March 30, 2012 Legacies of Pan Africanism



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Loren Jones

March 30, 2012

Legacies of Pan Africanism

Pan-Africanism started as an idea around the 1900 but ended up as a movement. In the late 19th century it called for blacks to come together as one because of their common culture with the other race. This movement was to show that blacks are no different from any other race and instead of looking at the whites as heroes, to look within themselves, religiously and spiritually, and see that there are heroes within their own culture. Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican publisher and entrepreneur had a major impact dealing with Pan-Africanism. He formed an organization that catered to this movement. All in all, this movement secured equal rights, independence, and unity for African Americans.



In the document, “Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization”, Mr. Garvey and black writers of the Harlem Renaissance have expressed their thoughts on revitalization. Through traditional and religious practices to Afro American musical forms, there have been some dramatic changes in a positive manner. Mr. Garvey was able to change the Afro-American culture and history. Marcus Garvey formed the largest black organization called the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). This organization allowed Africans to understand the value of their race. Mr. Garvey said in the document, Marcus Garvey and the Politics of Revitalization, “God he insisted, made no mistake when he made us black…we have outgrown slavery, but our minds are still enslaved to the thinking of the Master Race.” In this statement Garvey wants to get through mentally with his African people. He wants them to know that helping one another and giving credit to where it is due will help the African culture. Having a major influence with Pan-Africanism, Garvey captured his audience with his stern and convincing commands. In order for blacks to come together and take action, they have to first believe in themselves and each other. Garvey also says, “let no man pull you down, let no man destroy your ambition, because…man is your brother; he is not your Lord.” This quote allowed his audience to understand the value of equality and reuniting with the African culture.

Not only did Marcus Garvey encourage blacks to be involved in the Pan-Africanism movement, but writers of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s also helped express themselves in order to get the African people as one. People such as Langston Hughes and Wallace Thurman, W.E.B Dubois and Bob Marley were able to tell stories of African people in order to express the African culture through music and poetry and speeches. Pan-Africanism has changed people’s lives, especially the African people. It has allowed them to be more independent and to accept themselves, as far as race is concerned.


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