The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. VII: November 1927-August 1940

The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. VII: November 1927-August 1940

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The publication of Volume VII marks the completion of the American series of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers. This final book in the seven-volume set charts the magnetic, controversial Pan-African leader's career from his deportation from the United States in November 1927 to his death in England in 1940.

The volume begins with Garvey's triumphant welcome in Jamaica, his tour abroad, and his entry into Jamaican party politics. It traces his reshaping of the organizational structure of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in the late 1920s, and his management of UNIA affairs from Kingston and London in the 1930s. Though typically seen as a time of decline, this final period of Garvey's life appears, in editorials drawn from his publications, as a fruitful one in which some of his strongest political writings were produced. Surveillance reports filed by Jamaican police and British colonial officials provide a rich account of Garvey's speeches and activities. Although he was banned from the United States and restricted from traveling or speaking in many areas under colonial supervision, Garvey nevertheless traveled widely after his deportation, visiting and influencing affairs in Geneva, Paris, and London, and making organizational tours of Canada and the Caribbean. He chaired UNIA conferences in Toronto and inaugurated the School of African Philosophy, a series of lectures designed to train UNIA leaders. In the mid-1930s he moved the headquarters of the UNIA to London.

In the final months of his life, correspondence between Garvey in England and his young sons in Jamaica shows the personal side of the public leader. The tragedy of Garvey's personal demise is framed by the cataclysmic events of Europe entering a world war and by the decline of the movement he had worked so diligently to build. The long financial hardships of the previous decade and the loss of Garvey's presence had winnowed the membership of the UNIA. Garvey suffered a disabling stroke in January 1940. He died in London the following June, as Italy invaded France and Germany prepared to occupy Paris. Volume VII ends with the reconstitution of the UNIA in the months immediately after Garvey's death and the establishment of a new headquarters with new leadership in Cleveland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520072084
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/21/1991
Series: The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers , #7
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 1146
Sales rank: 1,107,430
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.75(h) x 2.70(d)

About the Author

Robert A. Hill is Director of the Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers Project in the African Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is also Associate Professor of History. Barbara Bair is associate editor of the American series of the Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Project.

Read an Excerpt

The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. VII

By Robert A. Hill

University of California Press

Copyright © 1991 Robert A. Hill
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780520072084

W. E. B. Du Bois to Charles Evans Hughes,[en1] U.S. Secretary of StateW. E. B. Du Bois to Charles Evans Hughes,1 U.S. Secretary of State

NEW YORK , June 23, 1921


In 1919 there was held in Paris the first Pan-African Congress. I am enclosing the resolutions which were passed by that Congress. These resolutions were brought to the attention of Colonel House of the American Peace Commission and received his general approval.

A second Pan-African Congress will be held in August and September at the time and place indicated by the bulletins enclosed.2 I am writing to appr[i]se you of these facts because of some public misapprehension of our aims and purposes. The Pan-African Congress is for conference, acquaintanceship and general organization. It has nothing to do with the so called Garvey movement and contemplates neither force nor revolution in its program. We have had the cordial cooperation of the French, Belgi[an] and Portuguese governments and we hope to get the attention and sympathy of all colonial powers.

If there is any further information as to our objects and plans which you would wish to have I will be very glad to write further or to come to Washington andconfer with any official whom you might designate. I am, sir, with great respect Very sincerely yours,


DNA, RG 59, 540C2/original. TLS, recipient's copy. On Crisis stationery.

Enclosure :
Resolutions Passed at the 1919 Pan-African Congress

Paris, 19–21 February 1919

The Negroes of the world in Pan-African Congress assembled at Paris February 19, 20, 21, 1919, demand, in the interest of justice and humanity and for strenghtening the forces of civilisation, that immediate steps be taken to develop the 200[,]000[,]000 of Negroes and Negroids; to this end, they propose:

A.—That the allied and associated Powers establish a code of laws "for the international protection of the natives of Africa," similar to the proposed international code for Labor.

B.—That the League of Nations establish a permanent Bureau charged with the special duty of "overseeing the application of these laws to the political, social and economic welfare of the natives."

The Negroes of the world demand that hereafter the natives of Africa and the Peoples of African descent be "governed according to the following principles."

1.—The Land : The land and its natural resources shall be held in trust for the natives and at all times they shall have effective ownership of as much land as they can profitably develop.

2.—Capital : The investment of capital and granting of concessions shall be so regulated as to prevent the exploitation of the natives and the exhaustion of the natural wealth of the country. Concessions shall always be limited in time and subject to State control. The growing social needs of the natives must be regarded and the profits taxes for the social and material benefit of the natives.

3.—Labor : Slavery and corporal punishment shall be abolished and forced labor except in punishment for crime; and the general conditions of labor shall be prescribed and regulated by the State.

4.—Education : It shall be the right of every native child to learn to read and write his own language, and the language of the trustee nation, at public expense, and to be given technical instruction in some branch of industry. The State shall also educate as large a number of natives as possible in higher technical and cultural training and maintain a corps of native teachers.

5.—Med[i]cine and Hygiene : It shall be recognized that human existence in the tropics calls for special safeguards and a scientific system of public hygiene. The State shall be responsible for medical care and sanitary conditions without discouraging collective and individual initiative. A service created by the State shall provide physicians and hospitals, and shall spread the rules of hygiene by written and spoken word. As fast as possible the State will establish a native medical staff.

6.—The State : The natives of Africa must have the right to participate in the government as fast as their development permits in conformity with the principle

that the government exists for the natives, and not the natives for the government. They shall at once be allowed to participate in local and tribal government according to ancient usage, and this participation shall gradually extend, as education and experience proceeds, to the higher offices of State, to the end that, in time, Africa be ruled by consent of the Africans.

7.—Culture and Religion : No particular religion shall be imposed and no particular form of human culture. There shall be liberty of conscience. The uplift of the natives shall take into consideration their present condition and shall allow the utmost scope to racial genius, social inheritance and individual bent so long as these are not contrary to the best established principles of civilisation.

8.—Civilized Negroes : Wherever persons of African descent are civilized and able to meet the tests of surrounding culture, they shall be accorded the same rights as their fellow citizens; they shall not be denied on account of race or color a voice in their own government, justice before the courts and economic and social equality according to ability and desert.

9.—The League of Nations : Greater security of life and property shall be guaranteed the natives; international labor legislation shall cover the native workers as well as whites; they shall have equitable representation in all the international institutions of the League of Nations, and the participation of the blacks themselves in every domain of indeavour shall be encouraged in accordance with the declared object of article 19 of the League of Nations, to wit: "The well being and the development of these people constitute a sacred mission of civilisation and it is proper in establishing the League of Nations to incorporate therein pledges for the accomplishment of this mission."

Whenever it is proven that African natives are not receiving just treatment at the hands of any State or that any State deliberately excludes its civilized citizens or subjects of Negro descent from its body politic and cultural, it shall be the duty of the League of Nations to bring the matter to the attention of the civilized World.

For the Pan-African Congress, composed of 57 members from 15 countries, inhabited by 85 [,]000 [,]000 Negroes and persons of African descent—to wit :


United States


French West Indies and French Guiana










Spanish Colonies


Portuguese Colonies











English Africa


French Africa






Belgian Congo






Director[,] National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
U.S.A., Secretary [of the Congress].

Deputy from Senegal, Commissioner
General charged with oversight of French colonial interests, President of the Congress.

DNA, RG 59, 540C2/original. PD. Portions translated from French.

Bulletins announcing the Second Pan-African Congress, March 1921
(Source : DNA, RG 59, Decimal file 540C2/original).


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