February 15, 2013
An Omitted History
African American history has been distorted for many years. "[T]he wider public of freedmen and freedwomen do not receive as much attention as one might wish in a book with a subtitle that promises a study of “popular politics.” (West, 2004). A lot of what is portrayed in history about African Americans has been the image of slave or criminal. Most times, history fails to show other images or accounts of minorities, especially African Americans, in post slavery America as being strong, family oriented or successful. Popular accounts of African American “strength” have included Marcus Garvey and the Pan-African Movement of the early 1900s and The Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 70s. Although these are more common subjects studied by historians, they often neglect to show the "celebration of education, marriage, the respectability of black women, and the promotion of interracial and interethnic solidarity and anti-imperialism"(McGinley, 2009). Propaganda and media control has allowed colonialism and imperialism to prevail until this day. Marcus Garvey and the Pan-African Movement of the Early 1900s "awakened African Americans to an understanding of the race problem as a common problem of the black man in the Atlantic world (Lewis 334)" (Fergus, 2010). Garvey was a learned man, Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery being a piece that deeply influenced Garvey’s way of thinking. In 1914, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities (Imperial) League, better known as the Universal Negro Improvement Association or UNIA. In this organization, there was the promotion of women’s empowerment which was “a revolutionary idea that recognized the leading role of women in the struggle against slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean" (Fergus, 2010). Race relations in the United States didn't improve for...