise.

  1. Pointing out that Garvey's message had a tremendous influence on later groups such as the Rastafarians and the Nation of Islam is also important.
  2. Washington's requirement for equality and freedom.
  3. If you must be free, you must become so through your own effort. Between 1917 and 1919 race riots erupted in East St.
  4. Washington believed African Americans needed to improve themselves first, showing whites in America that they deserved equal rights. Edited by Robert A.

African Americans were moving in large numbers out of the rural South and into the urban areas of both North and South. As World War One came to an end, disillusionment was beginning to take hold. Not only was the optimism in the continuing improvement of humanity and society broken apart, but so was any hope on the part of African Americans that they would gain the rights enjoyed by every white American citizen. African Americans had served in large numbers in the war, and many expected some kind of respect and acknowledgment that they too were equal citizens.

Washington's requirement for equality and freedom. Through dedicated service in the armed forces, they could prove their worth and show they deserved the same rights as whites. However, as black soldiers returned from the war, and more and more African Americans moved into the urban areas, racial tensions grew. Between 1917 and 1919 race riots erupted in East St. Louis, Chicago, Tulsa, and other cities, demonstrating that whites did not intend to treat African Americans any differently than they had before the war.

After surveying the racial situation in America, Garvey was convinced the marcus garvey and universal negro improvement association papers integration would never happen and that only economic, political, and cultural success on the part of African Americans would bring about equality and respect.

With this goal he established the headquarters of the UNIA in New York in 1917 and began to spread a message of black nationalism and the eventual return to Africa of all people of African descent.

Garvey believed people of African descent could establish a great independent nation in their ancient homeland of Africa. He took the self-help message of Washington and adapted it to the situation he saw in America, taking a somewhat individualistic, integrationist philosophy and turning it into a more corporate, politically-minded, nation-building message.

In 1919 Garvey purchased an auditorium in Harlem and named it Liberty Hall. There he held nightly meetings to get his message out, sometimes to an audience of six thousand. In 1918 he began a newspaper, Negro World, which by 1920 had a circulation somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000. Membership in the UNIA is difficult to assess. At one point, Garvey claimed to have six million members.

Related Items

That figure is most likely inflated. However, it is beyond dispute that millions were involved and directly affected by Garvey and his message. To promote unity, Garvey encouraged African Americans to be concerned with themselves first. He stated after World War One that "[t]he first dying that is to be done by the black man in the future will be done to make himself free.

And then when we are finished, if we have any charity to bestow, we may die for the white man. But as for me, I think I have stopped dying for him. If you must be free, you must become so through your own effort. He hammered home the idea of racial pride by celebrating the African past and encouraging African Americans to be proud of their heritage and proud of the way they looked.

Garvey proclaimed "black is beautiful" long before it became popular in the 1960s. He wanted African Americans to see themselves as members of a mighty race. He created an African Legion that dressed in military garb, uniformed marching bands, and other auxiliary groups such as the Black Cross Nurses. Marcus Garvey with Potentate Gabriel M. Johnson of Liberia, Supreme Deputy G. While racial pride and unity played important roles in Garvey's black nationalism, he touted capitalism as the tool that would establish African Americans as an independent group.

His message has been called the evangel of black success, for he believed economic success was the quickest and most effective way to independence. Interestingly enough, it was white America that served as a prime example of what blacks could accomplish. He wanted to produce everything that a nation needed so that African Americans could completely rely on their own efforts.

At one point the corporation operated three grocery stores, two restaurants, a printing plant, a steam laundry, and owned several buildings and trucks in New York City alone.

His most famous economic venture was a shipping company known as the Black Star Line, a counterpart to a white-owned company called the White Star Line.

  1. His general introduction and his more specific introduction, which are available online see links are outstanding and provide a concise summary of Garvey and the UNIA.
  2. The Institutionalization of a Black Civil Religion 1978. It stands as an impressive record of the Garvey movement.
  3. During this time he paid close attention to the controversy between Ireland and England concerning Ireland's independence.
  4. When many of these migrants were repatriated to their home countries, they utilized the skills learned within the UNIA abroad to challenge their governments at home to improve political, economic, and social conditions.
  5. However, his philosophy and organization had a rich religious component that he blended with the political and economic aspects.

Garvey started the shipping company in 1919 as a way to promote trade but also to transport passengers to Africa. He believed it could also serve as an important and tangible sign of black success. However the shipping company eventually failed due to expensive repairs, mismanagement, and corruption. With all his talk of a mighty race that would one day rule Africa, it would have been foolish for Garvey to underestimate the power of religion, particularly Christianity, within the African-American community.

The churches served as the only arena in which African Americans exercised full control. Not only did they serve as houses of worship but also as meeting places that dealt with social, economic, and political issues.

  • He hammered home the idea of racial pride by celebrating the African past and encouraging African Americans to be proud of their heritage and proud of the way they looked;
  • He took the self-help message of Washington and adapted it to the situation he saw in America, taking a somewhat individualistic, integrationist philosophy and turning it into a more corporate, politically-minded, nation-building message;
  • The documents in the volume related to the UNIA chapters in Central America suggest that one of the major accomplishments of the organization was its ability to quell insularity within the West Indian [End Page 738] migrant communities;
  • Achieving economic, cultural, social, and political success would free African Americans in this life;
  • Although politically involved behind the scenes, Washington repeatedly claimed that African Americans would not benefit from political activism and started an industrial training school in Alabama that embodied his own philosophy of self-help;
  • However the shipping company eventually failed due to expensive repairs, mismanagement, and corruption.

Pastors were the most powerful people in the community for they influenced and controlled the community's most important institution. Garvey knew the important place religion held, and he worked hard to recruit pastors into his organization.

Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers

He enjoyed tremendous success at winning over leaders from almost every denomination. Garvey, however, did not want the organization to take on the trappings of one particular denomination, for he did not want to offend any of its members. Churchmen Speak for the Garvey Movement. A typical meeting followed this order: Garvey was not interested in promoting hope in the afterlife.

Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies

Success in this life was the key. Achieving economic, cultural, social, and political success would free African Americans in this life.

The afterlife would take care of itself. Perhaps Garvey's greatest genius was taking that message of material, social, and political success and transforming it into a religious message, one that could lead to "conversion," one that did not challenge the basic doctrines of his followers but incorporated them into the whole of his vision.

One of Garvey's top ministers gave witness to the powerful effect of that message when he claimed in 1920, "I feel that I am a full-fledged minister of the African gospel. Philip Randolph of the publication Messenger, had their doubts about Garvey.

The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association papers

By 1922 his rhetoric shifted away from a confrontational stance against white America to a position of separatism mixed with just enough cooperation. He applauded whites who promoted the idea of sending African Americans back to Africa. He even met with a the marcus garvey and universal negro improvement association papers leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Atlanta in 1922 to discuss their views on miscegenation and social equality. That meeting only gave more fuel to his critics. He was eventually sentenced to prison and began serving his sentence in 1925.

When his sentence was commuted two years later, Garvey was deported to Jamaica. With his imprisonment and deportation, his organization in the United States lost much of its momentum. Garvey spent the last years of his life in London and died in 1940. Guiding Student Discussion In my experience with undergraduates, I find that students know little if anything about Marcus Garvey.

The simplest way to get their attention is to tell them that Garvey's UNIA was bigger than the Civil Rights Movement, which most of them do know something about. Telling them that Garvey's influence extended well beyond the borders of the United States to the Caribbean, Canada, and Africa may also pique their interest. Pointing out that Garvey's message had a tremendous influence on later groups such as the Rastafarians and the Nation of Islam is also important. Garvey, Malcolm, and Carmichael are all considered more radical than the mainstream civil rights protesters, yet it was Booker T.

Washington, someone considered quite conservative by most scholars, who had a profound influence on Garvey. Exploring that connection between the accommodationist philosophy of Washington and the black nationalism of Garvey and the other leaders might generate the most interest and help the students see the important place that Garvey holds in American history. What is Garvey trying to do here? Why not throw out the religion of Christianity, which was used as a rationale for keeping slaves and viewing blacks as inferior people, and form a new religion that could communicate the hopes and desires of people of African descent?

Why not do as the later group, the Nation of Islam, and remove all white influence? You might talk about Christianity itself, how blacks identified with so many of the stories of the Bible, the people of Israel, the suffering of Jesus, and how African American's understanding of Christianity in many ways may already have been "black.

Why is religion so important here; why does it play any role at all? Why couldn't Garvey simply preach black nationalism in economic, political, and social terms? What does religious expression do for people in an organization like the UNIA?