A Review of Marcus Garvey

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Julian Dunn
Document Review
The document under review for the purpose of this essay is Marcus Garvey’s “What We Believe” published in the Negro World on January 12, 1924. The letter outlines the racial doctrine of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. It is a mission statement that describes the UNIA as an organization who mainly desires improvement for the worldwide African race, believes in race pride, is staunchly anti-integrationist, and promotes the idea of an African nation. The aim of this essay is to demonstrate that “What We Believe” and consequently Marcus Garvey’s ideology with regard to the black race is rooted in the period that August Meir attributes to the rise of the “New Negro.”
The letter published in Marcus Garvey’s publication the Negro World is essentially the racial philosophy of the UNIA. It espouses the ideas of racial solidarity, exclusivity, and pride. In the letter the UNIA asserts:
The Universal Negro Improvement Association advocates the uniting and blending of all Negroes into one strong healthy race. It is against miscegenation and race suicide. It believes that the Negro race is as good as any other, and therefore should be as proud of itself as others are. It believes in the purity of the Negro race and the purity of the white race. It is against rich blacks marrying poor whites. It is against rich or poor whites taking advantage of Negro women. It believes in the spiritual Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It believes in the social and political physical separation of all the people to the extent that they promote their own ideals and civilization, with the privilege of trading and doing business with each other. It believes in the promotion of a strong and powerful Negro nation. It believes in the rights of all men. ( Marcus Garvey. “What We Believe,” in African American Political Thought, 1890-1930: Washington, Du Bois, Garvey, and Randolph, ed. Cary D. Wintz (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe,

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