Blog
About

261
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      ‘Lower types of cranks, crooks and racial bigots’? The Universal Negro Improvement Association and black political violence in the United States, 1918–1930

      Radical Americas

      UCL Press

      UNIA, NAACP, violence, ethnicity, Marcus Garvey, interwar, intra-racial, African American, African Caribbean, political violence

      Read this article at

      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          This article examines the involvement of the black nationalist Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in black political violence in the early-interwar period in the United States. Evidence suggests that the UNIA was the organisation most often involved in black political confrontations, and the article discusses how the state, the black and white press and other black activist organisations may have both benefitted from and perpetuated the UNIA’s reputation for political violence. The essay argues that the UNIA’s involvement in violence against other black organisations and groups can be explained partly by the intensity of the ‘war of words’ among prominent black leaders in the United States, such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey. Furthermore, the article suggests that ethnic and gender differences within the American UNIA itself could exacerbate pre-existing tensions between different groups of Garveyites. Contextualising black political violence in these ways allows us to move beyond a reductionist view of grassroots Garveyites as prone to violence. Instead, this approach allows us to better understand the relationship between the famous ‘war of words’ and the kinds of tensions, confrontations and violence that sometimes occurred at grassroots level between supporters of different black organisations and groups. The article contributes not only to the growing historiography about the UNIA at grassroots level, but also to discussions about the militarisation of black protest during World War I and in the 1920s, including the use of self-defence and paramilitary-style tactics by people of African descent in the United States.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 31

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past

            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            "We Are Not What We Seem": Rethinking Black Working-Class Opposition in the Jim Crow South

              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              Opportunities Found and Lost: Labor, Radicals, and the Early Civil Rights Movement

                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                RA
                Radical Americas
                UCL Press
                2399-4606
                10 February 2020
                : 5
                : 1
                Affiliations
                Independent scholar, 23 Treehaven Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA
                Author notes
                Article
                RA-5-1
                10.14324/111.444.ra.2020.v5.1.001
                © 2020, Thomas P. Lennon.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ra.2020.v5.1.001.

                Page count
                Pages: 23
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                Lennon, T.P. ‘“Lower types of cranks, crooks and racial bigots”? The Universal Negro Improvement Association and black political violence in the United States, 1918–1930.’ Radical Americas 5, 1 (2020): 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ra.2020.v5.1.001.

                Comments

                Comment on this article

                Radical Americas
                Volume 5, Issue 1

                Similar content 209

                Most referenced authors 35