Black Moses

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots

Conventionally known as ‘Black Moses’, Marcus Garvey led the largest all- black movement of the nation in the early 20th century. The second source I decided to examine was Black Moses by Edmund David Cronon. I have specifically chosen to use chapter 1 and chapter 4 to draw on for information on the introduction and initial growth of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The book explores Marcus Garvey and the seeds he has sewn for a new black pride and determination on a broad scheme. However, the book hones in on the four year it took the build the Universal Negro Improvement Association, ‘the largest and most powerful all-black organization the nation has ever seen.’ Black Moses brings Garvey’s controversial figure to life and recovers the significance of his life and work. Cronon discusses the people who helped Garvey introduce himself to Harlem in 1920 when he arrived. People like W.E. DuBois and Amy Ashwood and the influence and support they provided are examined in contrast the inhibitors like Secretary Charles Evan Hughes and J.Edgar Hoover who were against Garvey movements and so tried to put a stop to him.

garveyvduboisBlack Moses is very valuable secondary source that more than recognizes Garvey’s achievements but especially focuses on the development of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the people who helped Garvey during his introduction phase in Harlem, New York 1920 and in its later stages of growth. The author also speaks about the key characters who tried to degrade his influence and stop his movement. The book does not have many weaknesses because it focuses on all aspects of my topics. I look forward to using this book as a leading source to develop on the UNIA and Garveyism in the Harlem, New York during the early 20th century.

Cronon, Edmund David. Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Madison: U of Wisconsin, 1969. Print.

One thought on “Black Moses

  1. mamarobertson4 says:

    Luke,
    The formation of the UNIA seems like a terrific focus for your paper. You have already identified Garvey’s relationship to Harlem and those who were his adversaries and supporters. Just focusing on how his movement grew and how the FBI sought to bring him down would be a terrific paper. You are going to need to understand the broader context of the Harlem Renaissance as well. See me for a few other sources.
    Grade: 47

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