Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association: Emergence
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In the late 1910s and early 1920s, in a time of great changes, turmoil and new beginnings after World War I the Black nationalist Garvey movement swept the country. For decades after Garveyism had again vanished from the forefront of historical events in the 1930s, the Garvey movement had been conceived of as a phenomenon predominantly of the industrialized urban North. It was seen as a movement born out of the tensions that the Black migrants to Northern cities experienced; and it was seen as a result of the frustration and assertiveness of the New Negro, who showed a strong awareness for the discrepancy of having fought a war overseas to make the ?World Safe for Democracy? and who was denied the full and equal participation in the allegedly first and foremost Democracy on this globe.
Since the 1990s and especially since the early 2000s Garveyism came to be seen as deeply entrenched in the Black Belt of the former Confederacy, at least to the same amount as it was perceived as an urban, northern phenomenon. In contrast to the new experiences that came with migration northward, Blacks had been living in the rural South for generations, working on the cotton fields on the great plantations before and after emancipation and having built communities before and after emancipation.
Yet, the state with the greatest amount of UNIA Divisions in relation to its black population, was West Virginia, which boasted 51 UNIA divisions with a dense organizational infrastructure in this largely rural region. Therefore, this area can be seen as a third hotbed of Garveyism. In taking a look on West Virginian Garveyism, we will be able to refine our understanding of the Garvey movement. Furthermore, we will get insights in the meaning of Garveyism and the emergence of Black nationalism in a specific Appalachian environment and we can interpret the meaning of West Virginian Garveyism in the context of the development of Black nationalism in the US.