ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home   ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)   


Garvey  never knew there was so much color prejudice in Jamaica



Books about Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey, Hero: First Biography (1983) / Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion (1988)

Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (1960)

Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (1986)

Marcus Garvey: Black Nationalist Leader  (2004)  / Classical Black Nationalism: From the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey (1996)

Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa (1974) / Amy Ashwood Garvey: Pan-Africanist, Feminist, and Wife  (2000)

Books by Marcus Garvey

Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey or Africa for the Africans / Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons (1988) 

 Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey (2005)  / The Poetical Works of Marcus Garvey


The American Experience - Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind (2001)

*   *   *   *   *

Some New Light on the Garvey Movement

By Hughes Brisbane, Jr. 


In treating of the rise and decline of civilization, Arnold J. Toynbee in his monumental Study of History deals at length with a recurring social phenomena which he designates the internal proletariat. Some examples of this group were the Jews under the successive captivity of the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Romans.; the slaves and disinherited of the Hellenic city states and the many tribes on the Italian peninsula held in submission by the Roman Republic. 

Coming closer to home, Toynbee has discovered two groups of internal proletariat in America. One of these he identifies as the American Indian who, as he says, has mostly died from the impact of European civilization and the other, the Negroes of tropical Africa whom he accuses of having set the Niger flowing into the Hudson and the Cong into the Mississippi.

This designation of the American Negro as an internal proletariat is at least plausible. For up until very recent times, there could have been but little doubt of his being in but not of American society. During the post Civil War period in the United States, the Radical Republicans and new England reformers entertained some hope of being able to assist the Negro in bridging the gap between in and of. This hope died slowly but it died nevertheless.

By 1900 the status of the black proletariat was being fixed. Southern states were stripping him of every vestige of political power and were isolating him through laws of segregation and discrimination. Some Northern intellectuals rationalized their condescension toward the Negro on the basis of the theories of J. B. de Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Even the famed Albert Bushnell Hart could write: "The history of the Negro in Africa and America leads to the belief that he will remain inferior in race stamina and in race achievement."1

As Toynbee's number one American internal proletariat, the Negro reacted non-violently but not passively to this situation. This reaction--the calls for race consciousness, race solidarity, and intra-racial cooperation--became known as Negro nationalism. It took root at about the time the pressures on the race were heaviest--the turn of the century.

The roots of this black nationalism paradoxically were watered by movements which at the time counseled different or even opposing strategies and tactics. Booker T. Washington hammered away at the necessity of self-help, intra-racial cooperation, and the creation of a black bourgeoisie. W.E.B. Du Bois strove for an increase in the size and activity of the Negro electorate as a prerequisite for obtaining full civil and political rights for the race. In the last analysis, however, these men and their followers were fashioning different tools for the same purpose--for the demolition of the walls which kept the black internal proletariat from becoming part of American society.

During the past generation, many theories have been offered in explanation of the unprecedented migration of Negroes from the South to Northern and eastern arenas of the United States. Among these is Gunnar Myrdal's "push and pull" theory: the northern pull of employment opportunities, civil and political rights; the Southern push of the boll weevil, poverty, and lynching.2

Whatever the cause, the years after 1914 witnessed hundreds of thousands of Negroes streaming up the Atlantic coast and the Mississippi River valley into the great Northern and eastern metropolises. The seaboard cities also served as debarkation points for thousands of Negroes fleeing the steaming plantations of the West Indian islands.

Once settled these newcomers lost little time in adapting themselves to their new environment. Indeed, the once passive Southern Negroes were swiftly metamorphized into assertive and often impatient colored citizens. The more abrasive aspects of Negro nationalism firmly and steadily repressed in Dixie were allowed freer expression in the North. In the decade following 1914, Negro nationalism seemed literally to explode upon the nation. Indicative of the spirit of the transplanted Southern Negro is the following taken from the New York Challenge, October 1919:

When we shoot down the mobs that would harm our property and destroy our lives, they shout "Bolshevist"! When a white man comes to our side armed with the sword of righteousness and square dealing, they shout "Nigger-lover and bastard!" . . . Every day we are told to keep quiet. Only a fool will keep quiet if her is being robbed of his birth-right. Only a coward will lie down and whine under the lash if he too can give back the lash.

In attempting to give back the lash, Negroes traded blow for blow in at least twenty-nine race conflicts during and immediately following World War I.

This show of fangs, however, was merely one aspect of this new spirit. The so-called "New Negro" intruded upon almost every facet of American life, sometimes with a purpose and sometimes without a purpose. the urges to challenge, to assert, to create, and to move were often spontaneous and nearly always uncoordinated. In short, black nationalism was producing a cacophony. What was needed was a leader who could obtain harmony. 

Like the American states, the West Indian colonies of the United Kingdom also contained a Negro proletariat. And like their blood brothers in America, the West Indian Negroes, at the turn of the century, also began the long march to the status of full citizenship. Black nationalism in these islands erupted, however, into bloody violence; the systematic burning and destruction of plantations; and lastly, as we have mentioned, the emigration of colonies of Negroes to the United States. This was the environment that shaped the mind and destiny of Marcus Aurelius Garvey. Garvey was born on the Island of Jamaica, British West Indies on August 17, 1997, of lower middle-class parents. 

His education was standard for his class. He was exposed to tutors; he attended a grammar and high school, and spent some time in a Jamaican college. At some point in his teens, Garvey was shunted into the printing trade and at the age of twenty he had become a master printer.3

In 1909 a strike was called at one of the largest printing establishments in Kingston, Jamaica. Garvey was a foreman at this plant. Anxious to prove to himself that he was a leader of men, Garvey joined the strikers. Grateful, the men selected young Garvey to lead the walkout. he did his job effectively: he organized public meetings and for the first time he demonstrated those extraordinary talents which were one day to win for him international fame.

The employers broke the strike. this was accomplished by the introduction of the linotype machine and the importation of foreign operators. out of a job, Garvey began an odyssey which took him to several other West Indian islands, to Central and South America. On two occasions he established periodicals catering to Negroes. Both of these ventures were failures and in 1912 Garvey decided to emigrate to England.

The two years spent in London after 1912 were quite possibly the most decisive period in Garvey's life. in this city the young provincial West Indian, with his troubled but blurred sense of Negro rights, met the members of other darker races who also had their grievances against the Caucasian. These men -- followers of Gandhi, Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Saad Zaghlul, and Ibn Saud -- had definite, clear-cut programs to follow. Garvey heard such slogans as "India for Indians," and "Asia for Asiatics."

He became interested in the condition of the African Negro as a result of discussions with the followers of Chilembwe of Nyssaland and Kimbangu of the Congo. As a result of these experiences, Garvey's vision broadened perceptibly.

It became apparent to him that what he had once considered a local problem of the West Indian Negroes was in reality an international problem for the Negro, and as such it required an international solution. He saw too that no other darker races were demanding rights within, nor attempting to become part of, the Caucasian society. Instead they were asking for the return of lands that were historically theirs.

The Negroes, Garvey perceived, must do the same. They must cease their futile beating upon the stone walls of Western race prejudice and look homeward--homeward to Mother Africa. Out of such meditations, Garvey fashioned his gaudy but effective program of pan-Africanism the slogan of which was soon to be heard from the lips of millions of Negroes--"African for the Africans--at home or abroad."

Back in Jamaica in 1914, Garvey founded his Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities Imperial League. The purpose of this new body "was to unite all the Negro peoples of the world into one great body to establish a government absolutely their own." Garvey soon discovered, however, that Jamaica was no place to begin his empire building. The Natives of the island would have none of it. "I," complained Garvey, "really never knew there was so much color prejudice in Jamaica my own native home until I started the work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. . . . Nobody wanted to be a Negro. . . . Men and women as black as I and even more so, had believed themselves white under the west Indian society."4

In 1916 Garvey sailed for the United States in search of more fertile soil for his plans.

In December 1920 just four years after Garvey had made his first appearance upon a soap box in Harlem, a New York periodical wrote of him as follows:

The most striking new figure among American Negroes is Marcus Garvey. His significance lies in the fact that he embodies and directs a new spirit among Negroes. Whatever may happen to his grandiose schemes of finance and politics, he is the best point at which to study what is going on inside the heads of ten million colored people in the United States.5

Garvey's success among American Negroes was not accidental. He has arrived in the United States when race activity was at a fever pitch. he brought with him an impractical but blue-printed program, an understanding of the psychological needs of the race, leadership, ability, and last but not least a ringing slogan.

For a people in whom the lore of the Old testament was so deeply ingrained, Garvey quite easily filled the role of a Messiah. the race had long likened its condition to that of the Hebrews held in Egyptian bondage. Pan-Africanism promised redemption and freedom which seemed forever denied in America. Thus Garvey could consistently evoke frenzied applause with such statements as the following:

We are striking homeward toward Africa to make her the big black republic. And in the making of Africa the big black republic what is the  barrier; the barrier is the white man, and we may say to the white man who dominates Africa that it is his interest to clear out now because we are coming, not as in the time of Father Abraham 200,000 strong but we are coming 400,000,00 strong and we mean to retake every square inch of the 12,000,000 square miles of African territory belonging to us by right divine.6

The lack of genuine self-esteem and race pride was a problem for which Garvey also had a solution. he insisted that the Negro's inferiority complex was due, primarily to his acceptance of alien standards of beauty, that the race was foolishly overlooking its own gifts, grace and beauty in a frustrating emulation of the whites. Hence, there was to be no more intra-racial derision and caricaturing of the thick-lipped, kinky-haired black. These were nature's badges for the African; let him be proud of them.

To fill the apparent void of the Negro's past, Garvey resurrected and refurbished ancient African civilizations. For the first time in their lives, many American Negroes heard of the glories of Nubia and Ethiopia and learned that Ancient Egypt had had at least a Negroid population. Indeed, in Garvey's words, "when the great white race of today had no civilization of its own, when white men lived in caves and were counted as savage, this race of ours boasted a wonderful civilization on the banks of the Nile."7

In the early 1920s, Garvey occupied a disputed but firmly established place of leadership among the world's Negro population. Even his severest critics admitted that his followers were numbered in the millions. Every Garvey venture was supported enthusiastically. His newspaper, the Negro World, established in 1917, quickly became the word's leading Negro publication; the ships of his ill-fated Black Star Line carried millions of dollars in Negro investment to the ocean bottom with them and it was the money of his worshipers which equipped his abortive promised-land colony in Liberia.

For American Negroes, however, the really important thing about Garveyism was not its promised-land feature. While most American Negroes would have been proud of the existence of a powerful Negro nation in Africa, few of them actually contemplated migrating to the Dark Continent to aid in its erection. Basically Garveyism was a new creed, one which accelerated the re-education of the Negro, helped reconstruct his values and to re-orientate his outlook on his past and future. Under the stimulus of Garveyism, Negro nationalism became creative, constructive, boastful, and definitely more chauvinistic.

What has become known as the Negro Renaissance reached its full flowering during the high tide of the Garvey movement. in the field of literature, young Negro writers and poets turned to the Dark Continent for the subjects of new verses. Thus Langston Hughes chanted in his The Weary Blues:

All the tom-toms of the jungle beat in my blood.

And all the wild hot moons of the jungles shine in my soul

I am afraid of this civilization--

       So hard,

       So strong,

       So cold.

And Countee Cullen queried

What is Africa to me: 

Copper sun or scarlet sea,

Jungle star or jungle trek,

Strong bronzed men, or regal black . . .

One three centuries removed

from the scenes his father loved,

What is Africa to me?

The serious study of the Negro's past begun in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson won several brilliant young recruits during the Garvey era.

Such men as J.A. Rogers and Arthur Schomburg rummages through libraries and collections the world over in search of material dealing with the Negro's history.

The new outlook was manifested also in the realms of music and art. The importation of African art, barely a trickle before World war I, swelled to a virtual torrent during the early twenties. African sculptures in clay, wood, ebony, and ivory became prized and eagerly sought for. Negro composers on the other hand devoted a new interest to African themes and rhythms.

To summarize and tie up the new trends, Opportunity, a negro periodical edited by Charles S. Johnson, produced in May 1924, an African art issue containing African inspired poems by Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and Lewis Alexander. The publication ran other African Art numbers in 1926 and 1928.

The new pride in things black and things African fathered a drive on the part of the Negro press to substitute the term black men for colored men and Afro-American for American Negroes. Gradually, Negroes learned to refer to their African ancestry and heavy pigmentation less self-consciously.

In the realm of politics, Garveyism accelerated the shift of the Negro electorate from the republican to the Democratic Party. Among other things, the New Negro considered himself a radical. he was beginning to distrust the hide-bound traditionalism of Republican political leaders and specifically the Negro element in this group. The new self-confidence and spirit of independence among the black masses in the Northern and eastern metropolises was manifested in new allegiances between the black electorate and Democratic political machines.

On the economic front the teachings of Garvey ran parallel to those of Booker T. Washington. Both men were interested in the establishment of a sound and thriving Negro bourgeoisie. Garvey particularly hammered away at the necessity for the building of Negro factories, the organizing of cooperative markets among American Negroes, and the establishment of international trade among the world's black population. During his heyday numerous attempts were made by his followers to establish Negro enterprises.

In general, however, Garvey's economic doctrine produced little of lasting benefit to the race. For, existing off race loyalty in the main, black business enterprises could not maintain the wage levels or working conditions of their white competitors. On the other hand, the Negro consumer like everyone else bought where prices were cheapest. he should not have been expected to invest in race loyalty when it meant less for his dollar.

In passing, perhaps it should be mentioned that the followers of Garvey were among the leaders of the abortive Jobs For Negroes Campaigns which blossomed in Northern cities during the early 1930s.

To the clique of Negro leaders whom Garvey easily overshadowed during his sojourn in America, this West Indian figure was embarrassing, dishonest, and disruptive of the gradual progress they considered the race to be making under their guidance. For Garvey they reserved their most violent, vituperative, and scurrilous attacks. One of these men, Robert W. Bagnall, described Garvey as being "fat and sleek with protruding jowls; small bright piglike eyes and rather full doglike face."8

It was because of the initiative of these men that Garvey's career in America finally ended with a prison term and deportation.

In the long run, however, the meteoric flash of Garvey's rise awed even his bitterest enemies and some of the more thoughtful among them eventually paid him the high tribute of emulation. for one fleeting moment Garvey managed to turn the attention of America's black internal proletariat homeward to Africa. His most solid accomplishment, however, was to help gird this group with the confidence and self-esteem needed in the long hard struggle for its historical objective of full integration--the bridging of the gap between the in and of of American society.

*   *   *   *   *


1Quoted in Paul H. Buck, Road to Reunion 1865-1900 (Boston, 1937), p. 296.

2See his An American Dilemma, The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (New York, 1944), I, 193ff.

3Garvey never published an autobiography nor has anyone ever published a biography of him. For information of his early life the most authentic material is to be gathered from a publication by his wife Amy J. Garvey entitled Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey or Africa for the Africans, vol. 2, Universal Publishing House, 1925. A good supplementary source of information on this period of Garvey's life has been Claude McKay's Harlem: Negro Metropolis (New York, 1940).

4Amy S. Garvey, op. cit., pp. 126-127.

5Truman H. Talley, "Marcus Garvey--Negro Moses?" World's Work, XLI (December, 1920), 153-156.

6Quoted in James Weldon Johnson, Black Manhattan (New York, 1930), p. 254.

7Amy S. Garvey, op. cit., p. 19.

8The Messenger, V (March 1923), 638.

Source: Journal of Negro History, Vol. XXXVI, January 1951, no. 1

*   *   *   *   *

Marcus Garveyborn on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaicaleft school at 14, worked as a printer, joined Jamaican nationalist organizations, toured Central America, and spent time in London. Content at first with accommodation, on his return to Jamaica, he aspired to open a Tuskegee-type industrial training school. In 1916 he came to America at Booker T. Washington's invitation, but arrived just after Washington died.

As the leader of the largest organized mass movement in black history and progenitor of the modern "black is beautiful" ideal, Garvey is now best remembered as a champion of the back-to-Africa movement. In his own time he was hailed as a redeemer, a "Black Moses." Though he failed to realize all his objectives, his movement still represents a liberation from the psychological bondage of racial inferiority.

When he settled in New York City, he organized a chapter of the U.N.I.A., which he had earlier founded in Jamaica as a fraternal organization. Drawing on a gift for oratory, he melded Jamaican peasant aspirations for economic and cultural independence with the American gospel of success to create a new gospel of racial pride. "Garveyism" eventually evolved into a religion of success, inspiring millions of black people worldwide who sought relief from racism and colonialism.

By 1920 the U.N.I.A. had hundreds of chapters worldwide; it hosted elaborate international conventions and published The Negro World  widely disseminated weekly, though banned in many parts of Africa and the Caribbean. In 1922 the federal government indicted Garvey on mail fraud charges stemming from Black Star Line promotional claims and he suspended all BSL operations. Two years later, the U.N.I.A. created another line, the Black Cross Navigation and Trading Co., but it, too, failed. Garvey was sentenced to prison. The government later commuted his sentence, only to deport him back to Jamaica in November 1927. He never returned to America.

In Jamaica Garvey reconstituted the U.N.I.A. and held conventions there and in Canada, but the heart of his movement stumbled on in America without him.

Garvey  remained a keen observer of world events, writing voluminously in his own papers. His final move was to London, in 1935. He settled there shortly before Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia and his public criticisms of Haile Selassie's behavior after the invasion alienated many of his own remaining followers. Garvey died June 10, 1940.

*   *   *   *   * 

 Malcolm X Speaks on Marcus Garvey  / Marcus Garvey Speech

Marcus Garvey "Africa For The Africans"  /  Look For Me in The Whirlwind  /  Marcus Mosiah Garvey

*   *   *   *   *

Marcus Garvey's Statement called Rastafari "Prophecy"—Last Sunday, a great ceremony took place at Addis Ababa, the capital of Abyssinia. It was the coronation of the new Emperor of Ethiopia—Ras Tafari. From reports and expectations, the scene was one of great splendor, and will long be remembered by those who were present. Several of the leading nations of Europe sent representatives to the coronation, thereby paying their respects to a rising Negro nation that is destined to play a great part in the future history of the world. Abyssinia is the land of the blacks and we are glad to learn that even though Europeans have been trying to impress the Abyssinians that they are not belonging to the Negro Race, they have learned the retort that they are, and they are proud to be so.

Ras Tafari has traveled to Europe and America and is therefore no stranger to European hypocrisy and methods; he, therefore, must be regarded as a kind of a modern Emperor, and from what we understand and know of him, he intends to introduce modern methods and systems into his country. Already he has started to recruit from different sections of the world competent men in different branches of science to help to develop his country to the position that she should occupy among the other nations of the world.

We do hope that Ras Tafari will live long to carry out his wonderful intentions. From what we have heard and what we do know, he is ready and willing to extend the hand of invitation to any Negro who desires to settle in his kingdom. We know of many who are gone to Abyssinia and who have given good report of the great possibilities there, which they are striving to take advantage of.

The Psalmist prophesied that Princes would come out of Egypt and Ethiopia would stretch forth her hands unto God. We have no doubt that the time is now come. Ethiopia is now really stretching forth her hands. This great kingdom of the East has been hidden for many centuries, but gradually she is rising to take a leading place in the world and it is for us of the Negro race to assist in every way to hold up the hand of Emperor Ras Tafari.—The Blackman (November 8, 1930) Jamaicans


*   *   *   *   *

Dear Rudy,

Your message . . . led me to a search of my memory and the internet concerning Garvey's opinions on capitalism.  Let me begin by saying that when I was 28, I once peremptorily dismissed his position without argument or rebuttal.   With the passage of time I began to reconsider many of my positions on Garvey, as well as the stupidity of my failure to dissect or systematically disprove his point.

My internet search led me to a horrifying discovery.  Some online editions of Garvey have apparently been expurgated, so as to remove all references to capitalism.  This is worse than anything I ever did in my twenties.  In my attacks on Garvey I never intentionally tampered with his texts!

Here is a superficial and arbitrary list of Garvey editions I found.   So far, only one of them, according to my brief inspection contains any of his references to capitalism.   My opinion is that whatever evils industrial capitalism brought with it; industrial capitalism was far kinder to the Negro than the bizarre construct of primitive capitalism that we refer to as "Jeffersonian Democracy."   In other words I would rather deal with Carnegie, Rockefeller, and J. P. Morgan than with Jefferson, Jackson, and Robert E. Lee.  [Below} are the texts for your consideration and inspection—Wilson

*   *   *   *   *

Negroartist edition.  This is apparently a reliable edition;

at least references to capitalism remain intact.

The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey or Africa for the Africans

*   *   *  

Google books edition, apparently good and reliable

Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey: or, Africa for the Africans

*   *   *  

Wordowner edition references to capitalism apparently expurgated

Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey (1923)
Edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey

 *   *   * 

This edition has been tampered with: Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

  *   *   *

This Adobe pdf file jpnafrican is also unreliable: Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Amy Ashwood Garvey: Pan Africanist, Feminist, and Wife No. 1 Or, A Tale of Two Amies

By Tony Martin

"She had a sort of coup in the UNIA," Martin said of Amy Ashwood Garvey. This was when she was in Jamaica between 1939 and 1944, a period when Mrs. Marcus Garvey No. 2, Amy Jacques Garvey, was also in Jamaica." Martin's sources were Amy Ashwood Garvey's papers, consisting of letters, scripts and photographs--found among her friends Lionel Yard and Ivy Constable Richards, the National Library of Jamaica, in London and in Chicago from the former head of the UNIA, the Hon. Charles L. Jones.  In 1924, in London, she started an important organisation," Martin said. That was the Nigerian Progress Union, later to become the West African Students Union (WASU). "WASU is one of the most important organisations in the history of Pan-Africanism," Martin said, pointing out that Kwame Nkrumah was once president. In 1946, she traced her ancestry back to Asante in Ghana.  Jamaica-Gleaner

*   *   *   *   *

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

*   *   *   *   * 

Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

By Jeffrey B. Perry

This first full-length biography of Harrison offers a portrait of a man ahead of his time in synthesizing race and class struggles in the U.S. and a leading influence on better known activists from Marcus Garvey to A. Philip Randolph. Harrison emigrated from St. Croix in 1883 and went on to become a foremost organizer for the Socialist Party in New York, the editor of the Negro World, and founder and leader of the World War I–era New Negro movement. Harrison’s enormous political and intellectual appetites were channeled into his work as an orator, writer, political activist, and critic. He was an avid bibliophile, reportedly the first regular black book reviewer, who helped to develop the public library in Harlem into an international center for research on black culture. But Harrison was a freelancer so candid in his criticism of the establishment—black and white—that he had few allies or people interested in protecting his legacy. 

 Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (By Jeffrey B. Perry)

*   *   *   *   *

Mighty Be Our Powers

How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War

By Leymah Gbowee

As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her country—and shattered Gbowee’s girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her realization that it is women who suffer most during conflicts—and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. In 2003, the passionate and charismatic Gbowee helped organize and then led the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women who sat in public protest, confronting Liberia’s ruthless president and rebel warlords, and even held a sex strike. With an army of women, Gbowee helped lead her nation to peace—in the process emerging as an international leader who changed history.

Mighty Be Our Powers is the gripping chronicle of a journey from hopelessness to empowerment that will touch all who dream of a better world.—Beast Books 

Pray the Devil Back to Hell   / Leymah Gbowee Wins 2011 Nobel Peace Prize  / Nobel Peace Prize Winners

*   *   *   *   *

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage

By Rick Stengel

Richard Stengel, the editor of Time magazine, has distilled countless hours of intimate conver­sation with Mandela into fifteen essential life lessons. For nearly three years, including the critical period when Mandela moved South Africa toward the first democratic elections in its history, Stengel collaborated with Mandela on his autobiography and traveled with him everywhere. Eating with him, watching him campaign, hearing him think out loud, Stengel came to know all the different sides of this complex man and became a cherished friend and colleague.  In Mandela’s Way, Stengel recounts the moments in which “the grandfather of South Africa” was tested and shares the wisdom he learned: why courage is more than the absence of fear, why we should keep our rivals close, why the answer is not always either/or but often “both,” how important it is for each of us to find something away from the world that gives us pleasure and satisfaction—our own garden.

Woven into these life lessons are remarkable stories—of Mandela’s child­hood as the protégé of a tribal king, of his early days as a freedom fighter, of the twenty-seven-year imprison­ment that could not break him, and of his new and fulfilling marriage at the age of eighty.

*   *   *   *   *

Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (2008)

Thurgood Marshall became a living icon of civil rights when he argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court in 1954. Six years later, he was at a crossroads. A rising generation of activists were making sit-ins and demonstrations rather than lawsuits the hallmark of the civil rights movement. What role, he wondered, could he now play?

When in 1960 Kenyan independence leaders asked him to help write their constitution, Marshall threw himself into their cause. Here was a new arena in which law might serve as the tool with which to forge a just society. In Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (2008) Mary Dudziak recounts with poignancy and power the untold story of Marshall's journey to Africa

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)







update 25 July 2012




Home  Religion & Politics   Marvin X     Marcus Bruce Christian 

Related files: Some New Light on the Garvey Movement   Garvey on George Schuyler   African  Fundamentalism    Capitalism and the Ideal State: Marcus Garvey  

George Schuyler Agrees To Review   Christian Complains to Schuyler   Letters: Mencken to Schuyler