Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What Does A Dead Jamaican Activist Have To Do With Black Lives Matter?

Imagining Black Political Mobilization beyond the American Nation-State:
Historians, Garveyism, and the Diasporic Black Political Tradition

IN TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES of American history, the turn of the twentieth century represents the nadir of the African American struggle for freedom. A disfranchised and degraded class subject to white terrorism and economic control, African Americans looked to leaders who offered varying measures of accommodation (as represented by Booker T. Washington) or resistance (as represented by W.E.B. Du Bois). Scholars have long recognized that such a story is far too simple, but these figures and the institutions associated with them, Tuskegee and the NAACP, have remained at the center of many narratives and have been the subject of much historiographical debate.[1] In longstanding narratives, the polarities of self-help versus integrationist protest, of industrial education for the masses versus an elite talented tenth, played out against the backdrop of a narrow nationalist framing. And in popular memory, Washington and Du Bois remain the most familiar black political figures in the century between the Civil War and the civil rights movement. 

The sustained scholarly and popular attention to these forms of black political mobilization puts into sharp relief the astonishing marginalization of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association from the historical record. At its height, the UNIA had over 1,000 divisions across the globe and is now widely acknowledged as an influential antecedent of later forms of black nationalism and diasporic politics.[2] Though Garvey himself lived out his final years in obscurity, Garveyism enjoyed sustained influence worldwide. In its broadest outlines, Garveyism promoted a sense of racial pride and solidarity among African-descended peoples. Some scholars have defined Garveyism as an ideology, but as Adam Ewing argues in his new book, it is perhaps better thought of as “a method of organic mass politics” and “a sustained project of diasporic identity building.”[3] Its broad calls for African redemption were ready-made for repurposing in local contexts, giving Garveyism diverse forms of expression from Africa to the Caribbean to the United States. The upshot of this diffused influence is that historians know much less about Garveyism and the UNIA than other forms of black political activity. How can it be that the most popular mode of black political mobilization in the first half of the twentieth century has long been a black box to historians? 

          The erasure of Garveyism is not happenstance. The popularity and influence of the movement has always been manifest for those willing to look. But its relative absence in the historiography is embedded in longstanding biases of the American historical profession. Precisely because Garveyism was, in Ewing’s words, “organic” and “diasporic,” able to imagine solidarities beyond the nation-state, American historians traditionally had little use for it. Preoccupied with stories of the march toward integration and the supposed fulfillment of American ideals, historians did not know what to make of Garvey. The explicit separatism, military-style dress, and apocalyptic rhetoric all seemed to demonstrate the essential strangeness and ultimate irrelevance of Garvey and his followers. Those historians who deigned to consider Garveyism often had little positive to say.[4] Garvey and the UNIA, with their calls for race pride and global black solidarity, flash across the 1920s as an outlandish phenomenon that is fundamentally misaligned with nationalist narratives of American history. There were also more prosaic reasons for Garveyism’s marginalization. Its lack of institutional continuity (the UNIA would continue but only in moribund form from the 1930s to the present) and dearth of robust archives made the task of tracing its influence more difficult.

          As recently as 2009, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Steven Hahn wrote that the historiographical record of Garveyism was woefully incomplete. Historians had not even begun to explore numerous aspects of Garveyism, and no scholar since William Cronon in 1955 had written a comprehensive history of the UNIA. Historians had even sidelined Garvey himself, a controversial figure who might ordinarily seem ripe for scholarly biography. Colin Grant’s Negro with a Hat, published in 2008, was the first academic biography of Garvey to appear since Cronon’s work.[5] Hahn decried the consequences of this failure to reckon with Garveyism. “An immense world of politics, ideas, and cultural practices, which may complicate or confound our views of the past century,” he wrote, “remains largely hidden from us.”[6] Yet even as he wrote, historians such as Ibrahim Sundiata, Claudrena Harold, and Mary Rolinson had begun to rediscover Garveyism.[7] In the half-dozen years since Hahn’s lament there has been a noticeable uptick in studies that take Garveyism as their subject or incorporate it as a serious component of a broader narrative.[8] This growing volume of scholarship demands comparative evaluation and the construction of new syntheses.  This article examines several of these recent works in conversation with each other and suggests both historiographical and historical implications of current scholarship.

THE TREND TOWARD the study of Garveyism is inseparable from the larger turn to diasporic history. As historians increasingly seek to decenter the nation-state, they have finally begun to notice the preeminent form of diasporic black politics in the early twentieth century. In doing so, they have challenged traditional narratives that privilege the integrationist tradition of black politics and assume inclusion in the American nation-state as the ultimate and obvious end goal of any useful black politics. Instead of being confined within the strictures of Jim Crow America, African Americans were able to imagine themselves as members of a broader global community and acted to forge connections across national boundaries. In this diasporic narrative, Garveyism moves to the center stage rather than appearing as an aberration. As a result, subsequent black transnational activity in the civil rights era emerges not as a new phenomenon but as an expression of solidarity deeply rooted in the black political tradition.[9]

          Traditional narratives of Garveyism in the United States portrayed it as a phenomenon of the urban North. To be sure, the UNIA had especially large divisions in major urban centers in the North, particularly in New York City, with its large population of Caribbean immigrants. But scholars have recently shown that the UNIA also had a large and devoted following in the South. In her study of the UNIA in the rural South, Mary Rolinson argues that Garveyism was successful in the region because it “embodied the practical and spiritual aspirations of rural farmers.”[10] The call for heightened racial consciousness was the centerpiece of Garveyite ideology. Garvey urged African Americans to see themselves as black, to be proud of it, and to mobilize politically along these racial lines. Rolinson demonstrates that this message appealed to rural southern blacks who faced high levels of isolation and oppression. As late as 1926, the UNIA had over 400 divisions in southern states. She argues that Garvey deliberately built upon existing currents of African American thought so that his supporters often felt they were “being reminded of things they already knew and believed” rather than embracing something wholly new.[11] Rolinson shows how Garvey’s rhetoric, such as his calls for a “redeemed Africa” could accommodate multiple interpretations ranging from the end of white colonialism to the Christianizing of the African continent. She portrays Garveyism as an influential and durable expression of popular support for diasporic black politics. Poor, rural blacks in the South, despite their isolation, emerge as people able to imagine global solidarities even as they grappled with local oppression.

This positive interpretation is a sharp contrast to earlier integrationist narratives, as Steven Hahn has pointed out. His 2009 essay on Garveyism continues the themes of his earlier book, A Nation Under our Feet.  He urges historians to see Garveyism not as a fallback to which some African Americans resorted amid despair over the possibilities of integration. Instead, like Rolinson, he views it as a creative and productive political mobilization that connected to preexisting currents of black politics in the United States. He argues that “self-governance and separatism, rather than civilizationism and repatriation” were the dominant facets of Garveyism that African Americans embraced.[12] Rather than representing a departure from a dominant integrationist tradition, Garveyism appealed to the same desire for self-governance that had produced Union Leagues during Reconstruction and the formation of hundreds of little-known black towns in the decades after the Civil War.[13]

Perhaps the quintessential Garveyite example of such self-help mobilization was the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s effort to establish the Black Star Line. In Black Star, the political scientist Ramla Bandele argues that in contrast to the NAACP and other black organizations characterized by demands for political equality, the UNIA “sought to lay the foundation of an enclave economy." [14] African peoples discriminated against in the global white economy would provide the economic base for an independent black shipping company operating within but apart from the global system of white supremacy. Thousands of ordinary African Americans contributed small donations to support the Black Star Line. Bandele effectively shows that diasporic politics could be enacted through economic development. Yet in important respects Bandele leaves the traditional Garvey narrative of rise and fall intact. The BSL effort was, she writes, “ephemeral.” In strictly economic terms, she is correct. But historians must account for the willingness of ordinary black people to give their precious resources to support the shipping line, and they must do more to uncover its legacy as both inspiration and cautionary tale for the possibilities and pitfalls of black economic empowerment.

Though Bandele’s concept of “enclave economy” is enlightening, Hahn argues that such self-help efforts were not in binary opposition to the desire for inclusion in American society.  “Instead of subsuming the impulse to self-governance to the larger quest for ‘citizenship,’” he writes, “the two may better be seen as interconnected, perhaps mutually constituting.”[15] Furthermore, Hahn maintains black politics during Jim Crow was characterized by a “hybridity” that “defies the customary oppositions of integrationism and separatism.” Such mixing emphasizes “how interconnected and mutually reinforcing black political trajectories have been in the last century,” and demonstrates the importance of “traditions of self-governance and self-defense.”[16] Hahn’s interpretation is intriguing but lacks an adequate diasporic context. He does not fully account for how a Jamaican immigrant so readily appealed to the descendants of enslaved people in the American South. To understand Garveyism’s full influence, and the politics and identities it produced, the movement must be placed in a global diasporic framework.

Garvey’s meteoric rise and pathetic end have frequently served as bookends for interpretations of Garvey and the UNIA. Nationalist and integrationist assumptions abet this simple tale. But a diasporic lens tells a different story. Historians are increasingly taking a global view that shows Garveyism flowering more than falling. Garveyism flourished because it took on meanings independent of Garvey himself and proved useful to black people in the specificity of their experiences around the globe. Garveyism was not a stable category cooked up in the Western Hemisphere and then exported abroad. Instead, it accommodated a diverse array of meanings and uses in local contexts worldwide. Historians such as Robert Vinson and Adam Ewing have taken the lead in exploring how Garveyism could be at once intensely local in its manifestations and global in its reach. In his new book, The Age of Garvey, Ewing shows how transnational and global currents, personified in Garveyism, came to be applied in local settings from North America to the Caribbean and Africa. He writes, “For all of its mobility and flexibility, diaspora does not transcend the messiness of place and localness."[17] Far from a weakness, local differences allowed Garveyism to mobilize and inspire black people even as the man himself became a marginal figure.

Robert Vinson’s The Americans Are Coming! parallels Ewing’s book as he shows how South Africans embraced Garveyism and remade it to suit their own purposes.  Vinson demonstrates that African Americans became a model success story in the global African diaspora, as black South Africans looked to their struggle against slavery and Jim Crow as inspiration in their own quest for liberation. Indeed, African Americans became “alternative models of modernity,” their cultural and economic achievements serving notice that black people could stand toe to toe with whites and rebuke the association between whiteness and modernity.[18]. African Americans eagerly assumed this leading role as part of “God’s providential plan” to liberate Africa.[19] As missionaries, educators, sailors, and political activists, African Americans circulated visions of freedom in black South Africa. Thus in the early twentieth century, a key component of African American identity involved not only a struggle for national inclusion in the United States, but an assertion of global leadership of black peoples. Such heady notions of racial leadership could readily embrace and incorporate Garveyism.

Yet, like Ewing, Vinson does not view Garveyism as a constant product moving in one direction across the Atlantic. He is careful to frame black South Africans’ reception of these visions as part of a “two-way transatlantic traffic of peoples, institutions, and ideologies” rather than a one-sided copying.[20] Black South Africans used Garveyism to establish black schools and churches and forge black identities transcending the ethnic classifications of the South African regime. The independent uses black South Africans made of Garveyism are indicated by its spread to other organizations, including the African National Congress, even as the Universal Negro Improvement Association withered back in the United States.[21]

Ewing contends that the relatively speedy decline of the UNIA in the United states the spectacle surrounding Garveyism has obscured its more important capacity to engage “its proponents in a sustained and more informal project of organizing, networking, and consciousness raising.”[22] Ewing shows that long after Garvey himself had passed into obscurity, Garveyism inspired black politics in local settings from the United States to Kikuyu Kenya. He writes, “Garveyism flourished during the interwar years as a diasporic politics, its claims of solidarity facilitating and inspiring the organization of local initiative, its global vision of Negro ascendance and anticolonial resistance cutting through and across difference in creative and generative ways.”[23] For Ewing, the key point is that this diasporic politics was a flexible vision applied differently in numerous local contexts.

Recent scholarship has shown that while Garveyism’s global appeal was mediated through local contexts, there were often common features in the populations most attracted to Garveyism. Rolinson has uncovered strong UNIA support among poor blacks in the rural south and Vinson has shown its appeal among poor South Africans. In Cuba, Philip Howard’s new study of the sugar industry reveals that while the black elite—bearers of a strong nationalist ideology—rejected Garveyism, poor black Cubans and oppressed immigrant laborers from Haiti and Jamaica found solidarity in Garvey’s call for racial pride. As elsewhere in the global diaspora, poor blacks in Cuba appropriated Garveyism for their own purposes, using “UNIA branches as mutual-aid societies and educational and religious sites.” Even as Garvey himself faced imprisonment and decline, his ideology informed the development of a “militant workers’ consciousness” in Cuba that transcended the lines of ethnic division elites attempted to impose.[24] Such stories emphasize the extent of Garveyism’s global influence even as they explain its marginalization in American historiography. By the very nature of their status, many of Garvey’s followers were unlikely to leave behind extensive records of their thinking and practices. Studying the talented tenth of the Du Boisian imagination has been easier if for no other reason than the size of the archive.

The success and influence of Garveyism compels historians to reevaluate the nature of black (to use an inadequate term) identities in the United States and beyond. Historians have increasingly shown that African American identities were unstable and ever-shifting. They were expansive and malleable enough to accommodate a Jamaican immigrant as a race leader. They were, in short, diasporic rather than only national. Numerous authors have explored these shifting diasporic identities through the connections African Americans and African-descended peoples in the Caribbean made. Lara Putnam’s Radical Moves decenters elite African Americans and situates the United States as part of a broader Caribbean world in which migrants from the British Caribbean helped to redefine race, nation, and empire in a global white supremacist order. Garveyism figures prominently in this story, but here, unlike in Hahn’s interpretation, its Caribbean roots and popularity among migrants in New York are emphasized. Like Vinson, Putnam is interested in how identity and politics are mediated through cultural production. She argues that through music such as jazz, rumba, and calypso, “people of varied ages and stations, young working-class men and women most of all,” produced a “black internationalism” from the bottom up.[25]. These ordinary people were well-positioned to do so, for their travels allowed them to experience “multiple racial formations firsthand” and thereby understand “both the fictitiousness of race and its very real weight in the modern world.”[26] African American identity has been in constant conversation with black populations across the globe as African Americans formed supranational solidarities to challenge the global color line.

Similarly, Frank Guridy has shown how cultural, economic, and political links between diasporic populations can forge diasporic identities even without direct connection to their imagined common homeland. Guridy argues that this was the case for Afro-Cubans and African Americans. He explores “lateral connections” between Afro-Cubans and African Americans, constituted in part by their mutual embrace of Garveyism.[27] Cuba had more UNIA divisions than any other country outside the United States. Guridy contends that this points to Garveyism not as a U.S. export but as a transcultural phenomenon. He argues that Garveyism featured a strong performance element—parades, speeches, uniforms—that allowed blacks in the diaspora to communicate across lines of language and ethnicity.[28] Guridy’s diasporic focus allows him to bypass pedantic attempts to locate Garveyism as essentially “African American” or “West Indian.” Instead, the UNIA emerges as “a transcultural movement that produced new Afro-diasporic cultures in the 1920s.[29]. As they interacted with each other across national borders they were Forging Diaspora.

There are three important implications from these authors that reframe our understanding of Jim Crow America. First, an emphasis on diaspora and Garveyism reveals the extent to which African American identities transcended both the American nation-state and historiographical categories. As Frank Guridy writes, “historical actors whom African American historiography has tended to view as conservative accommodationists and integrationists also actively pursued relationships with people of Africa descent abroad. These interactions illustrate that African Americans across the political spectrum identified themselves as part of a larger diasporic collective as much as they did as U.S. citizens.”[30] Second, a diasporic view compels us to reimagine racial formation as a transnational phenomenon. It is no longer tenable to define blackness in the United States only with reference to forces within national borders. As African Americans and other African-descended peoples navigated systems of white domination across the globe, they built new connections and identities that transcended national imperatives. Finally, foregrounding Garveyism in the first half of the twentieth century makes the radical black politics of the 1960s—from the Nation of Islam to the Black Panthers—much more understandable. The civil rights era witnessed efforts to build black economic power in local contexts and transnational connections to the global decolonization struggle. Seen in the longer view of the diasporic twentieth century, both phenomena emerge as continuations of traditional black politics rather than a deviation from a nationalist-integrationist mainstream.

IT IS WELL TO REMEMBER that historians are not disinterested observers of history. They are, instead, participants in it. As such, the historiographical failure to deal with Garveyism has had historical consequences. When black power became a prominent force in the late 1960s, white American media tended to portray it as a bolt from the blue, something shocking and unsettling.[31] Many saw it as a departure from legitimate black politics. Cut off in American memory from the clear antecedent of Garveyism, many Americans viewed black power as a threatening byproduct of a revolutionary age. They would blame black power—rather than the racist society it critiqued—for the splintering and downfall of the civil rights movement.

In our own era, the submergence of Garveyism in the historical record continues to shape political debate, nowhere more so than in the contested meaning of the Black Lives Matter movement. The movement demonstrates the long reach of Garveyism, but Garveyism’s popular invisibility prevents many Americans from seeing the connection. The movement has been repeatedly criticized—by both white and black detractors—for failing to live up to Dr. King’s legacy—as if his Christian integrationism was the only tradition of black politics available.[32] Such erasure in the historical record reduces the base of legitimacy for black politics to a narrow field of respectability and nation-state support based upon the moral authority of Dr. King and other iconic figures (and even these figures are often presented in mythical form). In other words, any black politics that fails to be nearly saintly in its forbearance, respectability, and enduring hope in America can readily be dismissed not only as destructive in a practical and contemporary sense, but as a betrayal of the historical black political tradition.

Reckoning seriously with Garveyism puts Black Lives Matter in a different light. On the one hand, BLM demands the full inclusion of African Americans in American life in a way that harkens back to the integrationist tradition of black politics. On the other hand, this demand is couched in an unapologetic embrace of blackness such that American society must accept black Americans as they are, not only insofar as they approximate a white middle class ideal. Such demands turn much liberal integrationism on its head; rather than merely allowing African Americans access to white institutions, activists demand that institutions must transform themselves so that blackness is no longer disadvantaged. The movement revels in a kind of racial pride (“I love my blackness—and yours” is a popular catchphrase) that would be familiar to Garveyites. Moreover, the movement echoes Garvey in its pessimistic diagnosis of American society. Rather than embracing an early 1960s King-like vision of an America that only needs to live up to its ideals, BLM is more likely to call attention to the pervasive institutional racism of a country that requires wholesale change if it is to be organized on something other than white supremacy for the first time in its history.

Garveyism is one part of a long history of black political mobilization and self-help that defies popular narratives of American history and challenges the tenets of American exceptionalism. Many Americans seem to believe that African Americans are unique not in the scale of wrongs done to them, but in their self-destructive willingness to play the victim. Such views can be chalked up to simple racism, but historians should not be so dismissive. Such naïve views of American history also reflect genuine ignorance that historians have not done enough to dispel. If Americans were more aware of the extensive tradition of black civic organizations, self-help, and political mobilization, perhaps they could more readily see the unequaled lengths to which a white supremacist state has gone to prevent black liberation. Studying African American politics in diasporic terms may reveal new dimensions of the past. Moreover, in that past we may find foundations of legitimacy on which to construct a more equitable future.

[1] For a sympathetic reappraisal of Washington’s accommodationism, see Robert J. Norrell, Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009). See also, Raymond W. Smock, Booker T. Washington: Black Leadership in the Age of Jim Crow (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2009); W. Fitzhugh Brundage, editor, Booker T. Washington and Black Progress: Up from Slavery 100 Years Later (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003). On Du Bois and the NAACP see David Levering Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 (New York: Henry Holt, 1993); Raymond Wolters, Du Bois and His Rivals (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2003). 
[2] Steven Hahn, The political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009), 117-124. Some urban UNIA divisions had thousands of members, but people could found a local chapter by gathering as few as seven dues-paying members. Hahn, 126-127. Such numbers may make the figure of 1,000 divisions appear less than impressive, but it does not account for the hundreds of thousands or millions of people inspired by Garveyism but mobilized through different organizations. For example, in South Africa in the late 1920s, the Garvey-inspired Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union claimed approximately 200,000 members. Adam Ewing, The Age of Garvey: How a Jamaican Activist Created A Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), 171.

[3] Ewing, The Age of Garvey, 6-7.

[4] Edmund Cronon described Garvey’s followers as “ignorant” and his ideas “unrealistic.” Judith Stein characterized the UNIA as a product of “fatalism,” and its proponents as little more than “hustlers and charlatans.” David Levering Lewis contrasted his admiration of Du Bois with the supposedly destructive and self-serving Garvey. Edmund David Cronon, Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1955), 203; Judith Stein, The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in Modern Society (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1986), 6; Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois, 1993. A few historians in the aftermath of the civil rights movement did try to rehabilitate Garvey and the UNIA. The most prominent examples are Theodore Vincent, Black Power and the Garvey Movement (Berkeley: Ramparts Press, 1971) and Tony Martin, Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1976).

[5] Colin Grant, Negro With A Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Cronon, Black Moses, 1955.

[6] Hahn, The political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom, 119.

[7] Ibrahim Sundiata, Brothers and Strangers: Black Zion, Black Slavery, 1914-1940 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004); Claudrena Harold, The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918-1942 (New York: Routledge, 2007); Mary Rolinson, Grassroots Garveyism – The Universal Negro Improvement Association in the Rural South, 1920-1927 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

[8] See for example, Ewing, The Age of Garvey; Robert Trent Vinson, The Americans Are Coming: Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2012); Lara Putnam, Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013); Phillip Howard, “Garveyism without Garvey,” in Black Labor, White Sugar: Caribbean Braceros and Their Struggle for Power in the Cuban Sugar Industry (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2015); Frank Andre Guridy, Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010). 

[9] On African Americans as transnational activists after the 1920s, see Brenda Gale Plummer, In search of power: African Americans in the Era of Decolonization, 1956-1974 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); James Merriweather, Proudly We Can Be Africans, Black Americans and Africa, 1935-1961 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Glenda Gilmore, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 (New York: Norton, 2008); Francis Nesbitt, Race for Sanctions: African Americans against apartheid, 1946-1994 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004).

[10] Rolinson, Grassroots Garveyism, 2007, 2.

[11] Rolinson, Grassroots Garveyism, 2007, 3.

[12] Hahn, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom, 138.

[13] Hahn, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom, 139-144.

[14] Bandele, Black Star, 141.

[15] Hahn, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom, 139-140.

[16] Hahn, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom, 150.

[17] Ewing, The Age of Garvey, 9.

[18] Vinson, The Americans Are Coming, 6.

[19] Vinson, The Americans Are Coming, 7.

[20] Vinson, The Americans Are Coming, 4.

[21] Vinson, The Americans Are Coming, 82.

[22] Ewing, The Age of Garvey, 5.

[23] Ewing, The Age of Garvey, 9.

[24] Howard, “Garveyism without Garvey,” 168-169. 

[25] Putnam, Radical Moves, 4.

[26] Putnam, Radical Moves, 5.

[27] Guridy, Forging Diaspora, 4.

[28] Guridy, Forging Diaspora, 61-106.

[29] Guridy, Forging Diaspora, 9.

[30] Guridy, Forging Diaspora, 6.

[31] See for example, “‘Black Power’: Negro Leaders Split Over Policy Will the Summer Be Long and Hot?” New York Times, July 10, 1966, 143; “Black Power Is Black Death,” New York Times, July 7, 1966, 35. Some black journalists sought to explain to white audiences the deep roots of Black Power. See for example, Almena Lomax, “Answer to Black Power—Balanced Power,” Los Angeles Times, October 30, 1966, 11.

[32] See for example, Vann R. Newkirk II, “I’m a black activist. Here’s what people get wrong about Black Lives Matter,” December 8, 2015, http://www.vox.com/2015/8/31/9211023/black-lives-matter-history. Randall Kennedy recently framed black political history as a battle between “racial pessimists” and “racial optimists.” He placed Garvey and contemporary black activists in the former category, King (and himself) in the latter. Randall Kennedy, “Black America’s Promised Land: Why I Am Still A Racial Optimist,” The American Prospect, Fall, 2014. http://prospect.org/article/black-americas-promised-land-why-i-am-still-racial-optimist.

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