"Grand old man of the movement:" John Edward Bruce, Marcus Garvey, and the UNIA.
When John Edward Bruce died an August 7, 1924, he was an honored official of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) with the title of "Duke of Uganda." The New York Age reported that "Harlem buried its first 'royalty'." Three memorial services, one after another, lasted the entire day. Rev. Charles Martin, his good friend and fellow bibliophile, conducted the religious rites at Liberty Hall. Then members of the UNIA took charge, "with speeches by Garvey, William Sherrill, his first assistant, and George Carter, Secretary General." At the end of these ceremonies "a brief service was held under the auspices of Prince Hall Lodge of Negro Masons." The UNIA was holding its fourth international convention, and "5000 members" of the association, "in regalia of crimson and gold, with sabers drawn, marched behind the hearse to Liberty Hall." Foreign dignitaries from "colored nations around the world" took time to honor the "grand old man" of the UNIA while the local Black community grieved at the lost of a true warrior. (3)
What was Bruce's contribution to UNIA? How did he influence the thinking and views of Marcus Garvey? Did his extensive organizational activities predate Garvey's vision of a worldwide race movement? What was Bruce's role as a UNIA intellectual? How did he promote Black history and cultural programs within the UNIA? What role did his extensive international contacts play within the spread of Garveyism in Africa? How did Bruce continue his passion for journalism as a UNIA stalwart? This article will address these questions and provide an analysis of Bruce's role as a UNIA leader and important mentor to Marcus Garvey.
Bruce met Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940) in New York Sometime in March or April 1916. Garvey, who was unknown to the masses of Harlem, had few funds and no influential contacts. He had initially come to America to raise funds for a Tuskegee-like industrial school for Blacks in Jamaica. Bruce described him as "a little sawed-off and hammered-down Black Man, with determination written all over his face, and an engaging smile that caught you and compelled you to listen to his story." Garvey had the "strongest regard" for Bruce and delighted in calling him a "true Negro" who felt "honored to be a member" of the race. Although this was their first direct contact, they had probably known of one another through a network of friends and associates long before 1916. This casual meeting survived Bruce's initial skepticism, eventually producing an enduring friendship and a firm alliance that both men cherished. Within five years Garvey had built the largest mass movement in African American history and Bruce emerged as his trusted ally, an invaluable advisor, and the most uncompromising UNIA promoter among the Black intelligentsia. (4)
Marcus Garvey was born in St. Ann's Bay, a small parish located on the northern coast of Jamaica in the British West Indies. He was the youngest of eleven children produced by the union of Marcus and Sarah Garvey. All of Garvey's siblings except an older sister, Indiana, died in childhood. Limited access to poor medical facilities doubtless contributed to the premature deaths of the Garvey children. In 1923 Garvey characterized his parents as "black negroes." He described his father Marcus as "a man of brilliant intellect ... and courage" who faced sequences.... took ... chances," and "died poor." His mother Sarah was a "sober and conscientious Christian, too soft and good for the time in which she lived." While his father was "severe, firm, determined, bold,... strong" and refused "to yield to superior forces if he believed he was right: his mother was "always willing to return a smile for a blow, and ever ready to bestow charity upon her enemy." (5)
Garvey was raised in a peasant environment but his parents were not impoverished. His father was a "master mason" who "did both stone and brick work beautifully." Neighbors in the village sought the elder Garvey's advice on legal issues because "he was well-read" and respected for his "silent" and "stern" behavior. Not only his peers but his family as well always called him "Mr. Garvey." Although not formally educated, Garvey's father spent long hours in his private library, and he encouraged his son to have reverence for the knowledge that could be gained from reading. "In my tender years I went to ... [my father's] books and I gathered inspiration," Garvey wrote, "and what inspiration I gathered changed my outlook from the ambition of [being] ... a wharf-manor or ... cow-boy.... to being a personality in the world." His parents also "engaged in small-scale peasant farming," and Sarah supplemented the family income by selling pastries during periods of financial adversity. (6)
Garvey's first lessons "in race distinction" made a formidable impression upon his goals and aspirations as a youth. In addition to his older sister, he spent his "early years" with the children of two white families who lived on the property adjoining his home. "We romped and were happy playmates together. To me," recalled Garvey, "there was no difference between white and black." We were ... innocent fools who never dreamed of a race feeling and problem." This friendship was terminated when Garvey reached fourteen. The parents of two young white girls decided to separate their children and send them to Edinburgh, Scotland. Garvey was informed by one of his friends that "she was never to write or ... get in touch with me, for I was a 'nigger'." Garvey recalled that "At maturity the black and white boys ... separated, and took different courses in life. I grew up then," and began "to see the differences between the races more and more." As young men, "My school mates ... did not know or remember me any more. Then I realized that I had to make a fight for a place in the world." (7)
These developments were accompanied by a series of financial and legal problems that took a heavy tall on Garvey's family. In 1901 he left school at the age of fourteen to become a full-time printer's apprentice with his godfather, Alfred Ernest "Cap" Burrowes, a local tradesman. Through Burrowes' assistance Garvey began to perfect both the printing skills and the personality strengths that would be valuable assets during his mature years. "He taught me many things," Garvey wrote, "... and at fourteen I had enough intelligence and experience to manage men. I was strong and manly, and I made them respect me." Burrowes also owned a library and encouraged young Garvey to read and further his self-education. (8)
By 1903 Garvey had relocated to Kingston, Jamaica's capital city, to work as a printer with his maternal uncle. He was sixteen and assumed the responsibility of providing assistance to his family. "My father gave me at the age of fifteen the care of my mother and an elder sister," Garvey wrote later, "when he himself was not in a position to care for his family. I ... did all that was possible for me to do to assist a father who had money to provide for himself and made no good use of it." Sarah Garvey joined her son in Kingston, but she died in 1908. (9)
Living in an urban environment not only enabled Garvey to expand his knowledge of the newspaper business, it also exposed him to an exciting collection of street orators and nationalist advocates. Their debate on issues and ideas related to Jamaican self-determination and the destiny of the race politicized Garvey. "I started to take an interest in politics of my country," Garvey wrote, "and then I saw the injustice done to my race because it was black, and I became dissatisfied on that account." During this period, Garvey energetically studied the art of public speaking by observing Jamaican orators in churches, parks, barbershops, street corners, and participating in discussion groups. His oratorical skills would eventually develop into valuable tools affirming his aspirations for leadership. (10)
In 1905 Garvey was hired in the printing department of P. A. Benjamin Manufacturing Company. He described this job as "an excellent position as manager of a large printing establishment, having under my control several men old enough to be my grandfather." In a colonial society where most administrators were imported from Great Britain, Garvey was the youngest member of a small minority of Black managers. At the age of twenty-one, he was the only foreman who supported the workers in a printers' strike in November 1908. Garvey was fired for participating in this labor revolt but he gained a reputation among workers and community supporters for his leadership and organizational skills. Shortly after this strike he secured a position in a Government Printing Office. (11)
During these early years in Kingston, Garvey's mentor was Dr. J. Robert Love, publisher of the Jamaica Advocate, a radical social reformer, and an articulate Pan-African nationalist. Love was doubtless the link through whom Garvey established contact with John Edward Bruce. Bruce and Love maintained a prolific correspondence from 1893 until Love's death in 1914. They were colleagues, friends, and Bruce also considered Love a mentor. Garvey's name is not mentioned in the surviving letters between Bruce and Love, but it is possible they discussed Love's young and ambitious protege. Bruce and Love were considerably older than Garvey, well established in their respective journalistic careers, and participants in an international commerce of issues and ideas related to Black self-determination. It is also highly probable that Love discussed the accomplishments of his friend in America who "thought Black" with young Garvey. (12)
Love campaigned for improvements in Jamaica's school system and aggressively advocated self-determination for the island's Black population. Amy Jacques Garvey, Garvey's second wife, described Love as "landed proprietor who qualified for the 'better class' (those who ignored the Black masses) but he attended all sick people ... and published a newspaper that voiced the opinions of the submerged 'lower class'." (13) In May 1895, Love wrote an editorial in the Jamaica Advocate that defended his challenge to British colonial rule:
Some are whispering that we are dangerous. We don't care if we are. If to speak out thoughts freely and fearlessly--if to advocate the equal rights of all citizens--if to teach the class to which we belong their rights and privileges, as their duties and responsibilities, if to do these is to be dangerous, then we wish to be [as] dangerous as we can be, and no power can arrest our action to this direction. (14)
Moreover, in March 1901, Love played a key role in coordinating the visit of the Trinidadian attorney, Henry Sylvester Williams, to Jamaica. Williams, the secretary of the London-based Pan-African Association, was the convener of the First Pan-African Conference in 1900.
Garvey contended that "much of my early education in race consciousness" came "from Dr. Love" and his Jamaican Advocate. (15) And Love espoused Black nationalism and Black power. In 1897 he summed up his ideas on race redemption in a letter to his friend Bruce:
I am wedded the older I grow to the idea of the independent self-sustaining efforts of the race to lift itself up. However far short we may fall of the achievements of the whites (and I am by no means certain that we will fall short at all) the exertions will develop our powers and bring out of the good that is in us. (16)
Garvey's second Kingston mentor was S. A. G. (Sandy) Cox (1871-1922), the founder of The National Club, an anti-colonial political organization established in 1909. Cox, who was a lawyer and an elected member of the Legislative Council, published The Daily News, an anti-government newspaper, and he enunciated a political program that British colonial officials identified as subversive when he advocated "Jamaica for the Jamaicans." Garvey's relationship with The National Club lasted for approximately a year. He was elected assistant secretary, assisted with publishing Our Own, the Club's newspaper; and Cox's influence fueled his aspirations for emancipating the race. During Garvey's association with Cox and Love, he established Garvey's Watchman, the first of several newspapers. This was a short-lived effort, but it was the first example of Garvey's use of his ample journalistic skills as powerful propaganda tools. (17)
Between August 1910 and June 1914, Garvey traveled first to Central and South America and then to England. Initially he joined the legion of West Indian workers seeking employment and economic opportunities in Latin America. Garvey spent two years working and wandering through Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Spanish Honduras, Columbia, and Venezuela. While working in Costa Rica as a timekeeper on a United Fruit Company banana plantation, and as a dock laborer in Port Limon, he witnessed Blacks laboring under and living in appalling conditions. Garvey protested this exploitation by launching La Nacion, a newspaper published in Port Limon, which challenged Costa Rican authorities, petitioned the British consul for support, and encouraged Black workers to fight for improved conditions. Garvey was arrested for his actions and eventually expelled by the Costa Rican government. This pattern was repeated in Colon, Panama, where he continued to agitate by establishing La Prensa, another protest newspaper. (18)
By the fall of 1912 Garvey had relocated to England after briefly returning to Kingston. In the next two years he would establish another link with Bruce and refine his political and intellectual ideas. Garvey attended some classes at Birkbeck College, a branch of the University of London for working-class students without formal qualifications for admission, and he spent considerable time listening to debates in the House of Commons and perfecting his own oratorical skill in Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner. While working on the docks of London, Cardiff, and Liverpool, Garvey "gained a wealth of information from African and West Indian seamen," according to Amy Jacques Garvey, which confirmed that "suffering was indeed the lot of the race, no matter where they live." Black sailors directed Garvey to Duse Mohamed Ali, an articulate African nationalist, Shakespearean actor, aspiring entrepreneur, and publisher of the African Times and Orient Review (ATOR). (19)
Through Duse Mohammed and a network of associates with the ATOR, Garvey was immersed himself in an international circle of Black students, intellectuals, and anti-colonial activists. Bruce was a colleague of Duse Mohamed and a well connected member of the African, African American, and Caribbean Pan-Africanist that affiliated with the ATOR. This was the second time that Garvey had been introduced to Bruce's name and his ideas on the race question.
Two years after Duse Mohamed left the English stage he published In the Land of the Pharaohs in 1911. This was "reputedly the first history of Egypt," according to the historian Robert A. Hill, "written by an Egyptian and a work that was critically well received." The notoriety of Ali's book generated an invitation to organize the entertainment for the First Universal Races Congress held in London during 1911. Duse Mohamed emerged from this congress as the publisher of the ATOR. (20) He described the purpose of this venture in the first issue published in July 1912:
... there [is] ample need for a Pan-Oriental, Pan-African journal at the seat of the British Empire which would lay the aims, desires and intentions of the Black, Brown and Yellow Races-- within and without the Empire--at the throne of Caesar. (21)
Garvey secured a clerk's position with the ATOR in 1913, and Duse Mohamed became an important mentor. Through the pages of the ATOR, Garvey was exposed to articles by and about such leading Black figures as W.E.B. DuBois, William Ferris, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Alain Locke, Booker T. Washington, Majola Agbebi, J.E.K. Aggrey, Alexander Crummell, Robert Russa Moton (22) and Felix E.M. Hercules. (23) Bruce was also a frequent contributor to and a general agent for the ATOR in the United States. He and Duse Mohamed were introduced in 1912 by their mutual friend J.E. Casely Hayford, the leading West African nationalist after the death of Blyden. They also shared a mutual friendship with Amanda Ira Alridge, the daughter of the Black Shakespearean actor Ira Alridge, and both were members of the Societie Internationale de Philologie et Beaux. (24)
In 1911 Duse Mohamed became a Corresponding Member of the NSHR through the efforts of Bruce. They maintained a consistent correspondence, shared political and intellectual interests, and Bruce provided lodging in his home for Duse Mohamed's 1921 visit to the United States. Garvey's name did not appear in their correspondence until he began to achieve public attention in the fall of 1918. By November 1921, Bruce served as a mediator between Garvey and Duse Mohamed during a temporary breach in their relationship. His influence on both men led to Duse Mohamed's appointment as the Foreign Secretary of the UNIA in 1922 and as assistant editor of the Negro World. (25)
In October 1913, Garvey joined his intellectual mentors by publishing an article in the ATOR entitled "The British West Indies in the Mirror of Civilization." His association with an English community of West African and Caribbean nationalist had sharpened his view of race struggle as a worldwide movement through which "democracy" would spread "itself over the British Empire." Garvey began to fashion a mission that positioned Jamaica and himself at the center of this revolt:
I make no apology for prophesying that there will soon be a turning in the history of the West Indies; and that the people who inhabit that portion of the Western Hemisphere will be the instruments of uniting a scattered race who, before the close of many centuries, will found an Empire on which the sun shall shine as ceaselessly as it shines on the Empire of the North to-day. This may be regarded as a dream, but I would point my critical friends to history and its lessons. Would Caesar have believed that the country he was invading in 55B.C. would be the seat of the greatest Empire of the World? Had it been suggested to him would he not have laughed at it as a huge joke? yet it has come true. England is the seat of the greatest Empire of the World, and its king is above the rest of monarchs in power and dominion. Laugh then you may, at what I have been bold enough to prophecy, but as surely as there is an evolution in the natural growth of man and nations, so surely will there be a change in the history of these subjected regions. (26)
Within a year, Garvey's vision of a Black "Empire" based in the West Indies would be transformed to a world wide movement seeking to establish an "African Empire." As he described this conversion:
I read of the conditions in America. read Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington, and then my doom--if I may so call it-- of being a race leader dawned upon me in London after I had traveled through almost half of Europe. I asked, "Where is the black man's Government?" "Where is his King and his kingdom?" "Where is his President, his country, and his ambassador, his army, his navy, his men of big affairs?" I could not find them, and then I declared, "I will help to make them." (27)
Garvey's perception of Washington coincided with the same perception that had encouraged Bruce to endorse the 1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech. Both men admired Tuskegee's all-Black staff and took pride in an independent Black educational institution. Before joining the anti-Tuskegee Camp, Bruce argued that Washington's declarations of self-reliance and racial solidarity could provide a vehicle for eliminating white influence over Black life. Garvey infused Washington's philosophy with a dose of African and African American history focused upon the goal of terminating foreign rule over the African continent. In addition, in the same year that Garvey arrived in England, Washington sponsored the International Conference on the Negro (April 1912). (28)
That conference, better known as the Tuskegee Conference on Africa, attracted considerable attention among African intellectuals. After discussing issues related to industrial education and Missionary activity in Africa, the conference offered a procedure for promoting trade between African America and West Africa. The African Union Company was established for this purpose, but the First World War intervened and the project died. Although the actual participation of African delegates was limited, West African nationalists, such as J.E. Casely Hayford, were impressed with the Hampton-Tuskegee approach to Africa. The apolitical nature of Washington's African redemption program, according to historians George Shepperson and J. Ayodele Langley, "would leave nationalist agitation in the hands of West African ... nationalists while enabling them to enjoy the benefits of Pan-Negro transatlantic commerce and educational co-operation. Hayford and his colleagues respected African American advocates of international Black solidarity but they were not prepared to relinquish political leadership of their struggle to Blacks in the Diaspora. These sentiments were expressed in letter to the conference from Hayford read by his brother, the Reverend Mark C. Hayford. Hayford praised the conference for providing a platform of racial solidarity between "Aborigines of the Gold Coast and other parts of West Africa" with [their] "brethren in America." But he cautioned that "There is an African nationality" that will guide the struggle for "a national aim, purpose, and aspiration ... for our brethren over the sea." The Tuskegee Conference was given substantial coverage in the ATOR and further fueled Garvey's interest in Booker T. Washington. (29)
Bruce and J.E. Casely Hayford were friends and colleagues who had met through their mutual mentor Edward Wilmot Blyden. After Blyden's death in 1912, Hayford became the leading advocate of West African nationalism. Bruce published articles in Hayford's paper, the Gold Coast Leader, and served as the American agent for his publications. Hayford was a corresponding member of Bruce's "Negro Society for Historical Research" (NSHR) and provided an entree for Bruce's communication with African nationalists. Hayford and Bruce maintained communication for over twenty years. In 1912, Hayford joined a seven-member West African syndicate that took control of the ATOR. This situation offered the opportunity for a young Garvey to be influenced by Hayford's ideas and created still another lineage between Garvey and Bruce. The most important of Hayford's books was Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation (1911). One of the primary themes revolved around a fictional African intellectual who was educated in England and then returns to the Gold Coast to become a political activist. In 1915 Hayford wrote Bruce, "I am sure if we live long enough we shall see changes that will astonish us." One of these astonishments was the emergence of Marcus Garvey as the preeminent nationalist of the post-World War I Black movement. (30)
Garvey left Southampton, England, for Kingston, Jamaica, on June 17, 1914. His two-year sojourn in Europe had left his "brain afire." Garvey declared that "There was a world ... to conquer. I was determined that the black man would not continue to be kicked about by all the other races and nations of the world, as I saw it in the West Indies, South and Central America and Europe, and as I read of it in America." He landed in Jamaica on July 15, 1914 and organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (ACL) five days after his arrival. (31) The objectives were divided into General and Local (Jamaican) goals:
GENERAL OBJECTS To establish a Universal Confraternity among the race. To promote the spirit of race pride and love. To reclaim the fallen of the race. To administer to and assist the needy. To assist in civilizing the backward tribes of Africa. To strengthen the Imperialism of independent African states. To establish Commissionaries or Agencies in the principal countries of the world for the protection of all Negroes, irrespective of Nationality. To promote a conscientious Christian worship among the native tribes of Africa. To establish Universities, College and Secondary Schools for the further education and culture of the boys and girls of the race. To conduct a worldwide commercial and industrial intercourse. LOCAL (JAMAICAN) OBJECTS To establish industrial and industrial colleges for the further education and culture of our boys and girls. To reclaim the fallen and degraded (especially the criminal class) and help them to a state of good citizenship. To administer to and assist the needy. To promote a better taste for commerce and industry. To promote a universal confraternity and strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and unity among the races. To help generally in the development of the country. (32)
The initial Jamaican years of Garvey's early UNIA were tailored toward social and moral improvement. The organization's ambitions to "establish a Universal Confraternity among the race, to promote a conscientious Christian worship...." to rehabilitate "the fallen and degraded," the setting up of educational institutions, and the promotion "of brotherhood and unity among the races" sought to penetrate a racial system where 630,000 Blacks were subservient to a mulatto middle class and a small white elite. In two difficult years, Garvey's efforts at racial uplift were thoroughly rejected by the Jamaican "coloreds," who were determined to keep Garvey and his followers in their place, refusing to identify with their Black brethren and fighting to preserve their privileged position in colonial society. (33)
In 1916 Garvey informed Robert Russa Moton that he had been "helped by the cultured whites to do something ... in uplifting the masses." However, "the so-called representatives of our own people have sought to down us" and waged "a secret campaign" to destroy "the existence of a Negro society." (34) As Garvey explained his struggle those he called "wolves in sheep's clothing":
I never knew there was so much color prejudice in Jamaica.... until I started the work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The daily papers wrote me up with big headlines and told of my movement. But nobody wanted to be a negro. Men and women as black as I, and even more so, had believed themselves white under the West Indian order of Society. I had to decide whether to please my friends and be one of the "black-whites" of Jamaica, and be reasonably prosperous, or come out openly and defend and help improve and protect the integrity of the black millions and suffer. I decided to do the latter, hence my offence against "colored-black-white" society in the colonies and America. I was openly hated and persecuted by ... colored men of the island who did not want to be classified as negroes, but as white. They hated me worse than poison [and] ... opposed me at every step. I was a black man and therefore had absolutely no right to lead; in the opinion of the "colored" element, leadership should have been in the hands of a yellow or a very light man. (35)
Garvey's experience with Jamaica's mulatto middle class resembled Bruce's struggle with the colored aristocracy of Washington, D.C. Both challenged the colorphobia that stressed the superiority of European features; the disproportionate political influence that positioned the coloreds as a buffer between the white elite and the Black masses; the acceptance of a racial system that created divisions based upon class and color; and they both sought to empower the masses of their respective communities. Bruce and Garvey were both ambitious dark-skinned men who viewed their struggle for upward mobility as being blocked by a so-called "representative class" dominated by a mulatto elite thoroughly hostile to their darker brethren. This position was reinforced by their mutual mentor J. Robert Love, and served as one of the philosophical links between these two men. (36)
After some success attracting a following among Jamaica's Blacks and receiving endorsements for his work from members of the white elite, Garvey wrote Booker T. Washington in 1914. "I have been keeping in touch with your good work in America," he began, "and although there is a difference of opinion on the lines on which the Negro Should develop himself,... the fair minded critic cannot, fail in admiring your noble efforts." Garvey explained that "We are organized out here an broad lines and we find it conductive to our interest to pave our way both industrially and intellectually." A "Circular Appeal" was attached describing the UNIA's goal to "establish educational and industrial colleges." Garvey closed by informing Washington that "we shall send you regularly" a copy of "THE NEGRO WORLD," and requesting "a small donation to carry out our work." (37)
Washington declined to make a contribution but he did encourage Garvey to "come to Tuskegee and see for yourself what we are striving to do for the colored young men and women of the South." But before Garvey could make arrangements to "tour the states," Washington died on November 14, 1915. Garvey did hear from Emment J. Scott, Washington's private secretary, who promised "to assist" him "in any way." Prior to going to work for Washington in 1897, Scott had been a journalist for the white-owned Houston Daily Post and then publisher of his own weekly, the Houston Freedmen, from 1894-1897. Scott and Bruce became friends through a network of Black journalists in the 1890s, and Bruce assisted Scott in publishing materials about Edward Blyden's 1895 tour of the United States in the Freedmen. This was the final pre-American link that would draw Bruce and Garvey together. Scott did not mention Bruce's name in his 1916 correspondence to Garvey, but it is likely that Scott encouraged Garvey to contact Bruce when Garvey visited Tuskegee Institute in the Spring of 1916. And in 1918, Scott described Bruce as "one who is seeking to redress the wrongs of the Negro people of the world," and as a writer "favorably known to Negro readers." Considering Garvey's agenda to help uplift the Blacks of Jamaica, Scott would have seen Bruce as key contact for an ambitious West Indian seeking to raise funds in the United States. (38)
Garvey arrived in New York City on March 23, 1916. He had been linked to Bruce for at least sixteen years through an international network of Pan-African intellectuals, African nationalists, and African American leaders, although they had never met in person, Garvey considered Bruce an important American contact. More than that, they were destined to become close friends and partners in shaping the American years of the UNIA. It is also apparent that Garvey had already decided to base his movement in the United States rather than fight a losing battle against Jamaica's mulatto middle class, and an American tour to raise funds for an industrial school could have been a convenient Cover story to maintain his Jamaican following while he explored moving his organization to a much larger Black community. Nonetheless, prior to his departure, Garvey leveled a final volley at the "representative class" who had fought his movement in Jamaica:
Representative and educated negroes have made the mistake of drawing and keeping themselves away from the race, thinking that it is degrading and ignominious to identify themselves with the masses of the people who are still ignorant and backward; but who are crying out for true and conscientious leadership, so that they might advance into a higher state of enlightenment.... The prejudices of the educated and positioned Negro towards his own people have done much to create a marked indifference to the race among those of other races who would have been glad and willing to help the Negro to a brighter destiny. Yet these very Negro "gentlemen" who have been shunning their own people do not receive better treatment.... They are snubbed and laughed at just the same as the most menial of the race, and only because they are Negroes, belonging to ... [a] race that has been sleeping.... (39)
Drawing upon his knowledge of Black history and prophetically predicting what would be termed the New Negro Movement in African America, Garvey concluded:
Sons and daughters of Africa, I say to you arise, take on the toga of race pride, and throw off the brand of ignominy which has kept you back for so many centuries. Dash asunder the petty prejudices within your own fold; set at defiance the scornful designation of "nigger" uttered even by yourselves, and be a Negro in the light of the Pharaohs of Egypt, Simons of Cyrene, Hannibals of Carthage, L'Ouvertures and Dessalines of Hayti, Blydens, Barclays, and Johnsons of Liberia, Lewises of Sierra Leone, and Douglass's and DuBois's of America, who have made, and are making history for the race, though depreciated and in many cases unwritten. (40)
Garvey relocated to New York City when Bruce was sixty-eight years old and at the peak of his career. He had dedicated over forty years of his life to Black journalism. A leading participant in the Black history movement, Bruce was also a prominent community activist. He was also a veteran of Black Republican politics and maintained a regular correspondence with a network of Black intellectuals in Africa and the Caribbean. Moreover, his popular essays and newspaper columns had attracted a formidable following throughout the United States. These credentials, which were acknowledged by a wide cross section of the Black community, qualified Bruce as one of the intellectual fathers of Harlem radicalism.
Garvey's arrival in the United States also coincided with the emergence of the New Negro Movement. From 1916 through 1919, the migration of thousands of Black southerners to northern cities, postwar racism faced by returning Black troops who had fought in Europe, the unprecedented growth of Black newspapers and journals, the widespread support of retaliatory violence by Black intellectuals, social violence committed by the masses of urban African Americans, and an explosion in race pride and racial consciousness fueled a political and cultural revival in Black America. Contemporary leaders labeled this spirit of protest and renewal the "New Negro." (41)
Garvey waded into the turbulent waters of the "New Negro" movement with his characteristic zeal and commitment to success. His racial temperament and organizational skills were a perfect match for the forces changing the landscape of African America. A new generation of Blacks simultaneously repudiated Booker T. Washington's abandonment of political activism and accommodation to white violence while affirming his commitment to economic self-determination, business ownership, thrift and the ownership of property. Garvey articulated these goals while preaching the message of racial salvation to the masses. "I am the equal of any white man; I want you to feel the same way," Garvey declared, "No more fear, no more cringing, no more sycophantic begging and pleading." We are demanding "that freedom that Victoria of England never gave; that liberty that Lincoln never meant, that freedom, that liberty that will see us men among men, that will make us a great and powerful people." (42)
An important tool in the rise the American stage of the UNIA was Garvey's ability to recruit a talented core of self-trained Black intellectuals who articulated and defended his goals and objectives. From their first meeting in 1916, Garvey viewed Bruce as both an important contact and a potential addition to the future success of the UNIA. Bruce according to Garvey, was "a man who does not talk simply because he is in a position for in which he must say or do something." He was a "true Negro," dedicated to the race. Garvey had no doubt heard Bruce's name and accomplishments endorsed by J. Robert Love, Duse Mohammed Ali, J.E. Casely Hayford, and Emmett J. Scott. In addition, with the death of Washington, Garvey needed a respected African American to vouch for his credibility and provide the entree into a network of influential personalities who could assist in fundraising and the establishment of an UNIA presence in the states. Bruce "promised" Garvey any "such aid in the furtherance of his plans" that he "Could give him, morally and substantially." He also supplied a "list of the names of ... leading men in New York and other cities, who ... would encourage and assist him. Some of them were Clergymen; some professional men and some of them private citizens." Bruce believed that they "parted the best of friends." (43)
Garvey began a year-long fund-raising tour of the states in June 1916 by lecturing in Boston. By November he had visited Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Demonstrating the same mobility that characterized his stays in Central America and Europe, Garvey managed to survey African American institutions and meet Black leaders in thirty-eight states.
Throughout this amazingly demanding schedule, Garvey enjoyed assistance from the growing Jamaican immigrant community. He secured lodging with a Jamaican family in Harlem and received financial support from Jamaican Clubs in New York and Boston. A partial list of Bruce's referrals included: Dr. R. R. Wright, Jr., an AME clergyman, editor of the Christian Recorder, and a University of Pennsylvania Ph.D.; Dr. William G. Parks, Vice-President of the National Baptist Convention and pastor of Union Baptist Church, Philadelphia's largest Black congregation; Rev. J.C. Anderson, a graduate of the University of Chicago and prominent fund raiser in AME circles; Dr. Triley, a Methodist Episcopal minister in Philadelphia; and Mrs. Ida Wells-Barnett, a militant journalist, anti-lynching advocate, and the wife of Ferdinand L. Barnett, a leading Chicago attorney. Garvey described these leaders as "conscientious workers, and not mere life service dignitaries." "With men and women of this type," he wrote, "I can quite understand that the time is at hand when the stranger, such as I am, will discover the American Negro firmly and strongly set on the pinnacle of fame." (44)
The above comments provide insight into Garvey's American intentions and his burning desire to become a driving force for the African American community. While touring the states, he maintained a public commitment to raising funds for an industrial school in Jamaica and he contended that his American visit was a temporary departure from the Caribbean. During a dinner in the home of Ferdinand and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Garvey informed his hosts that "Negroes" in Jamaica were held in "subjection" and that they had "no educational facilities outside of grammar school Work. He wanted to return to his native home," Wells-Barnett wrote, "to see if he could ... help to change that situation." Garvey also sought the assistance of W.E.B. DuBois in April 1916 after Bruce suggested that he may be interested in his Jamaican project. After visiting DuBois' New York office, writing a letter of explanation, and providing tickets to his first American lecture, Bruce and Garvey concluded that "Prof. DuBois did not think well of this plan." Within three years DuBois and Garvey would be ideological adversaries and arch rivals for the leadership of Black America, while Wells-Barnett would remain sympathetic to Garvey's efforts in America." (45)
By June 1917, Garvey had returned to New York, established a base in Harlem, and joined a contingent of street orators that frequented a debating hub on 135th Street and Lenox Avenue. On June 12 he addressed a gathering sponsored by Hubert Harrison, one of Harlem's most respected intellectuals and a brilliant street speaker. This meeting launched the Liberty League, one of Harlem's many racial uplift organizations, and Garvey "spoke in enthusiastic approval of the new movement and pledged ... his hearty support...." Although Garvey was no match for Harrison's oratorical skills, his presentation was well received by the two thousand Harlemites who packed Mother Bethel AME Church. In the next few weeks, several of Harrison's key associates would leave the League and begin working with Garvey's UNIA. This group included: Isaac Allen, Louis A. Leavelle, Samuel A. Duncan, W.A. Domingo, Edgar M. Grey, Charles C. Seifert, Alexander Rahming, August V. Bernier, Irena Moorman-Blackston, Anselmo Jackson, Arthur Reid, Orlando M. Thompson, and John Edward Bruce. (46)
At the time of the Liberty League Speech, Garvey began convening weekly Sunday meetings in Harlem's Lafayette Hall. During a gathering on July 8, Garvey denounced the "The Conspiracy of the East St. Louis Riots," declaring that the riot was a "massacre" that "will go down in history as one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind.... Negroes of America have given their life blood to make the Republic the first among nations of the world ..." and their reward has been "a continuous round of oppression." Bruce and his colleagues were participants in these early meetings and by the fall of 1917 they represented the Core of UNIA's initial leadership. In a November letter to Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University, Garvey listed Isaac Allen as president of the UNIA, Duncan as the 3rd vice-president, Seifert was the 2nd vice-president, Moorman-Blackston served as the president of the ladies division, and Bruce was the chairman of the advisory board. (47)
From November 1917 to July 1918, Garvey struggled with members of his organization who were committed to Socialism and electoral politics. Isaac Allen, Louis Leavelle, and Samuel Duncan had political ambitions and viewed Garvey's organization as a political club to launch their respective electoral careers. All three were expelled from the UNIA in 1919. W. A. Domingo and Anselmo Jackson cut their ties to Garvey by 1919 and joined forces with a group of Black socialists and communists who published the Emancipator. After this newspaper folded in May 1920, Domingo became affiliated with Cyril Briggs's Crusader and the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB), an all-Black auxiliary of the Communist Party. Jackson became an associate editor of the Crusader and also edited his own publication, Our Boys and Girls. Garvey solidified his control of the UNIA by becoming president of the New York branch, shifting the headquarters from Kingston to New York City, and winning a turf war with the socialists and Republican politicians. The UNIA was incorporated on July 2, 1918, under the laws of New York State, and on July 31 the African Communities League (ACL) was incorporated as the business arm of the UNIA. The Negro World appeared in the summer of 1918 and quickly became the most widely circulated race paper in America and a voice of opposition to European colonialism. (48)
When Bruce "discovered that Garvey had departed from his original plan and had reorganized his society into a 'great world movement'," he joined the opposition. From January 1918 to October 1919, Bruce was critical of Garvey and his movement. In a January 1918 letter to the Negro World, Bruce listed fifteen questions intended to discredit Garvey. These included:
2. Have you any visible means of support? 3. Is your present organization a branch of the Jamaica Industrial School Scheme which you launched on your first arrival in America? ... 14. Are you aware that you are playing with fire and may get your fingers burned? And if you were a citizen of this country instead of unknown wandering alien with a grudge against toil, your brilliant philippics and criticisms of native Americans of African descent might be more effective, if you were more responsible than you now seem to be? 15. Who are you anyway and what is your game? (49)
Although these questions were meant to embarrass Garvey, he did not hesitate to publish them in the Negro World. Even though Bruce was estranged from the UNIA, Garvey realized that a person with Bruce's credibility could play an important role in his efforts to influence African America. He wisely kept communication open and tried to placate Bruce's attacks upon his leadership. Bruce followed this editorial with another statement that characterized Garvey as an "orator who has thrilled audiences ... by the witchery of his eloquence" and who would be an "effective critic ... if he had naturalization papers signed and properly sealed." He also wrote that Garvey "has about as much influence with the 400,000,000 people of Africa who are to be consolidated under his leadership into one great ... Negro Nationality ... as the Statue of Liberty, or a deaf and dumb Choctaw Indian ... he is only fooling the unthinking among people of the Negro race ..." "Mr. Garvey," Bruce concluded "will find that the Negro race is not so easily organized as he imagines it is, but that it is a pretty good meal ticket until the period of disillusionment WANES." (50)
In January 1919, Bruce responded to an inquiry from Major Walter H. Loving, a Black intelligence officer, regarding his relationship with Garvey. Bruce informed Loving "not [to] insult me by linking my name with any movement, plan, scheme, plot or enterprise with which Marcus Garvey is identified." Bruce wrote that he had "studied his methods and his tactics ..." and concluded that "his scheme ... was impracticable, utopian and jackassical." He further contended that Garvey was trying to "relieve gullible Negroes of their surplus cash" and that he had "written a number of articles in our race papers" criticizing Garvey's leadership. (51)
Bruce's view of Garvey was colored by his extensive participation in racial uplift organizations and the critical observations of numerous other Black leaders. From their perspective, Garvey was a young and inexperienced Jamaican immigrant who was unfamiliar with America's racial terrain and the specific problems facing African Americans. Garvey's "idea[s]" were "all right," Bruce wrote, "but the method all wrong-all gas." Bruce had advocated an international view of the race question throughout his life and had experimented with Pan-African organizations long before Garvey's arrival in the United States. In September 1913, Bruce and his close friends, Reverend Charles D. Martin and Arthur Schomburg, had organized the Loyal Order of the Sons of Africa (LOSA). This was to be a "world-wide organization, with headquarters in Africa, whose officers shall be divided proportionately between that country, the West Indies, and the United States." Bruce wanted the "grievances of the race ... stated clearly and succinctly in a carefully drawn paper and circulated among all Negroes in these countries who think black." Bruce was also a co-founder of the Hamitic League of the World (HLW), another effort similar to the LOSA established with George Wells Parker and Reverend John Albert Williams. The LOSA and the HLW were short-lived organizations but their goals remained part of Bruce's vision for the race. (52)
In addition to his activities with the LOSA and the HLW, Bruce was also a close friend, colleague, and probable advisor to the Reverend Orishatuke Faduma a native of Sierra Leone, formerly known as James Davies. Faduma studied at London University and Yale University during the 1880s, taught for seventeen years in Black schools in America, and joined the American Negro Academy in 1899. During 1912-1914, he was the intellectual voice of the ill-fated Back-to-Africa Movement led by Chief Alfred Charles Sam of the Gold Coast. The majority of Chief Sam's recruits came from Oklahoma; sixty colonists reached West Africa but the majority returned to the states after September 1915. Bruce did not support Chief Sam's call for emigration but he endorsed Faduma's ideas on "Race patriotism," Negro nationalism, and greater African American participation in the "industrialization of Africa by Negro technical expertis." (53) In September 1915, Faduma published his reflections on the failed African return, declaring:
Now is the time for us to prove our manhood. Let the African and the Negro scattered over the world begin to read history and its philosophy with a purpose.... It is certainly better for American Negroes to die of African fever in the efforts to contribute to Africa's development, than to be riddled by the bullets of the White mob who control the local government of the United States ... It is better to live even among pagans, where the majority respect their laws and life is secure, than to live in a country where only the minority are law keepers as in the Southern States.... Men may die but ideas and movements do not. (54)
Garvey's critics used the failures of Chief Sam's African return to undermine his program for African Americans. Faduma's ideas, however, were highly respected before and after his association with Chief Sam's movement, and Bruce's association with Faduma was another expression of his intellectual ties to Garvey's vision even before the UNIA established a base in America. (55)
Garvey and Bruce were passionately committed to a Pan-African conception of race redemption and the belief that Black leadership should be accountable to the masses. Even though they shared a common philosophy on the issues of race, Bruce doubted Garvey's dedication and his integrity while also relying upon third party opinions to formulate his evaluation of Garvey's sincerity. Garvey's patience with Bruce's doubts finally paid off in October, 1919. Garvey also patiently withstood Bruce's vacillation and eventual hostility to his leadership. Garvey never attacked Bruce and he even courted his support during their period of animosity. This rift ended in October 1919. After listening to Garvey explain his goals and the objectives of the UNIA in an impassioned street corner lecture Bruce was converted to the "great campaign." In 1922 he explained is conversion:
I was among those who opposed him at the start and who wrote against him, and I tried my best to defeat his aims, which I confess, I did not then thoroughly understand. They seemed to me wild, chimerical and impossible of accomplishment. I stood, one night, at a corner of Lenox Avenue and 135th Street, when Garvey, standing on an especially built platform--a step ladder--with which he could take liberties without falling, unfolded, in part, the plan of his Organization, which was to draw all Negroes throughout the World together, to make one big brotherhood of the Black Race for its common good, for mutual protection, for commercial and industrial development, and for fostering of business enterprises. This sounded not only good to me, but practical. The things he proposed were easy of accomplishment under a leader as full of his subject as he, and "Why not?" I said to my- self, "let him try out his plan; since no one else has submitted a better one, why oppose him?" and from that cold night, in October, I ceased writing and talking against Garvey." (56)
Having studied Garvey, Bruce had concluded that he had passed his test for true leadership. Garvey had an ... absence of the love of money and a desire to help the masses to get on and up," and his "bull-dog tenacity" and "straightforward methods" were "putting out of business" the old leadership. By 1922 Bruce believed that the UNIA was "the most powerful Negro Organization in the World." "There is absolutely no corner of the earth," Bruce argued, "where there is Black or Brown or Yellow face, where there is not a Branch of the UNIA." (57)
From October 1919 to his death in August 1924, Bruce was a trusted and loyal lieutenant to Garvey. He began publishing a regular column in the Negro World in May 1920, served as Garvey's private secretary from 1921 to 1923, and was the most articulate defender of Garvey and the goals of the UNIA. He was sixty-three and in the twilight of a long and prestigious career dedicated to racial uplift and Black self-determination. When he committed his final years to Garvey's campaign, Bruce brought substantial credibility to the movement. Indeed, many of Garvey's critics acknowledged Bruce as the most respected member of the UNIA's inner circle.
Bruce's close relationship with Edward Blyden and Alexander Crummell had provided a legion of contacts throughout Africa. This network aided the UNIA in spreading its influence throughout the continent. Bruce's association with the political elite of Liberia, especially Chief J.J. Dossen and President C.D.B. King, was doubtless the prime reason that the UNIA came close to establishing a land base in Africa. (58) Bruce was also close to a cadre of African nationalists, including Majola Agbebe, J.E. Casely Hayford, W.E.G. Sekyi, and Sol T. Plaatie, that encouraged the participation of the African elite in the UNIA. (59)
Bruce's journalistic skills helped the Negro World and the Daily Negro Times to flourish from 1920 to 1922. An experienced journalist, he encouraged the,,spirit of cooperation among an impressive collection of writers that included Arthur Schomburg, William Ferris, Hubert Harrison, Duse Mohamed Ali, and Robert Poston. This team of self-trained historians published literary reviews and historical columns that captured the imagination of over 50,000 subscribers and several hundred thousand readers a week. (60)
Bruce's participation in numerous fraternal and professional organizations exposed Garvey and the UNIA to a broad segment of African America. In some cases, Bruce coordinated a pro-Garvey block inside organizations that were not viewed as supportive of the UNIA. This was especially true of his participation in the American Negro Academy. Bruce and Schomburg also exerted considerable pressure an the Prince Hall Masons, helping to make this organization one of the strongest UNIA supporters during the early 1920s. Garvey even joined the Masons with Bruce's sponsorship, but failed to attend lodge meetings an a regular basis. Bruce urged his fellow Masons to organize into "One people, with one purpose, [and] One destiny." These very words became a rallying call for the UNIA after Bruce's association with Garvey. (61)
Bruce's influence on Garvey and the UNIA can also be seen in Bruce's Pan-African business activities from the turn of the century to his death. He had been interested in investing in gold in the Gold Coast and tried to import coffee from Liberia. These ideas appear to have influenced upon Garvey's own community businesses as well as the ill-fated Black Star Line. (62)
Bruce was a major intellectual force within the UNIA and upon Garvey's conception of race struggle. In the UNIA, he reinforced the need to create and define an independent conception of Black history. Bruce brought this message through his literary contributions to the UNIA, which included plays, poems, and artistic criticism. In addition, he helped organize history lectures in local UNIA branches that featured himself, Schomburg, J. A. Rogers, and Hubert Harrison. (63)
Bruce declined the presidency of the American sector of the UNIA in August 1920. His health was slowly fading and he wanted a younger man to assume the responsibilities of the post. He died approximately four years after making this decision. In a letter to Garvey declining the position Bruce explained:
I do not understand your "back to Africa" movement slogan to mean what the critics have mischievously interpreted it to mean. I think I see with tolerably clear vision that your purpose is to lay the foundation broad and deep, so that the Negroes of the coming day will know better than we, who are now blazing the pathway and preparing the race for African nationalization, how to possess and hold and develop the heritage which the Almighty has given to the black race.... (64)
The 5000 mourners who paid tribute to Bruce on the day of his funeral honored more than the life of a man. Bruce symbolized the constant struggle for dignity and cultural survival that African Americans faced from the late nineteenth century through the 1920s. Bruce demonstrated that even without a formal education, family connections, and personal wealth, Black folk could still become important players in determining their own individual and collective future. The "grand old man" of the UNIA had passed but his legacy, accomplishments, and determination would remain an impressive example for the race.
(2) This description is based upon a gravesite photograph of John E. Bruce's funeral located in the SCRBC also published in Tony Martin, Literary Garveyism: Garvey, Black Arts and the Harlem Renaissance (Dover, Massachusetts: The Majority Press, 1983), vi; Elinor Des Verney Sinnette, Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, 124; and Robert A. Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. V (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), Plate 14 between 456-457; "'Duke of Uganda' Laid to Rest With Honors," New York Age, August 16, 1924; Peter Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writings of John E. Bruce, 3; Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. V, 688; William H. Wilkes to Mrs. J. E. Bruce, March 20, 1924, Mrs. B. (#2022); and Schomburg to Florence Bruce, August 20, 1924, Mrs. B. (#2026), Bruce Papers, SCRBC.
(3) New York Age, August 16, 1924; and Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writings of John E. Bruce, 3. In a letter to The Amsterdam News dated August 16, 1924, Olive Bruce Millar complained:
Allow me to state that in the report of the funeral and the biography of Sir John Edward Bruce, a very important fact was omitted which is not only a grave injustice to me, but it is a serious reflection on the memory of a man with such pronounced moral ideals. You fail to state that he is survived also by an only daughter ... and three grandchildren. It was sad enough not even to be notified of his death, but to be absolutely ignored even in the fact of his paternity actuates me in my sole desire to ask you to give this letter the necessary publicity....
This letter indicates that Bruce's daughter may have been alienated from her family or simply that the funeral arrangements were taken over by UNIA officials who failed to contact her. This still does not explain why Mrs. Florence Bruce, who played a prominent role in the funeral party, did not take the initiative to contact her daughter. Olive Bruce Millar died on January 20, 1943. There is no mention of this matter in the Bruce Papers.
(4) Bruce, "Impressions of Marcus Garvey," B. 5-14 (#1885), 1922?, Bruce Papers, SCRBC; "Marcus Garvey and the U.N.I.A.," in Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writings of John Edward Bruce, 167; and Marcus Garvey, Jr., "West Indies in The Mirror of Truth," Champion Magazine (January, 1917) quoted in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 198-199.
(5) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," Current History Magazine, September 1923, quoted in John Henrik Clark, editor, Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa (New York: Vintage Books, 1974), 71.
(6) An unnamed St. Ann's Bay resident quoted in E. David Cronon, Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), 5-7; and Tony Martin, Race First, x1 and 4.
(7) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," 72-73.
(8) Ibid., 72; Lawrence W. Levine, "Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization," in Levine, The Unpredictable Past: Explorations in American Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 109; and Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 36.
(9) Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 20; and Amy Jacques Garvey, Garvey and Garveyism (New York: Collier Books, 1968), 4.
(10) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," 73; Levine, "Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization," 110-111; Martin, Race First, 4; and Cronon, Black Moses, 12.
(11) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," 73; Martin, Race First, 4; and Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 36.
(12) Ralph L. Crowder, "John Edward Bruce, Edward Wilmont Blyden, Alexander Crummell, and J. Robert Love: Mentors, Patrons, and the Evolution of A Pan-African Intellectual Network," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, Vol. 20, No. 2 (July, 1996), 78-81; and "Joseph Robert Love," in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 533-535.
(13) "Joseph Robert Love," in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 533-535; and Amy Jacques Garvey, "The Early Years of Marcus Garvey," in Clarke, editor, Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa, 32.
(14) J. Robert Love, Jamaica Advocate, quoted in Hill, editor, May 18, 1895 quoted in Amy Jacques Garvey, "The Early Years of Marcus Garvey," 32.
(15) "Joseph Robert Love," and Garvey, (Kingston) Gleaner, February 17, 1930 quoted in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 533-535.
(16) J. Robert Love to Bruce, July 30, 1897, MS. 157 (#1252), Bruce Papers, SCRBC; also quoted in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 533.
(17) Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 20-21 and 36; and Martin, Race First, 91.
(18) Levine, "Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization," 110-111; and Martin, Race First, 4-5 and 91-92.
(19) Amy Jacques Garvey, "The Early Years of Marcus Garvey," 35 and Garvey and Garveyism, 8-9; "Duse Mohammed Ali," in Hili, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 520-521, and 36.
(20) Duse Mohamed Ali's, In the Land of the Pharaohs was financed by Alfred Richard Orage (1873-1934) editor of New Age, an influential Fabanist weekly and leading socialist literary journal." The initial success of Duse Mohamed's book in England quickly faded when it was determined that portions of the text were "cribbed" from the writings of Wilfred Scawen Blunt, Theodore Rothstein, and the Earl of Cromer. These charges ended Duse Mohamed's association with Orage but it did
not undermine the book's influence with Black intellectuals of the period. See Hill, "The First England Years, 1912-.1916," in Clarke, Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa, 41 and 455-456; and The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 520.
(21) African Times and Orient Review (July 1912), iii, quoted in Hill, "The First England Years," 42.
(22) Robert Russa Moton (1867-1940) graduated from Hampton Institute, Booker T. Washington's alma mater, in 1890. After completing his junior year in 1887, he left school to teach in Cumberland County, Virginia. During this same year he read for the law exam and received a license to practice. Moton returned to finish his senior year at Hampton in the fall of 1889. He was also appointed assistant commandant and served as commandant of Hampton from 1891 to 1915. In 1900 he was elected president of the National Negro Business League. By 1908 he was the Secretary of the Board and trustee of Jeanes Fund. Moton also joined Washington in 1908 through 1915 in several tours throughout southern and northern speaking engagements to promote the Hampton-Tuskegee idea of industrial education and biracial cooperation as a means to advance the race. When Washington died on November 14, 1915, Moton was appointed principal of Tuskegee Institute and held this position until his retirement in 1935. Moton was perceived by the anti-Washington camp has simply a continuation of the Bookerite philosophy on issues related to education and racial progress. He attributed Washington and Samuel Chapman Armstrong for drawing his attention to the significance of Black history and the role of Negro spirituals as a tool to encourage Black students "to respect their race, its history and its traditions...." Moton was also an important financial supporter of Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) during its early years. Bruce and Moton were linked through their friendship with Emmett J. Scott, Washington's former private secretary. They were not friends but Bruce respected his support of the Negro History movement and may have solicited his financial assistance for the Negro Society for Historical Research (NSHR). Garvey solicited Moton's assistance after Washington's death but received little encouragement for his Jamaican "Industrial Farm and Institute." See: Earle H. West, "Robert Russa Moton (1867-1940)," in Logan and Winston, editor, Dictionary of American Negro Biography. 459-461; August Meier, Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915, 265; August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, Black History and the Historical Profession, 1915-1980, 12-13; Garvey to R. R. Moton, February 29, 1916; Emmett J. Scott to Garvey, February 4 and March 2, 1916; and Scott to Major Wrisley Brown, Military Intelligence Division, December 11, 1918 in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 173, 177-183, 322-326.
(23) Felix E.M. Hercules (1888-1943) was born in Venezuela and raised in Trinidad. While a student at Queen'd Royal College he founded the Young Men's Colored Association and in 1907 he established the Port-of-Spain. After his graduation from college he worked briefly for the Trinidad civil service and then became a teacher at Maparima College. Shortly before the First World War, Hercules relocated to England to attend London University and completed an intermediate B.A. Degree. He became a leader of London's Black community and an articulate spokesman against English racism. Hercules became a close associate of John Eldred Taylor, chairman of the London based Society of Peoples of African Origin (SPAO), and the Society's secretary. He also edited the African Telegraph and became an active member of the African Progress Union (APU). Similar to Sylvester Williams in 1901 and Garvey in 1937, Hercules toured the West Indies on a lecture tour in July 1919. When race riots hit Liverpool and Cardiff in June 1919, British colonial authorities charged that his nationalistic speeches in Jamaica were inciting Black unrest and anti-white violence. He was denied entry into Trinidad and briefly resided in Grenada. Hercules was eventually allowed to enter the United States after assuring immigration officials that he did not support Marcus Garvey's UNIA. He founded the African League in New York but this effort was short-lived. Hercules later became a Baptist minister and led congregations in Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas. He died in Chicago during the Second World War. See: Tony Martin, The Pan-African Connection: From Slavery To Garvey and Beyond (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Schenkman Publishing Company, 1983), 12-13, and Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 212.
(24) Bruce to Major Walter H. Loving, January 13, 1919, Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 349-351, Vol. IV, 203; and Amanda Ira Aldridge to Bruce, March 7, 1921, MS. 79 (#1994), Bruce Papers, SCRBC. The Societie Internationale de Philologie et Beaux was founded in Paris in 1873, its official journal, the Philomath, was published in London from 1895-1934.
(25) Hill, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. IV, 3; and Hill, "The First England Years and After, 1912-1914," 43-44; and Chapter V, 175-176.
(26) Garvey, "The British West Indies in the Mirror of Civilization: History Making by Colonial Negroes," African Times and Orient Review (October, 1913), 159-160.
(27) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," 73.
(28) J. Ayodele Langley, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism in West Africa, 1900-1945 (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), 32-33; Kenneth James King, Pan-Africanism and Education: A Study of Race Philanthropy and Education in the Southern States of America and East Africa (London: Oxford University, 1971), 16-17; and Bruce to Washington, October 14, 1895 in Harlan, editor, The Booker T. Washington Papers., Vol. 4, 55-56.
(29) Langley, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism in West Africa, 33; George Shepperson, "Notes on American Negro Influences on the Emergence of African Nationalism," Journal of African History, Vol. 1, 2 (1960), 311; and J. E. Casely Hayford quoted in King, Pan-Africanism and Education, 17.
(30) Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 351; Hill, "The First England Years and After, 1912-1914," 50-51; Hayford's publications included: Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation (London: Phillips, 1911); Gold Coast Land Tenure and the Forest Bill (London: Phillips, 1912); The Truth About the West African Land Question (London: Phillips, 1913); United West Africa (London: Phillips, 1919); and The Disabilities of Black Folk and their Treatment with an Appeal to the Labour Party (London, 1929); and Hayford to Bruce, August 7, 1915, (Omitted from the Calendar), Bruce Papers, SCRBC.
(31) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," 74.
(32) Hill, "The First England Years and After, 1912-1914," 60.
(33) Ibid., 65; and Levin, "Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization," 111.
(34) Garvey to R.R. Moton, February 29, 1916, Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 177.
(35) Garvey, "A Journey of Self-Discovery," 74-75.
(36) Ibid., 74-75; and Bruce, "Washington's Colored Society," 1877, MS. B.F. 10-21, Bruce Papers, SCRBC.
(37) Garvey to Washington, September 8, 1914, Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 66-69.
(38) Washington to Garvey, September 17, 1914 and April 27, 1915; Garvey to Washington, April 12, 1915; Garvey to Emmett J. Scott, February 4, 1916; Scott to Garvey, March 2, 1916; and Scott to Major Wrisley Brown, December 11, 1918, Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 71, 116, 118, 173, 185-186, and 322-323.
(39) Garvey, A Talk With Afro-West Indians (Kingston, Jamaica: UNIA, July-August, 1914) in Hill, editor, The Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 56-57.
(40) Ibid., 57.
(41) William M. Tuttle, Jr., Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (New York: Atheneum, 1980), 210-217.
(42) Ibid., 215-217; and Garvey quoted in Levine, "Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization," 119.
(43) Garvey, "West Indies in the Mirror of Truth," 198-199; and Bruce, "Impressions of Marcus Garvey."
(44) Tony Martin, Race First, 8-9; and Garvey, "West Indies in Mirror Truth," 198-201.
(45) Ida Wells, Crusade for Justice: The Autobioqraphy of_Ida B. Wells (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 380-381; Tony Martin, Race First, 285-290; and Bruce, "Impressions of Marcus Garvey."
(46) Isaac B. Allen (1884-?) was born in Barbados and served as president of the UNIA between November 27, 1917 and January 13, 1918. In June 1918, Allen was one of the first incorporators of the American branch of the UNIA and appointed second vice-president of the Black Star Line in June 1919. By July 1919, Allen had resigned from the UNIA after being accused by Marcus Garvey of trying to split the organization. Allen worked as a longshoreman in New Jersey and as a real estate agent in Harlem.
Louis A. Leavelle (1877-?) became a member of the Kentucky bar in 1901 and opened a law office in Harlem in 1904. Leavelle was also president and general manager of of the Thunderer Printing-Publishing Company. In 1914 he ran unsuccessfully on the Progressive ticket for a seat in Harlem's Twenty-first Assembly District. During 1922 and 1924, the Democratic party nominated Leavelle for the Third Congressional District in Bronx, New York.
Samuel A. Duncan was born in 1880 on the island of Hamilton, Bermuda. He migrated to America in May 1900 and became a naturalized citizen in 1908. Duncan was employed as a porter and briefly edited the (Harlem) Pilot-Gazette. In November 1917, Duncan was elected third Vice-President of the UNIA. After a power struggle he was expelled from the UNIA in 1918.
Wilfred Adolphus Domingo (1889-1968) was a Garvey's boyhood friend in Kingston, Jamaica. He and Garvey were active in S.A.G. Cox's National Club. In 1910 they jointly authored The Struggling Mass, a pamphlet that supported Cox's struggle against the governor of Jamaica. In 1910 he relocated to Boston and then moved to Harlem in 1912. Domingo organized the Boston Jamaica Club and helped establish the British Jamaicans Benevolent Association, a similar New York-based effort. He was active in a network of Blacks, such as A. Philip Randolph, Chandler Owen, and Ricard B. Moore, active in the Socialist party and the Rand School of Social Science. Domingo served as the editor of the Negro World from the summer of 1918 and resigned in July 1919. After leaving the UNIA, Domingo became a contributing editor of the Messenger, published by Chandler Owen and A. Philip Randolph. In the spring of 1920 Domingo and Richard B. Moore published the short-lived Emancipator. After late May 1920, he began writing for Cyril Brigg's Crusader and joined the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB), an organization committed to Garvey's removal from America.
Edgar M. Grey was born in Sierra Leone in 1890. He came to America in 1911 and worked as a postal clerk and a bookkeeper for the Daily Lunch Corporation. Grey met Garvey in May 1917 and became a general secretary of the UNIA, secretary of the New York division, advertising and business manager of the Negro World, and director/assistant secretary of the Black Star Line, Inc. He was expelled from the UNIA on August 2, 1917.
Charles C. Seifert (1880-1949) was born in the Barbados. In September 1910 he moved to the United States and ran a boarding house in New York City. From 1914 until his death, he devoted his life to studying and distributing information on the ancient African civilizations in Egypt and Ethiopia. Seifert became recognized as an expert on African history and a serious bibliophile. His interest in book collecting and Black history provided the basis for an association with Arthur Schomburg and John Edward Bruce. Seifert's collection became the basis for his Ethiopian Historical Research Association, a research society that facilitated communication between self-trained historians and such university trained scholars as William Leo Hansberry, Franz Boas, and Alexander A. Goldenweiser. He served as the second vice-president of the UNIA in 1917.
Alexander Rahming and August V. Bernier were the first members of the Liberty League to attend Garvey's organizational meetings of the UNIA between 1917 and 1918. Both were instrumental in the formation of the New Branch of the UNIA. Irena Moorman-Blackston was president of New York UNIA Ladies Division and member of the Socialist party. She was also the president of the Harlem branch of the Women's National Fraternal Business Association and later led the Colored Women's Organization of the State of New York.
Anselmo Jackson was born in 1896 in St. Croix, Danish West Indies. He sued Garvey for back wages earned while working for the Negro World in 1918. In November 1918, he became an associate editor of the Emancipator. Jackson also edited his on publication, Our Boys and Girls. Arthur Reid was the former treasure of the Liberty League and active with UNIA's youth. He teamed with Ira Kemp to lead the African Pioneer League in the 1930s and played a prominent role in Harlem's "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work" movement. Orlando M. Thompson was the former publisher of the Voice, a publication sponsored by Harrsion's League. See Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 226-227, 233-234, 224, 527-521, 211-212, 282; Ralph L. Crowder, "'Don't Buy Where You Can't Work': An Investigation of the Political Forces and Social Conflict Within the Harlem Boycott of 1934," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, Vol. 15 No. 2 (July, 1991), 21-24; and Jeffrey B. Perry, "Hubert Henry Harrison, 'The Father of Harlem Radicalism': The Early Years--1883 Through the Founding of the Liberty League and 'The Voice' in 1917," Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, New York, New York, 565-571.
(47) Tony Martin, Race First, 10; Garvey, "The Conspiracy of the East St. Louis Riots," July 8, 1917; and Garvey to Nicholas Murray Butler, November 27, 1917, Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 212-224, 225-228.
(48) Perry, "Hubert Henry Harrison, 'The Father of Harlem Radicalism'," 570-571; Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 224, 226, 282, 527-530; and Martin, Race First, 10-11.
(49) Bruce to Major Walter H. Loving, January 13, 1919; Argus [Bruce], "Answer, 'Professor Garvey', Answer," New Negro World, January 1918?; reprinted as "What John E. Bruce thought of Marcus Garvey in 1918," Crusader 5 (December 1921); also reprinted in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 349-351, 234-235. Bruce used the pen name Argus for this editorial. This name was taken from The Weekly Argus, a newspaper Bruce and Charles N. Otely established on September 8, 1879 in Washington, D.C.
(50) Bruce, "Mr. Marcus Garvey," in Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writings of John Edward Bruce, 146.
(51) Bruce to Loving, January 13, 1919, in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 349-350.
(52) Bruce, "Mr. Marcus Garvey," and "The Sons of Africa," in Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writings of John Edward Bruce, 146 and 101-103; "Sons of Africa," 1913?, B-63 (#2068), SCRBC; and Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 11, 280.
(53) J. Ayodele Langley, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism, 1900-1945: A Study in Ideology and Social Classes (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), 41-58; For information on Chief Sam and his Back-to-Africa Movement see: William E. Bittle and Gilbert Geis, The Longest Way Home: Chief Alfred Sam's Back-to-Africa Movement. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1964); "Chief Alfred Sam," in Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. I, 536-547;_and J. Ayodele Langley, "Chief Sam's African Movement and Race Consciousness in West Africa," Phylon 32 (Summer 1971), 164-178; Bruce was first attracted to Faduma's ideas during his early days in the ANA. He was especially fond of two papers that generated a spirited debate among ANA members, these included: Faduma, Defects of the Negro Church, ANA Occasional Papers, No. 10 (Washington, D.C., 1904) and "Social Problems in West Africa from the Standpoint of an African," Twelfth Annual Meeting, African Negro Academy, Washington, D.C., December, 1908; and Moss, Jr., The American Negro Academy, 150-152 and 159-162.
(54) Orishaktuke Faduma, "The African Movement: The Perils of Pioneering--A Parallel," and "The African Movement: Its Idea and Methods,", Sierra Leone Weekly (September 11 and October 2, 1915), 7-8 and 8, quoted in Langley, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism in West Africa, 57.
(55) Ibid., 50-58; and Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 1, 536-546; and Moss, The American Negro Academy, 150-152 and 159-162.
(56) Bruce, "Marcus Garvey and the UNIA," in Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writing of John Edward Bruce, 167-170.
(57) Ibid., 167.
(58) Martin, Race First, 122; and Stein, The World of Marcus Garvey, 83.
(59) Ralph L. Crowder, "John Edward Bruce, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Alexander Crummell, and J. Robert Love," 60-72.
(60) Perry, "Hubert Henry Harrison, 'The Father of Harlem Radicalism'," 576; Martin, Literary Garveyism, 91-105; and Martin, Race First, 89-111.
(61) Stein, The World of Marcus Garvey, 83; and Moss, The American Negro Academy, 276-277.
(62) Hill, editor, The Marcus Garvey Papers, Vol. 521; and Vol. IV, 520; and Stein, The World of Marcus Garvey, 82.
(63) Martin, Race First, 81-88.
(64) Bruce to Garvey, August 17, 1920, quoted in Gilbert, editor, The Selected Writings of John Edward Bruce, 159.
Ralph L. Crowder (1)
(1) Ralph Crowder is a faculty member of the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California.
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|Author:||Crowder, Ralph L.|
|Publication:||Afro-Americans in New York Life and History|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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