Black People : 1924 Time Magazine article on Marcus Garvey


Contextualizer Synthesizer
Nov 2, 2009
theory to application to discussion to percussion
independent thoughtist thinker, context linker
Did you know that time magazine had it's Archives online? It's informative as
hel* to get a feel for the conversational voice of the mainstream press
back in the 30's 40's etc.. this article is from 1929.. check it out:,9171,718833,00.html

One cannot deny that the Negro race has creative imagination. Its gestures may be futile, but as a race it is a master of gesture.
Last week, there opened in Manhattan the Fourth Annual Convention of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. This is quite
a different organization from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The latter is an organization in which
a number of prominent men (white as well as black) participate for improving the opportunities —civil, political, economic—of Negroes.

It sets about this task in concrete ways.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association is purely Negro in inspiration and exercises its imagination enough to be "universal."

It is Marcus Garvey's great organization—great not only in originality, but perhaps also in charlatanism. Garvey, fired with a West

Indian imagination, "kindled" the idea. Just at present, he is out on bail, following conviction for using the mails to defraud (TIME, June 11, 1923),
in connection with selling stock in the Black Star Line—a steamship company, formed to carry Negroes back to Africa.

The company's only significant maritime achievement was to take Garvey and some of his friends aboard a chartered vessel,

to the West Indies and back, on an intoxicating journey during which, in some mysterious manner, the ship nearly foundered.
Garvey, temporarily at large, still retains the confidence of those who did not take too hard the loss of their money in the Black Star Line.
He himself opened the Fourth Annual Convention of his Universal Negro Improvement Association. He asserted that the Association has

30,000 members in New York City, 25,000 members in the rest of the U. S. and Great Britain. He welcomed its members to a grand confab

and celebration to last "31 days and 31 nights."


Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2009
Strange Bedfellows: The Curious Courtship
Black Nationalists And White Supremacists

By Paul Lee

[Originally published, in slightly different form, in The Michigan Citizen (Highland Park), Feb. 24-March 2, 2002]

It might seem surprising that black nationalists and white supremacists could find common ground across the yawning chasm of America’s racial divide.

However, this ironic association has a long, strange history that dates back at least to the early 1920s and involved the two prototypical exponents of these philosophies—Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the largest black nationalist movement in modern times, and a newly resurrected and powerful Ku Klux Klan (KKK)....

...In an era of European and Asian empires, Garvey called for “Africa for the Africans, those at home and those abroad.” He sought to unite black people in the West with those on the African continent to create a powerful black nationality—one that would be, as he declared in 1922 , “strong enough to lend protection to the members of our race scattered all over the world, and to compel the respect of the nations and races of the earth.”

... in June of that year, ...He met with Edward Young Clarke, the acting imperial wizard of the KKK, during a trip to Atlanta, Ga.

For his part, Garvey saw this as a responsible and, indeed, courageous act by the leader of a worldwide black movement whose members were daily exposed to the dangers of the robbed and hooded Klan in the South and the blue uniformed and three-piece-suited version in the North.

Moreover, as he explained to UNIA meetings a month later, he believed that the Klan was “really the invisible government of the United States of America” and represented, “if not in membership, the spirit of nearly every well-thinking white American.”

Garvey publicly agreed with the Klan’s view that America was a “white man’s country.” Further, he applauded the Klan’s position on “social equality,” declaring that the UNIA was just as strongly committed to upholding the racial “integrity” of black people as the Klan was to preserving the “purity of the white race.”

But Garvey, otherwise an astute student of U. S. history, misread the visceral reaction of African Americans to the initials “KKK,” which were synonymous with decades of unpunished lynchings, burnings, and mobbings.

....first proposed by segregationist Mississippi state senator T. C. McCallum in 1922—only months before Garvey’s meeting with Clarke. In a resolution to the state legislature, he called upon it to memorialize the President and Congress to secure, by treaty, purchase, or other negotiation, a portion of Africa where African Americans could move toward independence under U. S. tutelage.

This could be done, he argued, in exchange for the European war debt—... About the same time, Maryland Sen. Joseph I. France put forth a similar proposal, but this one involving the Germany’s former colonies in East Africa.

Garvey supported both plans. Indeed, despite the damage caused by his meeting with Clarke, Garvey continued to associate with white supremacists during his exile in Jamaica and London, including John Powell of the Anglo-Saxon Clubs and propagandist Earnest Sevier Cox....

...another racist Mississippian took up the call: Sen. Theodore G. Bilbo, one of America’s most notorious segregationists, who introduced the Greater Liberia Act into the U. S. Senate in April 1939.

He, too, received the strong backing of Garvey and splinters of the once-powerful UNIA...


Jan 22, 2001
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