The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Volume XIII

The Caribbean Diaspora, 1921-1922

The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Volume XIII

Book Pages: 472 Illustrations: 10 illustrations Published: April 2016

African American Studies and Black Diaspora, Caribbean Studies, History > U.S. History

Volume XIII of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers covers the twelve months between the UNIA's second international convention in New York in August 1921 and the third convention in August 1922. It was a particularly tumultuous time for Garvey and the UNIA: Garvey’s relationship with the UNIA's top leadership began to fracture, the U.S. federal government charged Garvey with mail fraud, and his Black Star Line operation suffered massive financial losses. This period also witnessed a marked shift in Garvey's rhetoric and stance, as he retreated from his previously radical anticolonial positions, sought to court European governments as well as the leadership of the Ku Klux Klan, and moved against his political rivals.
Despite these difficult and uncertain times, Garveyism expanded its reach throughout the Caribbean archipelago, which, as Volume XIII confirms, became the UNIA's de facto home in the early 1920s. The volume's numerous reports from the UNIA's Caribbean divisions and chapters describe what it was like for UNIA activists living and working under extremely repressive circumstances. The volume's major highlight covers the U.S. military's crackdown on the UNIA in the Dominican Republic, as documented in the correspondence between John Sydney de Bourg—whom Garvey had dispatched to monitor the situation—and U.S. and British government officials.
In addition to UNIA divisional reports and de Bourg's extensive correspondence, Volume XIII contains a wealth of newspaper articles, political tracts, official documents, and other sources that outline the complex responses to Garveyism throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe, all the while documenting this watershed moment for Garvey and the UNIA.


"The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers will take its place among the most important records of the Afro-American experience. . . . The Marcus Garvey Papers lays the groundwork for a long overdue reassessment of Marcus Garvey and the legacy of racial pride, nationalism, and concern with Africa he bequeathed to today's black community."  — Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review

"Until the publication of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, many of the documents necessary for a full assessment of Garvey's thought or of his movement's significance have not been easily accessible. Robert A. Hill and his staff . . . have gathered over 30,000 documents from libraries and other sources in many countries. . . . The Garvey papers will reshape our understanding of the history of black nationalism and perhaps increase our understanding of contemporary black politics."  — Clayborne Carson, The Nation

"Now is our chance, through these important volumes, to finally begin to come to terms with the significance of Garvey's complex, fascinating career and the meaning of the movement he built." — Lawrence W. Levine, The New Republic

"The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Papers are much more than just the records of an exceptional individual and his organization. . . . The annotated footnotes can be read for profit independent of the documents. The identification of persons frequently goes well beyond brief sketches to become rich biographical entries. . . . [Historians] must rethink not only the place of Garveyism in the context of twentieth-century Afro-American history but, and in some ways more importantly, the place of the Afro-American experience in U.S. and world history during the period." — Thom W. Schick, Reviews in American History


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Robert A. Hill is Research Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is Editor in Chief and Project Director of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers Project within the James S. Coleman African Studies Center.

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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6116-9
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