Writing Assignment – Marcus Garvey’s Plea
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The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York, spanning the 1920s. New African-American cultural expressions sparked across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States that were affected by the African-American Great Migration. The Harlem Renaissance was considered to be a rebirth of African-American arts. Music, poetry, dance, and visual pieces celebrated African- American culture and helped to raise national awareness of what it meant to be black in America.
Marcus Garvey was the Jamaican-born founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and a became a leader in the Negro Nationalism movement. He was a staunch proponent of Black nationalism and the Pan-Africanism movements, he was the founder of the Black Star Line, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.
He was known for wearing military garb, feather-plumed hats, and traveling with well-dressed and influential black men from across the globe.
Though he was not American, his message was heard by millions of Americans and strengthened the bonds of community in America, during a time that schools and military units were segregated.
Read Garvey’s “The Negro’s Greatest Enemy.” It was Marcus Garvey’s most extensive autobiographical statement, and the first to be written for the American public. It was written during his incarceration in the Tombs Prison in New York City, while he awaited the outcome of his appeal for bail after conviction on a charge of mail fraud. Respond to the following questions.
1. What are Garvey’s main points? What is his solution?
2. Is this clearly for American Blacks? Explain, yes or no.
3. What impact might this type of “letter” have on the African-American population in America?
4. What other connections can you draw to this “letter” with any of the chapters from this week: 21, 22, and 23.
Chapter 21: The Progressive Era
Chapter 22: America and the Great War
Chapter 23: A Clash of Cultures
Criteria: Roughly two pages, double spaced, times new roman, 1 inch margins.
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