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Global Garveyism$
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Ronald J. Stephens and Adam Ewing

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056210

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056210.001.0001

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“The Language of Freedom”

“The Language of Freedom”

Garveyite Women, Diasporic Politics, and Pan-African Discourses of the 1940s

(p.168) 6 “The Language of Freedom”
Global Garveyism

Keisha N. Blain

University Press of Florida

This chapter explores the political ideas of women in Garveyism, based on their writings in several global black newspapes of the 1940s, including the African: Journal of African Affairs and the New Negro World. It shows how women in the Universal Negro Improvement Association, from diverse backgrounds and writing from various locales, promoted a global black liberationist vision and added distinctive voices to discourses surrounding pan-Africanism. Maintaining cultural and racial bonds with Africans throughout the African diaspora, these women skillfully used the black press—on local, national, and international levels—to endorse anticolonial politics, challenge global white supremacy, and counter negative images and stereotypical depictions of African history and culture. Yet, while committed to that mission, these black women also embraced imperialist, civilizationist, and patriarchal views that promoted some of the same ideals they rejected. Examining the largely overlooked writings of Garveyite women (such as Amy Jacques Garvey and her involvement in the Fifth Pan-African Congress) in the United States and other parts of the globe captures the richness and complexities of black nationalist women’s ideas and activism during the twentieth century.

Keywords:   Garveyism, Universal Negro Improvement Association, Pan-Africanism, Black nationalist, Black women, Amy Jacques Garvey, Fifth Pan-African Congress, African diaspora

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