Garveyism

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The formation of the United Negro Improvement Association and African Communities (Imperial) League in 1914 was heavily contingent on the occurrences on the African continent during same period. This organization was founded with the aim of uniting the black Diaspora “into one grand racial hierarchy”. As a young man, Marcus Garvey advocated cooperation with the colonial government. He preached accommodation and condemned political protest. This stance can be said to be a direct manifestation of his limited experience with racial injustices as a child. In his biography he notes that he attended school with both white and black children and his encounters were never racially biased. However, after travelling across the United States and Europe as an adult he came to experience the limitations placed upon and blatant violence toward the black community. On March 1917, the UNIA became an official body based in New York with a mere thirteen members. After a short three month period, the organization grew exponentially, boasting 3500 paying members. The UNIA, though founded in the United States of America soon expanded a chapter of the fraternal body in Jamaica and further extended across the Caribbean and Africa. Horace Campbell a Jamaican Professor of African Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University stressed the impact of Marcus Garvey's vision by stating that, “The UNIA...was the most dynamic mass movement across territorial borders among the African peoples during this century. Now, one hundred years after the birth of Garvey and seven decades after the founding of the UNIA, it is still possible to say that Garveyism occupies a central place in the struggle for democracy, dignity and social transformation. [1] While the ideas of black nationalism and autonomy espoused were not revolutionary for the period, the way in which Garvey was able to capture the essence of the black struggle and provide a universal organization for the growth and development of...
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