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Grassroots GarveyismThe Universal Negro Improvement Association in the Rural South, 1920-1927$

Mary G. Rolinson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830925

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807872789_rolinson

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(p.48) 2 Lessons
Grassroots Garveyism

Mary G. Rolinson

University of North Carolina Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the early experiences of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina, and its success in organizing the urban South. In particular, it considers how Marcus Garvey learned about organization and politics by applying the strategies and ideas of Booker T. Washington, Henry McNeal Turner, and others with a southern perspective. It also examines Garvey's emphasis on African redemption and his controversial definition of black separatism. In addition, the chapter discusses Garvey's strategies to reach out to blacks in the South, paying particular attention to James Walker Hood Eason's role in spreading Garveyism into the South. Finally, it reflects on Garvey's speech at the North Carolina Negro State Fair, held on October 25, 1922 in Raleigh, in which he took African Americans to task for being lazy.

Keywords:   organizing, Universal Negro Improvement Association, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, South, Marcus Garvey, James Walker Hood Eason, Garveyism, African Americans

Even if the “Yarmouth” had gone down in that storm last January, the Black Star Line would have been a success; because it would have demonstrated the ability of the Negro to get together.

William Henry Ferris, 21 April 1920

Marcus Garvey traveled, read, and listened prodigiously and possessed a remarkable learning curve for organization and politics. The strategies and ideas he learned from Booker T. Washington, Henry McNeal Turner, and others with a southern perspective provided a model of leadership but did not give him the ability to go into any community he wanted to organize the UNIA. In the South, especially, he began in urban areas. In cities the Negro World could circulate more readily, and his organizers could gather large crowds with less difficulty. Large urban churches or auditoriums frequently hosted speakers, and someone with the oratorical gifts of Garvey could pull a crowd any night of the week. The UNIA started in this way very quickly in several urban areas of the South in 1919 and 1920, and some of the difficult lessons learned there influenced the later, more carefully planned rhetoric and tactics that carried the Garvey message and program deep into the rural South. Examining this early period and the mistakes and problems the UNIA confronted south of the MasonDixon Line helps to explain some of Garvey's controversial tactics.

Two factors that made the South distinctive in the United States were segregation by custom and law and the high proportion of black population. The latter factor made the South the most attractive area in the country in which to organize blacks, while the former made it the most difficult to organize in the face of any white opposition. Segregation did not hinder race organization per se; it actually helped in a logistical sense. Separate black institutions, namely, black churches, fraternal orders, and lodges, provided ready forums for spreading the message. But the white supremacist disposition underpinning the Jim Crow system prohibited any assertiveness by organized blacks. Attempts to organize laborers of any race, especially in the same field or trade, were usually seen as a radical threat. The Red Scare at the federal level and the antilabor sentiment of the South during the interwar period exacerbated this tension. Thus, efforts (p.49) to organize laboring blacks, even if only as a racially segregated group, presented a double threat to the status quo. Most UNIA promoters recognized early this extreme challenge to their plans. Some early participants, however, paid the price for failing to convince hostile whites or accommodationist blacks that the UNIA was neither an alien-dominated radical movement bent on overthrowing capitalism nor a civil rights organization committed to racial amalgamation.

Most urban southern UNIA divisions shared certain socioeconomic characteristics, and members of these groups tended to be workers and laborers in large industrialized towns, mainly along the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts. In eastern Virginia, New Orleans, Charleston, South Carolina, Mobile, Alabama, and Jacksonville, Florida, most Garveyites were longshoremen, shipbuilders, navy yard workers, or laborers. In Miami, Key West, and Tampa many were Bahamian and West Indian immigrants. In the interior urban areas UNIA activists worked in the tobacco industry of North Carolina or the lumber industry of Louisiana. Railroad workers, usually in the menial positions of locomotive firemen, were also affiliated with UNIA divisions throughout the Deep South.

These urban Garveyites of the South believed in race pride, but they were also deeply attracted to the internationalist and capitalist focus of the UNIA and Black Star Line (BSL). They lived in white-controlled, legally segregated cities and worked the same jobs as whites for lower wages. In cities where black enterprise within the segregated system had yielded wealth for black businessmen, Garveyites recognized how valuable independence from white control could be for their ability to control their own lives. Their hard labor had supported U.S. industries during wartime, and many workers understood the exploitative forces of world industrial capitalism for the first time. But in the years immediately after World War I they did not necessarily see capital as their exploiter as much as they did their better-paid white cohorts and white bosses.

Urban and industrial workers depended on white employers for their livelihoods. They needed jobs and had to accept wages far below those of white workers and too low to provide a decent existence for their families. They saw organization by race as a useful tool for leverage not only against capital but also within labor organizations. They liked the idea of working for and investing in black-owned enterprises, where they presumed they would receive better treatment and share in the profits of their labor. Blacks' participation in the war industries and on the battlefields had proved beyond doubt that they were the equals of whites, and like other blacks in America, they enthusiastically rejected the idea of black inferiority. However, the racial tension at home that (p.50) followed the war abroad disillusioned black Americans. They had heard and digested Woodrow Wilson's rhetorical flourishes about the self-determination of nations and then turned to Garvey's vision of Africa as the home and birthright of the African.

The themes stressed by the nascent UNIA in its earliest organized segments of the black southern population foreshadowed the fundamental strands of ideology that carried the movement all over the region. Yet early mistakes in the South led to new strategies for Marcus Garvey and his organizers.

Organizing in Virginia

The busy port communities and towns around Hampton Roads, Virginia, hosted the earliest UNIA divisions south of the MasonDixon Line. Hampton Institute, the first and most important black industrial and agricultural school and Booker T. Washington's alma mater, resided on the long peninsula that protruded near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Newport News had been created in the 1880s as a terminus for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, to serve as the feeder for the coalfields of West Virginia to the massive expansion of steamship operations along the Atlantic seaboard. Accordingly, Newport News and the surrounding peninsular area became a hive of activity during and after World War I. During the war, Newport News also served as a primary port of embarkation for American soldiers and supplies going to Europe. In 1917 the population more than doubled in a few months from 24,000 to 60,000.

Workers, and especially black workers, from all over the South flocked to the area to fill important industrial support jobs. Many worked as longshoremen or labored in the U.S. Navy yards and on the railroads. Others worked in building trades spurred on by wartime expansion of the local community. Many blacks joined labor unions that were officially sanctioned and protected by the U.S. government and the National War Labor Board during wartime. After the war, Newport News became the primary port of debarkation. As soldiers returned and industrial work slowed, racial tensions rose in eastern Virginia. A special representative's report to the Camp Community Service Bureau warned of the potential for a race war because of conflicts between disgruntled black laborers and demobilized soldiers and local whites who were not willing to accept any inkling of social equality for blacks.1

In July 1919 Garvey spent fourteen days in Virginia, spearheading the organization of the divisions in Newport News and neighboring Portsmouth. Newport News received the sixth charter issued by the parent body of the UNIA, and the first shares of Black Star Line stock were sold at a mass meeting (p.51) in the Dixie Theater.2 These bustling centers of longshoremen, many of whom were recent arrivals from other parts of the South, took a keen interest in the formation of the Black Star Line as a natural outgrowth of their involvement in maritime trades. The impending sailing of the BSL's first ship, the SS Frederick Douglass (formerly the Yarmouth), set for 31 October 1919, brought excitement in the Chesapeake Bay area to a fever pitch. Estimates of UNIA membership for July through October 1919 for the Newport News branch alone ranged from 5,000 to 7,000. Garvey estimated that the Newport News division had 7,000 members while the New York division had only 7,500, making the former easily the second-largest branch. During these early months, contributions of up to $10,000 toward the BSL came from the Hampton Roads area.3

In 1910 blacks in Norfolk had formed the Transportation Workers' Association of Virginia, and during the war it joined the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA). Of the 9,000 members of the ILA in the Hampton Roads area, 6,000 were black. Because of these numbers, black union members dominated the organization, but the locals were always segregated. This was not only due to southern traditions of segregation, but also, as one investigator reported, because of a continuous preference for separation by the black longshoremen themselves.4

Some race consciousness and desire for separate organizations came not through custom or preference but through a process of struggle. Portsmouth, home to a major U.S. Navy yard, and its surrounding community were already deeply involved in labor organization when the UNIA arrived. Unequal access to jobs and unequal pay for blacks were sources of resentment among black workers there.5 Through their local organizations some laborers belonged to the American Federation of Labor (AFL), though they were acutely frustrated with its discriminatory practices. A black-only labor organization, essentially for southern blacks, called the National Brotherhood Workers of America, founded in the District of Columbia in March 1919, had already established branches in the Hampton Roads area, as well as in other industrialized towns of the South. The Portsmouth members included caulkers, riveters, corkers, blacksmith helpers, and various unskilled laborers. This all-black organization helped to provide leverage with the AFL leadership, as the labor federation considered the demands of blacks for better representation in the group.6 Laborers' negative experiences in class-conscious organizations demonstrated unceasing discrimination based on race and pointed them toward a specifically racial consciousness. In this sense, the black laborers of eastern Virginia were well prepared to receive the Garvey message of racial solidarity.

Garvey was delighted with the response of the Virginia UNIA supporters (p.52) and returned for a mass meeting of the local division at the First Baptist Church of Newport News just before the end of October. He covered the crucial rallying points of the UNIA program—Africa for the Africans, freedom from dependence on whites, defense (by violence if necessary) of one's family and property, and lastly the importance of supporting Negro enterprises such as the BSL. He also sought further contributions to launch the maiden voyage of the BSL.7 He felt enthusiastic about his return visit and reported to the Negro World, “the Negro of the South is a new and different man to what he was prior to the war…. The New Negro Manhood Movement is not confined to the North alone.”8

The Frederick Douglass finally sailed in November 1919 and eventually reached the mouth of the Chesapeake to take on supplies at Norfolk but more importantly to provide inspiration for two of its important shareholding constituencies, the Newport News and Portsmouth local UNIA divisions. The enthusiasm generated by the steamship in the local black community compelled further interest in the activities of the UNIA and its leader. The psychological impact of seeing the nearly 1,500-ton steamship sailing through Hampton Roads, flying the red, black, and green flag of the black nationhood espoused by Garvey, probably cannot be overestimated.9

By February 1920, an African American agent of the U.S. Bureau of Investigation (the precursor to the FBI) had infiltrated the local division and reported that Garvey's African Legion, the paramilitary wing of the organization, had 200 men of the Newport News division drilling every Thursday night in the local Elks Hall.10 The attention of federal authorities gives an indication of how Garvey was being viewed as a potentially dangerous agitator; local whites had also begun to notice the growing organization, and some formed objections to the movement as well. The Klan had started to create problems for UNIA organizers in the area by March 1920, and one New York visitor had been forced to leave town because of intimidation by the Invisible Empire's locals.11 Even the Newport News Star, a black newspaper, had initiated a drumbeat of editorial criticism of the UNIA and BSL.12 At the same time, Garvey and the UNIA received a mix of favorable publicity and criticism in P. B. Young's Norfolk Journal and Guide, a substantial African American paper that enjoyed contributions from the venerated editorialist T. Thomas Fortune. Historian Earl Lewis has argued that the Norfolk area suffered from class divisions between laborers who gravitated toward the UNIA and more prosperous elements who affiliated with other organizations, despite the fact that their ultimate goals remained very closely related.13

In early August 1920 the UNIA held its first annual convention in New York. (p.53) By all accounts, no spectacle before or since in Harlem matched the parade given in honor of the international gathering of UNIA delegates. The UNIA African Legions led the way in lockstep in their dark uniforms, followed by 200 Black Cross Nurses dressed all in white. Then the UNIA band preceded delegates with banners from twenty-five countries and numerous states as the procession made its way down Lenox Avenue. Enthusiastic cheers rang out as thousands of appreciative onlookers enjoyed the spectacle, the uniforms, the music, and the motorcade of 500 automobiles.14 News of the parade and the discussions and speeches of the convention appeared throughout the black press. People far and wide read accounts of the stirring display of black unity and pride. As much as any event in Garvey's career, this day catapulted his movement into the wider public eye.

Only weeks before this momentous event, Garvey had returned to Virginia on an extensive speaking tour through the eastern part of the state, visiting Richmond, Petersburg, Suffolk, Franklin, Smithfield, Backwater, Oyster Point, Mundon Point, Tidewater, Newport News, and Norfolk over the course of two weeks in July.15 The Norfolk division had grown and gained some prominence in early 1920. Local delegates' comments to the convention indicated that there the Garvey movement was flourishing despite some intermittent opposition. One Norfolk Garveyite reported that conditions for blacks in the city were regarded as relatively good compared with those in other parts of the South. Local whites had shown restraint in their criticism of blacks, and a local white paper had called the Frederick Douglass's appearance at Hampton Roads “one of the grandest events that ever happened in the Negro race.”16

An important lesson the UNIA organizers learned from this early experience in Virginia was that ministers had to approve the movement in places where they were powerful spokesmen for the community. Garvey spelled this out in a handbook for UNIA organizers: “When approaching ministers of the gospel, be always diplomatic enough to convince them of the Christian policy of the organization.” He went on to explain that once the minister was on board, one could ask to raise money from his congregation and promise to give him a share of the collection for his church “if the preacher is won over and himself contributes.”17 Any problems Virginia organizers had faced, apparently, stemmed from vigorous objections by local black preachers. A vocal delegate from Norfolk was one of only a few local pastors who supported the movement in his community. It is unclear what their specific objections were, but references were made to the black community's having a choice between “two ways,” one of which was the UNIA way.18

A delegate from Newport News complained to the UNIA convention in 1920 (p.54) that one preacher had canceled a UNIA meeting at his church on short notice. The convention laughed upon hearing that the preacher's church had burned down the next day. Apparently, the sudden cancellation resulted from pressure brought to bear by other pastors who believed the UNIA was trying to “take all the money from the town.” Another churchman complained about the UNIA to the mayor, who showed little interest in suppressing the movement there. This sort of tacit white approval was not so much an endorsement of the movement as an indication that it was not seen as important or threatening by whites in authority in some localities.19

The local Garveyites also complained bitterly about the double standards in education, employment, and restrictions on mingling with whites while “white people won't leave our girls alone.” These specific complaints, especially those regarding the exploitation of black women, echoed again and again among southern Garveyites. The social independence they sought was directly related to this problem.20

The vast amount of money that Garvey was able to raise during the second half of 1919 and the first half of 1920 did not go unnoticed. His success and popularity generated lots of suspicion, and investigations and exposés followed. The Chicago-based Defender, the widest circulating black weekly in the nation, published a damaging report on 20 September 1919, which accused Garvey of falsely representing the Black Star Line as a legitimate, responsibly run shipping line.21 The bad news devastated the Garveyites of the lower peninsula. Over a thousand people demanded an explanation of the facts from the local BSL stock salesperson, and the Portsmouth division of the UNIA dropped from a membership of 600 before the Defender article to 150 after.22 On the heels of this report, the Bureau of Investigation stepped up its surveillance of the stock sales of the BSL, which turned out to be illegal because the corporation had not been licensed to sell stock in Virginia. As of 3 January 1921, Virginia officials were directed to deny a license to the BSL and to arrest Garvey if he returned to the state.23 Captain E. L. Gaines, the UNIA minister of legions, one of Garvey's most active organizers in Virginia during 1921, reported that he faced continual harassment as he traveled through the state speaking to and organizing more communities for UNIA membership.24

The positive interest in the UNIA program, as well as the objections to and negative remarks about it from various community members in eastern Virginia, the earliest hotbed of southern Garveyism, are representative of the UNIA experience in many communities in the South. Southern black industrial workers were frustrated with job and wage discrimination based on their race. They recognized that organization along racial lines was crucial to providing (p.55) the leverage they needed to improve their status and pay. Black ministers held alternative positions on the benefits of the UNIA and split communities by their divided leadership. Black families resented white men's exploiting black women and girls while enforcing a double standard where race intermingling was concerned. Yet above all other aspects of the UNIA platform, the Black Star Line and its promise for providing self-respect and better jobs and investment opportunities for blacks were essential to Garvey's early success in the Chesapeake region.25 Later in the course of the Garvey movement, the BSL's failure would bring other aspects of the UNIA program to the forefront. These new emphases attracted constituencies with priorities not necessarily related to the modern world of stocks and investments but very much concerned with black economic and social autonomy.

Radicalism in Florida

While the Black Star Line electrified eastern Virginia's Garveyites, another distinctive segment of supporters formed in the farthest southern reaches of Florida. Although the peninsula's geography and demography make it unique in the region, its commitment to the Jim Crow system aligns it clearly with the southern states. And of all the states in the South, Florida had the largest documentable UNIA membership in the organization's twilight period from 1927 to 1928.26 Early Floridian UNIA supporters were for the most part West Indian and, particularly, Bahamian. The large divisions in Miami and Key West hosted a vast majority of alien members and faced consistent resistance from native black and white Floridians. In his classic account of West Indian immigration to the United States in the early twentieth century, Ira DeA. Reid describes the multiple dilemmas of the black immigrant to the South.27 The coastal Florida UNIA divisions had obvious ties to maritime interests, including the U.S. Navy, just as their laboring counterparts in Virginia did, but their activities created great fear among local whites and prompted close surveillance of Garveyites by federal authorities. The rhetoric of their meetings expressed deep-seated hostility toward American whites and the discriminatory practices of the U.S. government. Tension simmered consistently over the treatment of their leaders and organizations, putting local whites on constant alert for rioting.

Florida served as a gateway to the West Indies during the 1910s and 1920s, and immigration from the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands had increased as a result of the activities of the United Fruit Company. “Banana boats” brought steamship passengers to and from the West Indies in increasing numbers from 1904 into the 1920s. Most moved to New York, but (p.56) a sizable expatriate community settled in South Florida, too. Black British citizens from the West Indies immigrated to the United States at a rate averaging from 3,000 to 7,000 a year during the 1910s.28 Most of the black alien population of Florida had British citizenship, as did Garvey. Of the 10,000 blacks in Miami in 1920, 7,000 were West Indian. They resented the restrictions on their movement within the segregated southern society.29 Part of their difficulty in adjusting to life in Florida's coastal cities stemmed from their unfamiliarity with the American racial system. Although caste considerations placed black West Indians in an inferior position in their home islands, their populations were not dominated by a majority of whites. In their new arrangement, they were in the minority and at the lowest level of society simultaneously, while also being aliens without the rights of citizenship. Some found southern whites to be rude and barbaric compared with the more formal and polite Europeans from the Caribbean islands.30 The brutality of blacks' treatment in Florida shocked West Indian immigrants and quickly ended their expectations of a better life abroad. Conditions were largely intolerable for the Caribbean expatriates, and the UNIA provided a platform for their frustrations.31 Others moved North or returned to their home islands.

As in other states in the South, the first evidence of UNIA presence in Florida came in the form of complaints to federal authorities over the content of the Negro World. Frank Burke, the assistant director of the Bureau of Investigation division in Jacksonville, received one such complaint in August 1919. A Cocoa, Florida, man had been distributing copies of the Garvey newspaper and “causing a great deal of unrest among the negroes [sic] in this section and particularly those [n]egroes who are trying to find some grievance against white people.” Special Agent Treadway added to this independent complaint that sales of BSL stock were likely fraudulent and designed to fleece vulnerable local blacks.32

Nevertheless, by the end of 1920, the UNIA had a large, radical division in Miami. The English Wesleyan Church in Miami served as the host for the founding of the Miami division. The organizational meeting, composed of mainly West Indians, heard an address by a “fiery” Haitianborn medical doctor from West Palm Beach.33 After the initial meeting, the branch began meeting each Sunday at Walker's Memorial AME Zion Church. The resident pastor, N. f. Conquest, had recently arrived from Los Angeles and was an ardent Garvey supporter. Percy Styles, a local businessman, served as regional organizer for South Florida. The Miami UNIA had 400 members by November 1920, 600 by March 1921, and 1,000 by July 1921.34 Bureau of Investigation reports recorded the subjects covered at early meetings, which included many (p.57) ideas not normally associated with Garveyism. Speakers here promoted equality and eventually supremacy of blacks and advocated intermarriage between races. The local division leased the Airdome building in the black section of town and posted a “UNIA MIAMI BRANCH” sign. The parent body suggested that each local division create its own “Liberty Hall,” or UNIA meeting location, and the Miami group apparently had the resources to afford a nice gathering place, a film projector, and new benches. Successful gatherings each Sunday yielded an average of twenty-five dollars for Negro World newspapers, BSL stock, UNIA paraphernalia, and dues.35

A Bahamian UNIA member named James Nimmo, who was also a U.S. Army veteran of World War I, led regular drills for nearly 200 African Legion members in Miami on a regular basis. They wore the uniforms provided by headquarters in Harlem, which were navy blue with red stripes running down the leg sides. Although the men owned rifles, they usually drilled with wooden models of rifles; nevertheless, the police became hostile and broke them up frequently.36

These “armed” exercises drew constant covert attention from federal authorities. After Special Agent William Sausele witnessed the radicalism of the Miami Garveyites, upon returning to Jacksonville he felt compelled to canvass the black community there to determine the extent to which its members were armed. His calculations bore out his paranoid suspicions, with an estimate of 90 percent.37 This discovery should not have surprised the agent, given that nearly 4,000 members of the Jacksonville Ku Klux Klan participated in a nighttime parade with robes, a burning cross, and banners reading “We were here Yesterday, We are here Forever” only six months before.38 This display of white militancy had terrorized local blacks into arming themselves and banding together for self-defense in several divisions of the UNIA.39

West Indian and Bahamian blacks comprised the vast majority of the Key West UNIA division. Many worked at the U.S. Naval Station and resented their poor treatment by their employer. T. C. Glashen, a British Honduran, led the local group and provided some of its most incendiary rhetoric, promising to spill blood if necessary to achieve recognition of Negro rights.40 Garvey spoke two nights to the Key West division in February 1921 while en route to the West Indies. His presence boosted the growth of the division from 300 to over 690. His speeches encouraged economic independence and promoted stock sales in the BSL. The community adhered to this message by operating a UNIA cooperative bakery and delivery wagon while investing heavily in the new steamship enterprise.41

By the summer of 1921, local whites, native blacks, and federal authorities (p.58) had all attempted to eradicate the Garvey movement from South Florida. “Loyal [black] citizens,” including one named George Washington, had written to U.S. attorney general Harry M. Daugherty complaining of the radical alien element that monopolized civil service jobs at the U.S. Naval Station in Key West while waving the UNIA flag, wearing UNIA lapel pins, and vowing loyalty only to the Negro nation envisioned by Garvey. Only a few American blacks, including a prominent local pastor, seemed willing to support the UNIA organization and its goals. The British consul's office reported that the Key West UNIA's purpose was to incite violence in order to gain rights. It was even rumored that when local African Americans refused to join the UNIA, they were even threatened with violence themselves.42

A few high-ranking officers in the Florida branches were leery of Garvey's financial practices, probably due to negative publicity in the Chicago Defender and the NAACP's Crisis. But the most effective resistance to the organization was from whites in the summer of 1921: Florida authorities arrested and deported UNIA Key West division president T. C. Glashen for inciting a riot.43 The Reverend R. H. Higgs, a Bahamian UNIA organizer at Coconut Grove (near Miami), left South Florida for Nassau after a whipping administered by masked Klansmen. Marine patrols prevented further UNIA activity at Key West, and the remaining leadership in Miami became temporarily paralyzed. White citizens braced for a race war, and the Miami American Legion sent out patrols. Both white authorities and the black community armed themselves thoroughly and bought stores of ammunition.44

After a dormant period, these divisions, as well as many others in Florida, were revived, as fragmentary evidence from 1926–28 indicates. Kip Vought's discussion of the Miami UNIA elaborates possible local policy revisions after the tense and explosive early years. An important change was that meetings were held in the open, ending a veil of secrecy that had made the early divisions more suspect. Vought speculates that Garvey's meeting with the Klan in 1922, despite the furor it caused in some quarters, may have also eased tensions in South Florida.45 But in 1920 and early 1921, the verdict was in on the radical brand of Garveyism voiced through Glashen and others. It would not be tolerated in the Jim Crow state of Florida.

One of the most revealing documents relating to the status of the UNIA in the South, and South Florida in particular, took the form of communication between G. Emonei Carter, a New Yorker who relocated to Miami in the early 1920s and became a UNIA organizer, and U.S. bureau agent Leon E. Howe. Apparently, Carter was carefully and diplomatically trying to persuade Howe (p.59) that the southern UNIA members were not radical, and the West Indian element seen in Miami and Key West were aberrations. Southern delegates to the second annual UNIA convention in 1921 had emphasized their wish that only American Negroes be sent to organize divisions in the South. Further, Carter admitted that southern American blacks worried about the irregular finances of the organization. He made it clear that the presence of nativeborn southern blacks as delegates to the UNIA convention demonstrated southern members' prudence on behalf of their communities—not their unquestioning exuberance for the organization's fund-raising programs. Carter asserted his belief in Garvey's sincerity and support for the economic emphasis of the UNIA platform but conceded that friction over alien radicalism and trepidation about irregular finances were causing a rift.46 Garvey and Howe pulled opposite meanings from the crisis described in this letter. Howe saw the imminent split between West Indians and Americans within the UNIA as the death knell of the organization, while Garvey recognized an urgent need to redirect the platform, organizers, and rhetoric in order to save the organization in the rich recruiting ground of the southern United States. Garvey and UNIA organizers thus moved to placate white objections and subdue the organization's most openly radical elements, particularly West Indians.

Soon other troubles with some black clergymen and hostile whites and government authorities would be compounded by the financial difficulties of the Black Star Line and Garvey's indictment on mail fraud. The shipping line's demise stemmed from several causes over a two-year period. The initial excitement over the Frederick Douglass disintegrated into loss, embarrassment, and scandal. The flagship and two other ships acquired by the BSL failed to succeed commercially and in some cases even to operate, and in May 1923 the government finally prosecuted Garvey for misrepresenting the condition of the company in a mailing.47 The U.S. government and numerous Garvey critics provided impetus to the efforts to stop Garvey from promoting the already bankrupt and mismanaged business venture. During a lengthy investigation and trial, Garvey was in and out of jail, and after his final conviction he went to federal prison in Atlanta. Yet while the BSL enterprise fell apart and ultimately failed, the remainder of the UNIA program had enough substance and inspiring ideological underpinning to allow the movement to focus on other activities. These goals took precedence during the investigation and trial and Garvey's eventual incarceration on mail fraud charges. These other campaigns fueled the growing movement in yet unorganized areas, especially in the South. These alternative and secondary themes began to take precedence (p.60) and attract new southern audiences. Garvey's emphasis on African redemption surged, while his definition of black separatism evolved and drew new attention and controversy.

Widening the Appeal in North Carolina

The displaced southern blacks living in new southern urban centers like Newport News and the West Indian immigrants in the growing towns of South Florida were similar in many respects to the Garveyites of booming urban areas outside of the South. New York's UNIA division hosted thousands of West Indian immigrants and migrants from the South. In fact, these were the constituents that many observers and critics of the Garvey movement came to associate with the core of the membership.48 And indeed, in the early years of the organization, people in transition seemed to form the most accessible recruiting base for UNIA organizers.49 But Garvey also recognized that his ideas resonated with southern blacks who lived in established but developing interior communities like WinstonSalem and Raleigh, North Carolina.

The WinstonSalem/Raleigh corridor of north-central North Carolina provided a strong UNIA base for the state. The heart of tobacco country and the home of the booming R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and its 10,000 employees formed a rich recruiting ground for disgruntled black laborers. In April 1919 a Department of Labor investigator had researched complaints by the AFIthat Tobacco Workers' International Union members had faced dismissal by R. J. Reynolds for joining the local unions. After only two months, 600 black union members formed nearly a third of the total, proving that tobacco workers were organizing rapidly. The agent's report indicated that William Reynolds, the company president, had no apologies for his exploitative business practices, which had drawn government oversight. He boasted that labor organizations were powerless against his company because the government had no legal pretext on which to intervene.50 Thus, labor in this section of the South faced formidable challenges in dealing with private employers. Black workers' prospects would have been especially grim.

A minister from Nash County, northeast of Raleigh, participated as a North Carolina delegate to the 1920 UNIA convention in New York, voicing strong complaints about whites' cruel and harsh domination over blacks in his area and blacks' “complete submission and subserviency.”51 Three months later the Negro World reported a case in Nash County: a prosperous black landowner's son had been imprisoned and faced frivolous charges of injuring a white woman in a car accident. The harsh treatment of the son of this independent farmer drew a swift reaction toward self-defense in the black community. (p.61) Many blacks in Spring Hope, a UNIA division town, were prepared to die resisting this affront to one of their leading men of color.52

These two examples illustrate the diversity in employment, resources, and conditions among blacks ranging from tobacco workers to independent landowners. They also clearly reveal the limited options for recourse for blacks of various means. The UNIA philosophy addressed and relieved some of the stresses on the agricultural-industrial hybrid population of north-central North Carolina. Many of the black workers cultivated, primed, and cured the tobacco on farms surrounding WinstonSalem and Raleigh, while others processed the tobacco leaves and made them into cigarettes in factories, UNIA organizers quickly recognized that North Carolinians were receptive to the movement's emphasis on race pride and self-defense, as well as to its promotion of economic independence.

As in most other states in the South, 1921 was a big year for the UNIA in North Carolina. California minister and UNIA organizer E. L. Gaines spent several months speaking and organizing throughout the state, as did UNIA secretary general Reverend J. D. Brooks and North Carolina native and UNIA “Leader of American Negroes” Reverend J. W. H. Eason.53 These three organizers had remarkable success in gaining the almost universal support of all classes of North Carolina blacks. In no other southern state was urban and black middle-class participation as pronounced as in the Tar Heel State. Blacks there had read in the Star ofZion, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) organ based in Charlotte, and in the white state daily, the Charlotte Observer, about the splendid UNIA conventions and Garvey's Black Star Line.

Brooks spoke to large and very curious crowds in Belhaven and Raleigh in January and February 1921, but the BSL was hardly mentioned. He focused instead on African redemption: “this is a white man's country,” he explained, and it was now time that the black man had his own country in Africa. Afterward, two black physicians, a newspaper editor, a professor from Shaw University, the ministers of the local ministers' union, and the Raleigh black school superintendent pledged themselves to the UNIA.54 In nearby Wilson, state UNIA organizer E. W. Pearson rented the Globe Theater to show motion pictures of the 1920 UNIA international convention parade in Harlem and BSL ships at anchor to new division members and guests.55 In 1922 E. L. Gaines, minister of the UNIA Legions, addressed a group of 700 black teachers in North Carolina who, after some debate, agreed that the UNIA program made the most sense as a strategy for racial uplift.56

The WinstonSalem division formed during the summer of 1921, and one of its early speakers drew loud applause with the statement that “the Negro (p.62) wants no social equality, but human rights.”57 A speaker at a Raleigh division meeting at about the same time stated that the development of race pride came not “at once, but through a steady, conservative, accumulative program by which small means” were joined together into a whole.58 These sentiments were reminiscent of the recently deceased founder ofTuskegee. The change in emphasis reflected in part previous advice from black leaders and lessons learned in South Florida and on the Virginia peninsula.

Some very early advice came to Garvey from Emmett J. Scott, personal adviser to Booker T. Washington until 1915 and secretary-treasurer of Tuskegee Institute. In 1918, in his capacity as special adviser to Secretary of War Newton Baker, Scott unwittingly assisted Garvey's organizational strategy by suggesting that the UNIA leader tone down his rhetoric. He told Garvey that the Negro World was promoting racial discord and that his editorials tended to “inspire unrest among members of the Negro race.” Scott reported to Secretary Baker that Garvey had appreciated their detailed conversation and “thanked me most profusely for sending for him and pointing out to him the difficulties probably ahead of him and for the frank manner in which I talked to him and for the counsel offered him. He has promised to change the general policy of his publication.”59 Scott's account of this meeting sounds plausible because Garvey seemed always willing to learn from successful leaders, especially those who were influential and also familiar with American race relations. Garvey's astuteness at synthesizing advice and strategy aided his ability to lead such large numbers of American blacks despite his foreign origins. After meeting with Scott, however, Garvey did not hastily extinguish his incendiary rhetoric. It took him two years to complete the toning-down process, but clearly Scott's authoritative advice and wisdom had made an impression on Garvey's mind.

The essence of Garvey's dilemma was that to widen his reach into the South, his rhetoric had to be palatable to southern whites and also meaningful for southern blacks. Could he depend on southern blacks and his other supporters to understand a strategy that seemed to compromise his previously militant stance? The broad acceptance of Garveyism by both professional and laboring blacks in Belhaven, Raleigh, WinstonSalem, and surrounding communities indicated that American (instead of West Indian) organizers using moderate language might facilitate a wider degree of acceptance and therefore support for the Garvey movement in the South. The UNIA leadership was constantly formulating a program and organizational style with carefully modulated rhetoric in order to organize among black America's largest constituency, southerners.60

(p.63) At the second annual UNIA convention in August 1921, clouds formed on the horizon for the North Carolina wing of the organization. Formal charges against J. D. Brooks for misappropriation of funds were presented to the convention. By late 1921 North Carolina had become a prime example of the graft and corruption problems that plagued the UNIA throughout its existence.61 The UNIA administration recognized (and critics were quick to reveal) that many vulnerable supporters had been duped by scam artists and corrupt UNIA employees who yielded to the temptation of the huge potential for theft. The Negro World published reports that unscrupulous people had been collecting funds on behalf of the UNIA that were not reaching the parent body. Brooks was reportedly out of touch with headquarters, and suggestions indicated he had absconded with UNIA funds collected in the Tar Heel State.62 Within two months he had been indicted for grand larceny.63 By December the North Carolina secretary of state and insurance commissioner had checked into the UNIA's records and permitted the organization to operate in the state.64 This was good news for the Garvey movement because North Carolina had proved an incredibly rich source of loyalty and support for Garvey's program.

The UNIA's Leader of American Negroes, the Reverend J. W. H. Eason, was dispatched immediately to reaffirm and galvanize the supporters who were left in Brooks's wake. Eason was an eloquent AMEZ minister and a native of North Carolina. Hubert Harrison, an early Negro World editor, considered Eason a “splendid orator,” far more gifted than Garvey himself.65 Although Eason's prestige and ego easily rivaled that of the UNIA's founder, he possessed the intimate understanding of southern race relations of which Garvey was quickly growing cognizant.66 Garvey clearly valued Eason's abilities and needed his help, despite whatever competition might have arisen between the similarly gifted men.

In early 1922 Eason spoke four nights in Raleigh to 600 people and then in other locations around the state. In the midst of his rescue efforts to prevent the Brooks theft from discouraging members, it was revealed that Pearson, the state organizer for the UNIA, also had been suspected of stealing. An advertisement in the Negro World in bold letters warned “the Colored People of North Carolina” to be wary of yet other organizers who were not authorized by the UNIA parent body.67

One would imagine that between the mischief of Brooks and Pearson, North Carolina's blacks would have washed their hands of the UNIA, but the work of Eason and the return visits of the popular E. L. Gaines helped shore up the promising divisions. The Raleigh division thrived under its president, the Reverend W. M. Allen, who led the division through 1927. Eason drew in (p.64) hundreds of new members, and Raleigh's pastor-president proclaimed his division the “stronghold of Garveyism in the state of North Carolina.”68 Division men drilled in the uniform of the African Legion, while a Black Cross Nurses auxiliary gave Raleigh's UNIA women an outlet for their desire to serve.69

The Case of James Walker Hood Eason

J. W. H. Eason thus played a critical role in spreading Garveyism into the South, becoming Garvey's greatest asset and also the greatest threat to his leadership. Evidence of Eason's prodigious organizational ability and his profound charisma appears in almost every issue of the Negro World during the time he served as “Leader of American Negroes” from August 1920 until Garvey spearheaded his impeachment in August 1922.70

Facts about Eason's early years are obscure, but he apparently was born in North Carolina in 1886, making him and Marcus Garvey the same age. His family farmed near the tiny village of Rich Square in Northampton County in northeastern North Carolina. Despite his humble origins, by his early twenties Eason lived in Salisbury and had graduated from the AMEZ church's Livingstone College and Hood Theological Seminary.71 At both places he had eight to ten fellow students who came from states all around the Southeast, providing a network for later organizing. In 1910, as an undergraduate at Livingstone, he was already earning wages as a preacher, honing his oratorical gifts for his future as a UNIA organizer. His contacts while at Livingstone and Hood with Professor James E. K. Aggrey, a brilliant African scholar originally from Anamabu, Gold Coast, and wellknown figure in the AMEZ denomination, no doubt piqued his interest in African mission work. Two of his classmates became AMEZ bishops and served in that capacity in Africa, providing more connections and relevance to his work for the UNIA.72

Eason served briefly as a pastor in Charlotte, but details of this experience are sketchy. W. I. Walls, editor of the Star of Zion, the AMEZ church organ published in that city, made negative remarks about Charlotte UNIA members and the dubious sincerity and leadership ability of the UNIA's national organizers.73 This raises further questions about Eason's standing within his denomination. He moved to Philadelphia and soon after split an AMEZ congregation at Varick Memorial Church and founded People's Metropolitan AME Zion Church. Within months he joined Garvey and became the first chaplain general for the UNIA until August 1920. After he became the UNIA's Leader of American Negroes, his awe-inspiring division-building campaign began. At (p.65) various stages of his nonstop organizing push, he based himself in New Orleans, Brunswick, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.74 If one examines the map of UNIA divisions in those regions closely and reads his reports to the Negro World between August 1920 and August 1922, it is obvious that Eason's travels profoundly influenced the spread of the UNIA in greater New Orleans, across southern Georgia, and in the South Carolina low country. His roots and education also drew him to his home state often, and his ministerial network enhanced the movement all across North Carolina.

Effective organizers like Eason developed pat speeches that worked well wherever they went in the South. Even though these speakers rehearsed and gave the same talk hundreds of times, they never forgot that the audiences were hearing their words for the first time. One of Eason's best talks, and certainly a model for future ones, appeared in the Negro World in July 1920. Its content provides clues to his message, which was eventually heard all over the South. He stressed the necessity of “vision” for accomplishment. He pleaded with and cajoled African Americans to do more than pray for improvement of the Negro situation: “It is time for Negroes to stop the old-time foolery, put their hands in their pockets, invest their money and get ready to go over home and while you are getting ready to go over home you better take means to protect yourself because the ghoulish mob is going to cower you tomorrow.” He went on to describe his disillusionment with the Republican Party, which had “voted out all Negroes and swore that no Negro in the country would have a great big appointment. One Negro got so mad [about the Lily White movement in the Republican Party] … that he said ‘from now on for me, God, Garvey, and a Gun!’” In conclusion, Eason rendered all credit for the growing awareness and vision of nationalist Negroes to Garvey: “there is one man who is absent and yet he is present, whose voice we cannot hear tonight yet he is speaking just the same…. Before we could speak he had to speak to us; before we could live he had to call us from the grave; before we could walk about he had to show us the princely stride of the black sons of Ethiopia … the leader of leaders, the champion of champions, a man of men … His Excellency, Marcus Garvey.”75

This message resonated among the thousands of black southerners who heard Eason speak and who joined UNIA divisions between 1920 and 1922. It was so effective, in fact, that Garvey decided that Eason had become too popular (and untrustworthy) and convinced the 1922 convention delegates to expel him from the movement for treason and financial irregularities. So convincing was Eason to those he organized that the loyalty to Garvey that Eason had (p.66)


Map 1. UNIA Divisions in the Former States of the Confederacy, 1920–1928

(p.67) promoted continued. When Eason then traveled around the eastern United States trying to organize an anti-Garvey movement, the Universal Negro Alliance, a few Garvey loyalists took it upon themselves to murder him.76

Eason was shot twice after a rally in New Orleans on 1 January 1923, and two local UNIA men and one from Detroit were implicated. None of them was convicted or punished for the crime, but Garvey and many of his followers experienced satisfaction at the demise of this “race traitor.” A voluntary committee of women of the New Orleans UNIA, which endured harassment and surveillance in the wake of the killing, admonished New Orleans mayor Andrew McShane to provide some relief. The UNIA women denied any role of the local organization, its members, or Garvey in Eason's murder. Instead, they defended the UNIA, praised Jim Crow laws for protecting racial purity, and implied that Eason had it coming because he was a “handsome, intelligent, money-spending woman chaser.”77

The acrimony between Garvey and Eason had escalated to a disturbing degree even as Eason promoted the UNIA and glorified its leader. The timing of the dispute is significant in that Garvey's Klan summit coincided with Eason and Garvey's irreconcilable rift. An intriguing and telling detail is that immediately following Eason's expulsion, he spoke to the NAACP's field secretary and later executive secretary Walter White, who was involved in the U.S. government's investigation of Garvey. Eason told White that he intended to destroy the Garvey movement and make Garvey resign, because “he [Eason] had control of the negroes [in the movement] and could make them do just as he wanted them to do.”78 If this were not enough incentive to bring radical Garvey loyalists out of the woodwork, the embittered Eason also agreed to testify against Garvey in the UNIA leader's upcoming mail fraud trial.79

Organizers like Eason could and did do prodigious work for the UNIA. But the Negro World, once it had agents and subscribers in the South, could shore up loyalty for Garvey and discredit Eason. The propaganda organ defended Garvey against Eason's countercharges and presented an unbalanced picture of Eason's alleged treachery. It is ironic that the spectacular powers of persuasion, which Eason had used to build up the UNIA in the remote corners of the South that Garvey never visited, worked so effectively that he could not undo the UNIA and undermine Garvey, and that the man and movement Eason had helped to create also caused his demise, when they turned on him.

The Negro State Fair at Raleigh

After Eason's impeachment and before his murder four months later, Garvey traveled specifically to Raleigh to speak at the North Carolina Negro State (p.68) Fair on 25 October 1922. Having been invited no doubt flattered Garvey, and the crowd's response to this important appearance would indicate how his rank-and-file southern constituency had reacted to his June meeting with Klan leadership and his recent dismissal of the popular North Carolina native Eason. Prominent black educator and businessman Berry O'Kelly considered Garvey an appropriate speaker for the Negro State Fair. A leader of great influence, a member of the North Carolina Interracial Commission, and with Booker T. Washington cofounder of the National Negro Business League, O'Kelly no doubt negotiated Garvey's appearance and collaborated to a certain extent on the content of his address. As president of the event, O'Kelly presided while Garvey berated the black audience in the tradition of generations of black ministers and leaders.80

To a mostly black audience of 500, Garvey excoriated African Americans for becoming lazy, “taking the customs of his former slave master,” and doing nothing for themselves. Brock Barkley, the young white reporter who provided a detailed summary of Garvey's remarks, was astounded and slightly amused at the way the speaker “‘took the hide’ off his hearers as they cheered almost his every word.” Garvey accused the crowd of depending too much on whites and waiting for the Lord to determine their destiny. He explained that the UNIA favored racial equality but insisted that social equality was not the same thing: “I do not give a rap about that if a [white] man doesn't want to associate with me. I don't want to associate with him.” What the UNIA wanted was a government for the Negro race because “both races cannot live together in peace and seek the same thing.” He admonished his audience that white leaders had built the United States up from nothing in 200 years; blacks could do the same in Africa.81 Garvey used the same device to encourage black self-reliance and economic development. In North Carolina he criticized his race for allegedly producing and organizing nothing, which to whites implied African Americans were inferior. To blacks, however, this implied they were capable of the same achievements as whites if they could organize.

Several northern-based black newspapers and journals caught wind of this speech and used it to criticize Garvey roundly, basically accusing him of playing into the hands of southern whites.82 For Garvey to intimate that poor dependent blacks were responsible for their own circumstances excused the white employers and landowners who made sure that black laborers and tenant farmers could never get ahead. New York's black socialist journal, The Messenger, called Garvey a “Supreme Negro Jamaican Jackass” and “the southern white man's ‘good nigger.’” Chandler Owen and A. Philip Randolph, its editors, even wrote that “a reliable source” suggested that Garvey had addressed (p.69) the North Carolina audience as “niggers.” Similarly, the Baltimore AfroAmerican allegedly reported that Garvey had thanked whites for lynching race consciousness into black southerners.83 Pronouncements like this delighted white supremacists, who liked hearing a blaclc leader doing their racist work for them. Indeed, the white Greensboro Daily News called it “quite the cleverest speech ever heard” at the Negro State Fair.84 This unorthodox approach to his audience nevertheless allowed Garvey to openly discuss lynching, racial solidarity, and the possibility of black retaliation. As a result, the speech received an enthusiastic response from blacks at the Raleigh fairgrounds.

Although this speech by no means had the same impact or substance, the circumstances of this event mirror in some ways Booker T. Washington's 1895 Atlanta Cotton States Exposition address. In fact, Garvey's speech was geared to draw positive reactions from both local blacks and whites, as was the Tuskegee leader's so-called compromise address. In addition, the reactions to Garvey's address in the northern black press were critical, just as the reactions of William Monroe Trotter, John Hope, and other black leaders to Washington's “Atlanta Compromise” had been.

Aware that white reporters and law enforcement officials were present, on this special occasion Garvey had aimed the speech to a racially mixed audience in the heart of Dixie. The black members of the audience tolerated the criticism and presumably understood the UNIA leader's strategy. While eager to receive the UNIA leader's message of self-reliance, self-defense, and African redemption, Raleigh's black population understood the well-disguised message in Garvey's address in a way that whites did not. Robert T. Kerlin, a white professor at the University of Virginia, had already warned whites of the danger of this type of device: “We white people must give the colored people credit for more percipiency than we are wont to do. They have quite as good a faculty as we for reading between the lines, for taking the force of an innuendo, for perceiving the point of a bit of mild irony or gentle sarcasm. Vague and indirect pronouncements, perfectly harmless in appearance to us, are hand grenades to them. Editorial reticence they well understand to mean ‘safety first’ for the editor, a longer career of usefulness.”85

Garveyism Flourishes in the Urban South

In May 1923, although the Raleigh division announced its goal to become the biggest and strongest UNIA division in North Carolina, of all fifty-eight divisions in the state the WinstonSalem division had the most prodigious history. Mrs. S. S. Womaclc served as the division's “lady president,” while active organizers for the group ran the gamut from R. B. Jarrett, an ex-Union (p.70) soldier, to Ren Oates, president of the Tobacco Workers' International Union. Oates provided a clue to the UNIA's order of importance among his associations while speaking at a May meeting in 1922, declaring that it was the “greatest force in organizing Negroes.”86 WinstonSalem's UNIA was so large that its weekly mass meetings had to be held in Symphony Hall. For its first several years it enjoyed the leadership of the Reverend J. A. Miller, a wellknown Baptist minister who died in the spring of 1923.87

We begin to see two processes in motion as the UNIA becomes a vital organization, the Negro World gains readers, and Marcus Garvey becomes a revered figure among blacks in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina. The organization's fundamental ideas have tremendous potential to attract a wide and diverse following in the South, from longshoremen to tobacco farmers to West Indian laborers to college professors to ministers. The negative and suspicious reaction of some black ministers and the hostile reaction of whites, particularly in Florida, to the most radical aspects of the UNIA forced a modification in strategy from the organizers at the top. Garvey and the UNIA organizers in the South faced this challenge successfully and managed to push further and further into the towns and rural areas of the region.

North Carolina turned out to be fraught with talented yet corrupt organizers like Brooks and Pearson. But both these men prior to their deceit showed Garvey a new way to reach a wider American audience. Similarly, the extremely influential and perhaps, in Garvey's mind, overly ambitious Eason took the message of African redemption and racial pride and separatism to the cities and towns of his home state. With a new line of rhetoric, new life was breathed into the UNIA.

The UNIA also had significantly large divisions and almost fanatical support in older coastal cities of the South like New Orleans, Charleston, and Mobile. Its base of supporters included industrial laborers tied to the shipping enterprises of these port cities. It also enjoyed some support from the substantial black middle class of these historic places. Garveyism also had strong appeal in the interior towns of Atlanta, Natchez, Mississippi, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. These places organized thriving divisions and brought together blacks of many backgrounds under the emphasis of African redemption, economic independence, and race pride. Garveyism was not just about the Black Star Line or emigration to Africa, as it has often been portrayed. It meant many things to many diverse communities. The common denominator in these southern places was the social organization dictated by segregation. The positive response to the UNIA indicated the extent to which its program meshed with existing community ideals and conditions.

(p.71) Even with all of the UNIA's success in organizing the urban South, the richest potential source for new members was rural, agricultural areas. Five million of the 10 million blacks in America in 1920 lived in rural areas. Thirtysix percent of all African Americans worked as farmers, by far the largest single occupation for black people.88 Some of the fundamental conditions of these rural and agricultural areas required further revision of the rhetoric and strategies of the movement. The greatest organizational challenge of Garvey and the UNIA was successfully to reach, stimulate, and organize black farmers scattered throughout the rural South.


(1) . Grossman, Black Workers in the Era of the Great Migration, reel 22, 699–718; Marshall, Labor in the South, 26.

(2) . GP 2:119.

(3) . GP 1:504; 2:53, 57, 84.

(4) . Marshall, Labor in the South, 68.

(5) . GP 2:535.

(6) . GP 2:467.

(7) . GP 2:114–20.

(8) . GP 2:121.

(9) . Cronon, Black Moses, 53–55; Tony Martin, Race First, 156.

(10) . GP 2:202–3, 245.

(11) . GP 2:229.

(12) . GP 2:105.

(13) . Earl Lewis, In Their Own Interests, 72–76.

(14) . GP 2:492–93n; Cronon, Black Moses, 62–64.

(15) . GP 2:379.

(16) . GP 2:519.

(17) . Hill, Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons, 344.

(18) . GP 2:518–19, 523.

(19) . GP 2:537.

(20) . Ibid.

(21) . GP 2:364–68.

(22) . GP 2:336.

(23) . GP 2:119–20.

(24) . GP 2:650, 3:163.

(25) . NW, 19 February 1921, 9.

(26) . See appendix B.

(27) . Reid, Negro Immigrant, 85–87, 221.

(28) . Palmer, Pilgrims from the Sun, 6–8.

(29) . GP 3:514.

(30) . Reid, Negro Immigrant, 193.

(31) . Palmer, Pilgrims from the Sun, 8; Vickerman, Crosscurrents, 40–41, 62, 92–93; Mohl, “Pattern of Race Relations in Miami,” 342–43.

(32) . GP 1:479.

(33) . GP 3:91–92.

(34) . GP 3:247, 513–14.

(35) . GP 3:515.

(36) . Vought, “Racial Stirrings in Colored Town,” 65–66; Dunn, Black Miami in the Twentieth Century.

(37) . GP 3:112, 247.

(38) . NW, 6 November 1920, 1.

(39) . There were at least five UNIA divisions and chapters in Jacksonville: #286 Jacksonville Division, #73 Jacksonville (Hearns) Chapter, #467 South Jacksonville Division, #16A West End (Jacksonville) Chapter, and #835 East Jacksonville Division. Division Card File, UNIAR.

(40) . GP 3:494–95.

(41) . GP 3:244–47, 494–95.

(42) . GP 3:375–76, 512–15.

(43) . T. C. Glashen apparently came back immediately to New York via Cuba. He represented Tennessee at the UNIA's 1921 convention, and at the 1922 convention (p.228) he became the UNIA commissioner for the state of Tennessee. See GP 3:495, 786–89; and NW, 26 August 1922.

(44) . GP 3:512–15; Miami Herald, 2–3 July 1921.

(45) . Vought, “Racial Stirrings in Colored Town,” 65.

(46) . GP 3:655–57.

(47) . Cronon, Black Moses, 112–18.

(48) . See remarks of Chandler Owen and A. Philip Randolph in GP 2:611; and Walker, “Virtuoso Illusionist,” 35.

(49) . William Ferris, who organized UNIA branches in Connecticut, noted, after speaking at a church in Rockville, that “nearly every member of the church hails from South Carolina.” GP 4:731; see also Close, “Black Southern Migration, Black Immigrants, Garveyism, and the Transformation of Black Hartford.”

(50) . Grossman, Black Workers in the Era of the Great Migration, reel 1, 263–67.

(51) . GP 2:531.

(52) . NW, 6 November 1920, 10.

(53) . GP 2:650.

(54) . NW, 19 February 1921, 10.

(55) . NW, 3 September 1921, 11.

(56) . GP 4:829.

(57) . NW, 15 October 1921, 10.

(58) . NW, 2 July 1921, 9.

(59) . GP 1:322; Hill, Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons, 423.

(60) . Robert A. Hill has explained the “retreat from radicalism” in the UNIA public rhetoric very clearly and logically. See GP 1:lxxviii–lxxxv. There is no doubt that Garvey's four-month difficulty in attaining a visa to reenter the United States in early 1921 was an important factor in the rhetorical modifications and apparent ideological shifts, which became pronounced after his readmission in June of that year. In North Carolina and other southern states, however, organizers had already begun to use diffierent strategies based on the difficulties experienced in eastern Virginia and Florida and their familiarity with the southern racial status quo.

(61) . Corruption and fraud were ongoing problems, especially in the South, and the Negro World published numerous warnings to its readers in specific areas. For examples, see NW, 4 January, 15 July, and 7 December 1922, 21 April and 11 August 1923.

(62) . NW, 22 October 1921, 6.

(63) . NW, 21 January 1922, 10.

(64) . NW, 24 December 1921, 10.

(65) . Perry, Hubert Harrison Reader, 192–93.

(66) . NW, 9 October 1921, 1.

(67) . NW, 21 January 1922, 8.

(68) . NW, 12 May 1923, 9.

(69) . NW, 2 July 1921, 9.

(70) . NW, 2 September 1922, 3.

(71) . A thorough review of census data has revealed that Eason's family lived in Rich Square from at least 1880 to 1910. His father or grandfather was named Francis and was old enough to have been eleven years old in 1860. His mother or grandmother, Louisiana, was two years older. Eason was the only student of the eight at Livingstone described as mulatto rather than Negro, which indicates he must have been quite light-skinned. One wonders whether his obscure lineage may be an indication of his having had a white parent and/or having been adopted. These possibilities have great consequences given the racial ideology of Garveyism. See U.S. Census, Population Schedules, North Carolina, 1880 and 1910, 〈http://www.ancestry.com〉.

(72) . Burkett, Black Redemption, 381–82; NW, 6 November 1920, 1.

(73) . Star of Zion, 8 September 1921, Hampton University Newspaper Clipping File, microfiche 469.

(74) . NW, 22 April 1922, 8.

(75) . NW, 2 July 1920.

(76) . Hill, Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons, 381.

(77) . New York Age, 10 March 1923.

(78) . Report of James E. Amos, 23 August 1922, Marcus Garvey: FBI Investigation File.

(79) . Garvey scholars have provided a range of explications for the Eason affair. Judith Stein describes the Eason murder as political violence, which was endemic in the undisciplined and misdirected Garvey movement. Tony Martin states the facts of the case and is reluctant to speculate on Garvey's involvement, especially since nobody was ever convicted and punished by law. Randall Burkett's description of the Eason murder recognizes the very compelling circumstantial evidence implicating Garvey, while conceding that we will never know for certain if Garvey gave a direct order for the shooting. See Stein, World of Marcus Garvey, 171–85; Martin, Race First, 318–19; and Burkett, Black Redemption, 55–56.

(80) . GP 5:120 n. 3.

(81) . This article was enclosed with an unsigned letter to James Weldon Johnson of the LC and ended up in that organization's Garvey file. See Papers of the NAACP, Part 11, reel 35, file 899. See also GP 5:116–20. It is unclear which newspaper the article appeared in, although it was clearly a white state daily newspaper from North Carolina. The reporter was from Charlotte, and so it may have been the Charlotte Observer. U.S. Census, Population Schedule, North Carolina, 1930.

(82) . The speech and other controversial actions by the UNIA leader set off New York–based journalists on a relentless campaign to discredit Garvey. See Messenger 5 (January 1923): 561, 568–70; 5 (February 1923): 613; 5 (March 1923): 638; 5 (June 1923): 748; 5 (August 1923): 781; and 5 (October 1923): 835–36, 842. Also see the Washington Post, 5 February 1923, 1.

(83) . Messenger 5 (January 1923): 561.

(84) . GP 5:119 n. 1.

(85) . Messenger 5 (January 1923): 561; Baltimore AfroAmerican, 9 July 1920.

(86) . NW, 20 May 1922, 9.

(87) . NW, 11 October 1923, 7; NW, 5 May 1923, 8.

(88) . U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Negroes in the United States, 9, 287, 575.