The New Negro, Garvey, and the UNIA. Nadir Racism intensified (Birth of a Nation, second Ku Klux Klan, etc.) Return of black troops to segregation, disenfranchisement,
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Nadir Racism intensified (Birth of a Nation, second Ku Klux Klan, etc.) Return of black troops to segregation, disenfranchisement, and violence First Red Scare (Espionage and Sedition Acts, A. Mitchell Palmer, J. Edgar Hoover, etc.) Great Migration continued, found de facto segregation and racism in northern cities
The “New Negro” New attitude of self awareness and defiance grounded black arts renaissance Flourished with contributions from Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and others 1925, Howard University professor Alain Locke published The New Negro Artistic racial consciousness spread to other mediums and beyond Harlem
Claude McKay, “If We Must Die,” White Shadows (1922) If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs Making their mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Louis Armstrong, “Struttin”Louis Armstrong, “Struttin” (1925) Louis Armstrong, “Struttin”
Marcus Garvey 1887, b. in Jamaica, grandson of slaves, apprenticed to printer, edited several newspapers Influenced by Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery and the Pan-Africanist movement 1914, founded Universal Negro Improvement Association as charitable club and literary society 1916, immigrated to United States, toured and lectured, pulled into Harlem’s political ferment
Universal Negro Improvement Association 1917, re-established by Garvey in Harlem, quickly grew into first mass organization of African-Americans Opposed “amalgamationist” views of NAACP and Urban League and rejected class analysis of trade unionists, socialists, and communists Promoted African ancestry, black pride, racial separation, and repatriation as well as armed self-defense 1925, collapsed when Garvey convicted of Black Star Line-related mail fraud, jailed, and deported
“What We Believe,” (1924) The Universal Negro Improvement Association advocates the uniting and blending of all Negroes into one strong, healthy race. It is against miscegenation and race suicide. It believes that the Negro race is as good as any other, and therefore should be as proud of itself as others are. It believes in the purity of the Negro race and the purity of the white race. It believes in the social and political physical separation of all peoples to the extent that they promote their own ideals and civilization, with the privilege of trading and doing business with each other. It believes in the promotion of a strong and powerful Negro nation in Africa.