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Full text of "Marcus Garvey Hearing before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice"

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■IWCUS GARVEY WD A TREMENDOUS Iff ACT NOT ONLY ON THE 
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND ON SOCIO-POLITICAL 
ADVANCEMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN BUT ALSO ON NATIONALIST STRUGGLES IN 

Africa. Leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and Kwame Nkru-wh 
of Ghana acknowledged their debt to him for the inspiration of his 

LECTURES AND WRITINGS. GARVEY ALSO HELPED TO ORGANIZE LIBERATION 

movements in South Africa, one of which The African National 

CONGRESS (ANC) -IS STILL TODAY IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE STRUGGLE 

FOR.HLMW DIGNITY AND JUSTICE IN THAT TROUBLED COUNTRY. 

AS I INTIMATED EARLIER, IT WAS CHIEFLY IN THE UNITED 

STATES THAT GARVEY WAS ABLE TO PUT INTO PRACTICE THE TENETS Cr HIS 
PHILOSOPW AM, EXPER.EICE THE GRATIFICATION OF THE SPONTANEOUS RESPONSE 
BY BLACK PEOPLE TO HIS EXHORTATIONS. HIS ARRIVAL ON THE U.S. SCENE IN 
1916 HAS PRCP.TICXJS. HE DREW ON AND ADVANCE) THE WORK OF DISTINGUI^ED 
BLACK LEADERS BEFORE HIM. As SUCH, HE WAS ^ERELY A LINK, ALBEIT A VERY 
'"WANT ONE, IN THE CONTINUOUS CHAIN OF BLACK ACTIVISM, REACHING 
THROUGH TIME TO ANOTHER GREAT LEADER, DR. hfcRTIN LUTHER KING, JR. 

ft. Chairman and members of this honourable Ccmiittee, 

WE IN JAKA.CA ION0UR AND TREASURE THE MEMORY OF PAROUS GARVEY. BLACK 
PEOPLES THWKKVT THE VO*I> ARE INDEBTED TO HIM AND THANK GOD FOR HIS 
LIFE AM) HIS TALENTS. As WE CaEBRATE THE CENTENNIAL OF HIS BIRTH THIS 
YEAR, ITWU, EA mo st rmm mam IF mE STAm „ ms ^^ 
COTTR.BUTION TO THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT Of THIS HEMISPHERE WERE TO BE 
REEVED. IT ,S NW SIXTY YEARS SINCE HIS FIVE-YEAR SENTENCE WAS CQWTED 
BY PRESIDENT COOLIDGE. WITH THE HINDSIGHT AND CLEARER VISION OF THE ENSUING 
YEARS, A FRESH LOOK AT WE CIROMSTANCES Of GARVEY's PROSECUTICt, IS 
WARRANTED. 



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ffe. Chairman and Honourable Mmers of this Ccwiittee, House 

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 89 AS INTRODUCED BY CONGRESS^ CHARLES RANGEL 
IS IN HARMONY WITH REPRESENTATIONS MADE BY MY PRI^E MINISTER TKE RIGHT 

Honourable Edward Seaga to the President of the United States of Africa, 
Mr. Ronald Reagan. 

It is our view that history has vindicated the words and 
.ACTIONS OF MARCUS NjSIAH GARVEY; in conseouence of this he stands not 
only as Jamaica's First National Hero, but his bust now stands in the 
Kall of Heroes at the Organization of American States here in Washington, n.C. 

HIS POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS ARE NOW RECOGNIZED THROUGHOUT AFRICA AND OTHER 
PARTS OF THE WORLD. THE ACCEPTANCE OF THIS RESOLUTION BY THE CONGRESS OF THE 

United States of America would assist greatly in convincing the supporters 

AND ADMIRERS OF KaRCUS GARVEY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD THAT THE CONSTITUTION OF 

the United States, whose 2C0th anniversary is being celebrated, does indeed 

GUARANTEE JUSTICE, (EVE/) IF DELAYED,) FOR ALL, IRRESPECTIVE OF RACE OR 
RELIGIOUS belief. 

Thank you te. Chairman 



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22 

Mr. Conyers. Well, we appreciate your eloquence, Ambassador 
Johnson. It is a very important and fitting way to begin these hear- 
ings. We now have the sons— the two sons— of Marcus Garvey 
. nst we have Dr. Julius Garvey, a heart specialist. I have looked 
over your vitae, which shows your affiliation over the years with 
Columbia, Einstein College of Medicine; Stonybrook; State Univer- 
sity of New York; and Long Island Jewish Hillsdale. We welcome 
you here and invite you to make any comments you would like to 
at this time. 

Dr. Garvey. Thank you very much, Congressman Conyers Mr 
Chairman, distinguished other members of the subcommittee Con- 
gressman Rangel, supporters. It is indeed a pleasure for me'to be 
here in many respects. What I learned of my father I learned 
largely Iron, my mother, who was his life-long helpmate and sup- 
porter and buttressed the organization when he was forced by cir- 
cumstances, to be away from the helm of leadership. I think she 
taught me well because everything that I have since read, since 
experienced, and since come to understand has confirmed mv con- 
father WilS V<?ry fortunatt> t0 have th °sen well as a 

My father created a revolution among black people, a revolution 
of the mind He traveled widely throughout the Caribbean, Centra 
American, South America, England, Europe, here in the United 
States. He read extensively. He met with many, many people from 

w s"th,t b': a f. hG 'T ned ° f \ he World situati °"" What h"oteer\?e'd 
e e be m , k C 'T C e , ver - vwh T were being used. Their resources 

own be Stern u n I nf I T'^'u "I Africa ' a ' ld Utilized to their 

own bettetment. Black people, who had been enslaved were con- 

Afric" B ns w^M den ' ed ,f heir nghtS ' eVe " in their own homeland of 
by slavery '" countnes to which they had been brought 

he H felMt k w at the , sit ™ tion and - because he was a man of destiny, 
ha hes\w VVhat L^ft^T*^ t0 C ° rreCt the situation 
peoples of the worl \ , f m 6 had t0 d ° was t0 Unite the black 
regain con rol 7,? nn Af ' ^T UP ,' n 0ne mi S»>ty allia ' lce a " d to 
19U the „ ° ur African homeland. He therefore created, in 
U14, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Africa 

NaTkTuTture ; e brk and i With i n th ' S framework^he created a new 
of blacks ' ' WaS baS6d S0lidly on th(; histor y 

nr?t°man ba o C n e'JhZ.T'^ h ° m ° habiIus - homo sa P ien *- the 

Sir 1 '^^^ ^hiack^ro^ypt^LS ffi 

^ ::ds,r tfc " d iSuS " a- a s^ 
the wond, irs^&^ssi^ a ^^^ 1 s^£ 






: . ■ i s*'i>.;;; : ? ; t : 









pendence. and a strong economic base, he chaflen^^ne statt 

th^w^hisdeNunt' Hp' i l: ab,e - !?' .^ n0t shrink fr0m if ' He k "™ 
hA- uM'be b^d'tt^ w]S l h s° d^Ko-Kp -'ne fe 
^t^^^^l^ion "' abUSe ' a " d bri "K ! * *«* — aS 

r™v CO i N ' VKR l Tha ' ,k , >0U ver X much - We now turn to Ma-cus 
Carney. Jr.. who was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica- eduVir'Mn 
London. England; the West Indies; ,nd New Yo k as a" engir e or 

^T^'S'"^ ° XP T- "'-' V F ^ter^oSs om i 
ni ft i i , e o( Massachusetts. He has done a great deal 

o study and work on the life of his rather and I had the p Tvi lege 

hn rwhich e v??,'' y V ek ' Visi ° n ' >r ° rfu «i°»- ' think, from Hoi- 
and, in which you made some verv mportant comments about 

Crli -"" Just r ic, de ,n f i htCd ' h 1 !,t y ° U ^^ the SubTmrn tt'eeTn 
II 1 \i n'- welcome you for your own remarks. 

mil ee i, he Co,,n- a '. ,ma ,' 1 ' mcmbere °'''he Congressional Com- 
mitut in the Congiess, I welcome this opportunity to speak briefly 
on the matter in hand. As the older sen of Marcus Garvey I have 
consis ently articulated my father's viewpoint tecaC & view! 

Ga ve • wh, wVlT'TV / come . htre tod «y to state that Marcus 
u r\ t> , who was hounded by the imperialist powers of the world 
acting in conjunction with the FBI, pressuring the American jut 

hU S m TZT,i il MarCl ^ GurVOy ' ' harec « here to 'ay t J hat 
ant I ;?'"- ^u"' ' S a hero - "■respective of any conviction or 

SM Canbbeam* ^ ""^ '^'^ here in the U " ited »*« 
be'her.'nnV'n'' °* }!} e dcv «--l,»Pment of the system here that I can 
this matter ^H "^ « c ' ntlf ;' m( -'' 1 can be here speaking to you on 
order ifs in h ""^ a " d ' l ,' s in the progress of the social 

oider, it is in the progress of the democratic ethic, that a society a 
people and a country shows their greatness. Marcus Garvey wa^' a 

r/ce wJ '„ T S '° n - q t' te S u nlpl> ' t0 raise U P thc degraded African 
m*i K ? rem ^ mb er the times in which he started his work. 
Rr ,' il err ? r ° f 'y nchln «: 18 « 8 - w hen slavery was abolished in 

Bta/.ii, and a few years before, it had been abolished in the Span- 
sh-speak.ng countries So he came at a time when the black man 
was the most degraded in the world 

fi J h m,^'-? B f 0r l m B , elgians , ruled the Belgian Congo with an iron 
fist mutilating black people, African people in their own home- 
lands, m order to extract rubber. Those were the tiiaes; that was 
the age that spawned Marcus Garvey. He came with a clear mes- 
sage tor African people. Simply, to seek empowerment; to seek 
power over your social conditions; to seek economic power; to seek 
political power; to seek, to change the status quo, and that set the 
world against him. 

He preached a message of African identity that black men have 
a common heritage and a motherland of Africa. African pride that 
we, as a people, in our great civilizations in Northeast Africa, had 



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24 

created wonders for the world to see, that what we had done in the 
past, we could do again. And he emphasized, more than any other 
black leader, African self-reliance. If Marcus Garvey had lived 
today, he would be physically sickened at the sight of succeeding 
generations of black people, living on the welfare state. 

Marcus Garvey said rise up black man, you can achieve what 
vou will and he proceeded to do something about it. He established 
industries and factories and he established a Black Star Line 
which, eventually, was the cause of his downfall. But it is notewor- 
thy that Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, when he took power in 
Ghana, named the shipping line of Ghana the Black Star Line, so 
that the Black Star Litvj would live again. 

Marcus Garvey was persecuted by tlv> strangest conglomeration 
of people that the world has ever witnessed. At the same time that 
the imperialists were attacking him, he was under relentless attack 
by the Communists and the Socialists. And I want to emphasize 
that, for very rarely, in the history of the world, has one man or 
group or institution or organization been attacked simultaneously 
by the left and the right. And the Marxists were attacking him be- 
cause they wanted to use the black masses of America as shock 
troops for the revolution that they had in mind. 

Marcus Garvey faced persecution all over the world. The Negro 
World, his great newspaper that was written in English, Spanish 
and French, the only black organ that has ever been produced in 
three languages, and was intended to communicate with black 
people all over the world, was banned in all of the imperial coun- 
tries. The death penalty, in the Belgian Congo, existed for reading 
the Xegro World. Marcus Garvey was banned from entering Africa, 
lie was banned in many of the Caribbean Islands and the courts 
were relentlessly used to attack him here in the United States and 
in his own land of Jamaica. 

He was subject to attacks by the FBI, relentless persecution by 
the FBI and acts of bribery and corruption of the members, key 
members, of his movement, and in many parts of the South, intimi- 
dation against Garvey members. And this was a common practice 
in the imperialist colonies in West Africa and the Caribbean. If you 
were a member of the Garvey movement, you could lose your job 
immediately. Despite all of these things, Marcus Garvey created a 
great movement, a movement which many say has failed totally. 
The fact is that today he is recognized in many ways all over the 
world. 

He has been recognized by the Republic of Senegal on its post- 
age. He has been recognized by the Republic of the Cameroon on 
its postage. He is, of course, the National Hero of Jamaica, the 
First National Hero of Jamaica, and he is honored in the United 
States and in England by many institutions and public highways 
that bear his name. He was acknowledged by both Kwame Nkru- 
mah and Jomo Kenyatta, as a prime influence on their African na- 
tionalist outlook and my mother was honored by Nnamdi Azikiwe, 
the former President of Nigeria, when she visited there. He pur- 
posely asked her to come over to Nigeria in honor of Marcus 
Garvey. 

I want to close with some of the words of Marcus Garvey. To 
judge a man, it is better to judge him from his own mouth and 



25 

zrllT^J^/t"- \T nSd ?«"« distinguished members of Con- 
gress r will read from the words of Marcus Garvey. He said "The 
«orld does not count races and nations that have nothing. Point 
me to a weak nation, and I will show you a people oppressed 
abuse taken advantage of by others. Show me a weak ra?e and I 
will show you a people reduced to serfdom, peonage, and s avery 
Show me a well-organized nation, and I will show you a people and 
a nation respected by the world." P P 

"Radical is a label that has always applied to people who are en- 
deavoring to get freedom. Jesus Christ was the greatest radical the 
world ever saw. He came and saw a world of sin and his program 
was to inspire it with spiritual feeling. He was, therefore, a radical 
George Washington was dubbed a radical when he took up his 
sword to fight his way to liberty in America, 140 years ago All 
men who call themselves reformers are, perforce, radicals. The 
cannot be anything else because they are revolting against the con- 
ditions that exist Conditions as they exist, reveal a conservative 
state and if you desire to change these conditions, you must be a 
radical I am therefore satisfied to be the same kind of radical, if 
through radicalism I can free Africa." 

Mr. Conyers. We would like to invite you, sir, to include anv fur- 
ther comments that you would like to make, in your prepared 
statement. 

Mr. Garvey. That is all right. I am going to close now with this 
last comment. 'No Negro, let him be American, European, West 
Indian or African, shall be truly respected until the race, as a 
whole, has emancipated itself, through self-achievement and 
progress, from universal prejudice. The Negro will have to build his 
own government, industry, art, science, literature and culture, 
before the world will stop to consider him. Until then, we are but 
wards of a superior race and civilization, and the outcasts of a 
standard social system." 

Mr. Conyers. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Garvey. Thank you. 

Mr. Conyers. Congressman Ra'ngeirAmbl 3d1 Jorm n °T)rf* 
Garvey, Marcus Garvey, Jr., we thank you very much for giving us 
this testimony. 

Mr Rangel. Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would like to submit, 
I°u ,e r . ei : ord > the testimony of the Honorable Alfred Rattray, on 
behalf of the People's National Party. 

[The statement of Honorable Alfred A. Rattray follows:] 



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.:. -JHtAUQUARIEKS '-- - --'13 
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1 92-7TS0> "V 



STATEMENT BY THE HON. ALFRED A. RATTRAY, O.J.; Ll.B.; F.C.A.; A.C.I.S., 

PRESENTED TO THE SU5C0MMI TTEE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE 
ON TrSE JLDICIARV, JULY 23, 198?. 



f.r. Chairman, Honorable Members of the Co-if.ittee, I arc Alfred A. Rattray. 
I thank you for the opportunity to present this statement to you on this very 
i -par tan t matter. I a-i a former Ambassador of Ja-iaica to the United States 
and a fcrrer Arrbass ado r/Pe rmar.en t Representative of Jamaica to the Organization 
of A-erican States. I an a renter of the Executive and a Shadow Minister for 
Investment and Foreign Trade of the People's National Part-,, which last formed 
the Government cf Ja-alca fror 1572 to IScO. I am also Chairman of the North 
A^e-ica Co.-r.iitee of the People's National Party of Jamaica. 

Marcus r.csiah Carvey is one of a select few *ho have had a profound 
effect upon world history and hu^an affairs during the 20th century. 

rest of the territories of the A.-. e ricas and the West Indies suffered 
con;. est b/ external pcv.ers, ar.d over tire there arose liberators who freed 
i-ci-.ica; territories or croups of territories from col on i a I i S-i, or fro*- 
fceisn occupation. Marcus Carvey car e along and ushered in a new concept of 
liberation, He viewed a .-.orld'deneaned by the scourge of colonialism - that 
syste- whose very purpose is the enforced exploitation of whole races and 
classes of people by others more powerful than themselves. He saw everywhere 
in the Americas ar>d in Africa, the denial of reasonable economic, social and 
educational opportunities for the vast majority of people. He observed the 
entrenched systems which deliberately and systematically debased and at times 
even sought to exterminate or enslave whole races, minority groups and disadvan;- 



/di sadvantaged. 



PRESIDENT Mi.-Iu.lMjnle,. VICE-PRESIDENTS Porlu S.mr-son. O D Rjmtalhe Sc>moor Mulling Win 
CHA1RMW p J. P. iim-wmi, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN Bobby Jonti.GENERAL SECRETARY' PjuI Robert* 
GENERAL SECRETARY, ORGANISING Donald Bui-tunm, TREASURER Robcii Pickcn B .l|. 



27 



tech: 
Selfishness 



aged persons. 

There seemed no end to this global oppression of one race b, another 
Of the weak and powerless by the stror.c, and ,„, powerful. The victims ,„„„ 
powerless to throw off the shackle which so effectively impeded their economic 
cultural, social and political mobility. The plight of ,„e K ^ ro , sc , la6 „ f 
other oppressed peoples everywhere seemed hopeless. 

Ahd .her,, the 20th century produced Karcus Carvey. He led and helped to 
a new breed of liberators who developed new strategies and employed new 
ques to wage war against the seemingly Inpregnable fortresses of hue™ 

t. exploitation, callousness, and cynicism. 
Tracing through the pages of history the methods and techniques used 
along the way to secure and perpetuate the bondage of oppressed peoples. Carvey 
noted that the negro race, and by extension all oppressed people, were the 
victims of nan's inhumanity to man. The, were victims of that brutal inh 
which produced the t-in systems of slavery and of colonialism, and which eve' 
today is dominant wherever one nation or class of people for whatever motive 
see.'< to do^l na:e another. 

Observing his people in Jamaica, in the Americas and in Africa, and learn- 
i.g from the lessens of history. Carvey noted that the conquest and subjugation 
of the human spirit was at least as important and as effective a strategy of 
enslavement, as the conquest and subjugation of the human bod,. 

The establish-ent and perpetuation of the political, social, economic 
a-d psychological bondage of the negro race, and indeed of all oppressed peoples 
were facilitated and indeed secured by the false notion of their Inherent 
infe-crit/. This notion was invariably implanted into their minds by their 
opp-essors - be they slave masters, colonial masters, or other breeds of 
exdoi ters . 

So carefully and relentlessly cultivated throughout the ages has been this 
notion of the inherent and inescapable inferiority of the oppressed, that it 
emerged as perhaps the greatest stumbling block to his liberation. 

The abiding greatness of Marcus Carvey, and that which assures for him 
his place in the history of mankind, is not only that he clearly perceived 
all this, but also that he embarked upon a process which showed the way for 
the liberation of the enslaved spirit of oppressed people everywhere - in 
Jamaica and the Caribbean; in the Americas; in Africa - everywhere. It was 

/this liberation . , 



■se 



t h \ *■ 1 i !■(' r d t ! c.": o' t '■'. h'^ci^cd Spirit of the l^cro race ar.J of other oppressed 

ro;,-:^ tF;roL.5'ic>ut Ci world that u.t, the focus of Garvcy's strategies and 

(■-■-. .-v. .i's. He kr.-.s I r-.-a t ori.'L* the hy.-.irr spirit is liberated the hunan be i r.5 

c."- rt*;>ch out and f i r~Iy grasp .md guide his Own destiny. By the power of his 

i uV.v, a--d his ph i lose: hies and by cxd"p!e, Garvey arc-used in the nigh if NeTro 

rj-:e ai appreciation of their tn.c wain', of their inherent worth, of their inherent 

c c - I i t y , and their p;.:cr,;ijl to achic.e. A profound believer and practitioner 

c' dc-ccracy he iu-^r,cd the Nc;ro race to unity of purpose and clarity of vision - 

c-'.d so; the-, en the road in pursuit of their political, economic,. and social 

e-z--.c ipaticn. Thus Garvey and the organizations he created and promoted waged 

v*;=' en igr.erarce and on inferiority syndre-es, and in their place, soued and 

r.-.- _r is'-.-d to Futurity r-.u-ari dignity, self respect and self estee-i. 

His teachings, which had a profound i.Tpact upon Black and other oppressed 
perple everywhere, helped to spa.-.n thai new breed of 20th century liberators ar.d 
set in ret i en in Africa, in the Caribbean and in North America that irresistable 
tidal u -:•■...■ which s-.cpl s*.:y colonial e-.pires and produced the rr.assive gains of 
civil rights fcr sc long de-ied to our people. 



Such giar.ts of h 
:;■ P adhere, 3.-d Or. f.. 
ia, cf Africa, cf 



1 1 c- 



Story as r.ahatTa Gahrdi, Nandi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrurr.ah,. 
tin Luther Kinq, Jr., scve of the 30th century heroes 
ica, and of the Caribbean with numerous others fro--. 
fluenced and inspired by Garvey in the 



tc 1 - ; 'ease ki :h 1 1 ~e . 

are a i_r.if,ir,g influence in that greet young .-.alien. lie has br L -n acclai--ed 
here, cf the A-ericas and his bust adorns the Hall of Herces of the Americas at 
l.-.e G.A.5- in this great city. His great s-,d untiring efforts which 

rt-ac-.ec o.t to the world were wrought mainly in the s~a II proud great nation of 
Ja-aica and in our rrighty proud great neighbour and friend the United States of 
A-c-rica. 7ncu'_ar.ds of your people share with us and others throughout the Americas, 
t-.e Car i Li-ean , and Africa a cc^r.cn pride in this great man. 



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30 

Mr. Rangel. And point out to the subcommittee that v/e have 
with us, in the audience, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Govern- 
ment of Jamaica, as well as Queen Mother Moore, one of the disci- 
ples of Marcus Garvey and is celebrating her birthday here with us 
today, and so many others of the organizations. 

Mr. Conyers. Happy Birthday. 

Mr. Rangel. And the Marcus Garvey Centennial Committee are 
here. Let me thank the entire committee for the courtesy that you 
have extended to us today. 

Mr. Gekas. Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Conyers. Yes. Let me recognize the gentleman from Penn- 
sylvania. 

Mr. Gekas. It dawned on me that with the Ambassador's appear- 
ance here today, I believe as far as I can remember, that he is, ac- 
cording to protocol, the highest ranking public official ever to testi- 
fy before this subcommittee. 

Ambassador Johnson. Profoundly honored. 

Mr. Gekas. We accept that honor. 

Mr. Rangel. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and if the 
committee would permit, I would like to join you for the rest of the 
hearing. 

Mr. Conyers. Yes, definitely. Please join us up here, Mr. Rangel. 
Rangei.. Thank you. 



Mr 



Mr. Conyers. I would like now to call our second panel, Dr. John 
Henrik Clarke, Professor Emeritus, Hunter College, New York 
City; Professor Judith Stein, Citv College of New York; Professor 
Robert Hill, University of California at Los Angeles; Dr. Tony 
Martin, Department of Black Studies, Wellesley College in Massa- 
chusetts. Ladies and gentlemen, will you all join us here. It is a 
very distinguished panel. All of the statements here that you have 
brought forward will, without objection, be made a part of our 
record, as well as thr additional documents submitted by Congress- 
man Rangel. 

This is a very distinguished panel of historians. There are a lot of 
questions I could ask you on a lot of subjects now that I have all of 
you before me, but we are here on a very limited purpose. Let us 
begin with Dr. John Henrik Clarke. We welcome you very emphati- 
cally to this subcommittee, sir. 

TKSTIMONY OF DR. JOHN HENRIK CLARKE, PROFESSOR EMERI- 
TUS. HUNTER COLLEGE, NEW YORK, NY; PROFESSOR JUDITH 
STEIN, CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK, NY; PROFES- 
SOR ROBERT HILL, AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER, UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES. CA; AND DR. TONY MARTIN 
PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF BLACK STUDIES, WELLESLEY 
COLLEGE. WELLESLEY, MA 

Dr Clarke. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the invita- 
tion to address the committee. I will be brief and to the point. The 
one thing that the Nation had most against Marcus Garvey was 
not what they put him on trial for. They put him on trial for a neb- 
ulous, vague charge to cover up the fact that there was no law 
against what they really had against him. What he had done is to 
awaken in the African-American an awareness of what slavery and 



31 

oppression had taken away— had taken away from the Afro-Ameri- 
can, more than they had taken it way from any other immigrant 
group in America, the concept of "Nation." 

We were then and we are now, a nation within a nation, search- 
ing for a nationality. Every immigrant group in this country claims 
a nationality and once we claim a nationality, we will stop'answer- 
ing to the silly word "minority." We will understand that between 
the Caribbean Islands, the United States, and Brazil, it has the 
largest black population outside of Africa. There are nearly 200 
million African people, with the population of Africa counted as 
•>00 million, not to count the millions of Africans in Asia, including 
10 million Dravidians who are now proclaiming their African-ness. 
We are a major part of the population of the earth. 

Now, what Marcus Garvey did was to start black Americans to 
dreaming again, hoping again, feeling whole again, as a people, and 
to (eel whole again as a people, you must feel that you belong to 
the nation concept, that you must understand the nation concept. 
lie began to understand his uniqueness, through Garveyism, as an 
immigrant group. We were the only immigrant group that was in- 
vited here and the nature of the invitation will not be discussed 
here, but we were the only immigrant group that were invited 
here. 

In that invitation, they robbed us of the concept that we came 
from someplace that was big and we performed bigger things, built 
nations, and that for most of our existence on this earth, sve were a 
free, self-governing people and many times we did those jobs excep- 
tionally well, long before the first European wore a shoe or lived in 
a house that had a window. When you want to oppress a people, 
you have to destroy their self-confidence and historical memory, 
the memory of what they had then, so that they can be confused 
about what they are, and more confused about what they still must 
be. 

Garvey 's crime, declared by this Nation, that he had awakened 
in us old fires, old memories, that we had been more than servants, 
we had been kings, ruled nations, and we had ruled them excep- 
tionally well and we might do it again. And he began to create the 
semblance of nationhood, so that we could see ourselves within the 
framework of "nation." He came into an atmosphere, after the first 
world war, when we had been told, almost officially, that our lot 
would not be changed by virtue of having participated in the war. 
And then he got across to us, well, they brought you here to do 
labor. The labor they brought you here to do is somewhat obsolete 
now. They have got machines. 

Let us pack up. Let us get ready to go home psychologically, if 
not physically. Let us get our own ship. Let us get our own concept 
of nation and get it together. That frightened America. It would 
not have frightened them in any other immigrant group, except 
the black Americans, because the black American was not brought 
to the country to be given citizenship. When the dream was 
dreamed, he was not a part of the dream and when the promise 
was made, he was not a part of that promise. 

The concept of Garvey is that "I will lead you to a new dream, a 
new promise, and a new land." America did not want its slaves 
awakened and that was the real crime they charged him for. A 



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jM^WJ^K^/T! 




nebulous case of using the mail for fraud was something they did 
not care anything about, because they do not care too much about 
what happened between blacks and blar' • until they decided to 
use it to conquer both of them. Thank yo r. Chairman. 

Mr. Conyers. Thank you very much. Pi^.essor Judith Stein, wel- 
come to our hearing. 

Professor Stein. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the 
Committee, it is with great pleasure that I am here this afternoon. 
Marcus Garvey was indicted and convicted of the crime of mail 
fraud, in connection with the building of the Black Star Line, a 
shipping company. Because the Line failed, some people may think 
that there is a basis to the Government's case. What I would like to 
do this afternoon is show how and why the Black Star Line was 
intrinsic to Garvey 's conception of black progress, not a "scheme" 
as the Government charged. Other members of the panel will dis- 
cuss the politics behind the indictment and the trial itself. 

Today, our conception of a black leader is either a Martin Luther 
King, who self-consciously mobilized people to change laws, or 
elected representatives, who use formal mechanisms of govern- 
ment. It is easy to forget that this kind of politics depends upon a 
mobilized and voting black community, a sympathetic Supreme 
Court, Congress, academic community, labor movement, and public 
opinion. I recount these ingredients because, in order to under- 
stand Marcus Garvey 's place in history, it is necessary to recreate 
the world as it looked to him and many blacks during the period of 
World War I and the 1920s. Then, none of these resources existed. 

When Marcus Garvey came to New York in 191C, the civil rights 
issue had disappeared from national politics. After the election of 
18 ii>. Congress refused, for instance, to permit the Army or Federal 
Marshals, to protect black voters. By the turn of the century, a 
southern advocate of black disfranchisement could confidently say 
'We have now the sympathy of thoughtful men in the North to an 
extent that never before existed." In 1901, the last black represent- 
ative left Congress. 

The Supreme Court offered no more hope. As earlv as 1873, a 
five-man majority asserted that it was not the purpose of the 14th 
Amendment to transfer the security and protection of civil rights 
irom the States to the Federal Government. By the end of the cen- 
tury, the Supreme Court Justices, writing into constitutional law 
their own belief that blacks were inferior, produced a legal counter- 
revolution. Few intellectuals spoke out. Academics, clergymen, and 
editors vied to justify white supremacy by appeals to Darwinism 
and Anglo-Saxomsm. The few who remained concerned with racial 
injustice counseled gradualism, rather than immediacy. Thus, the 
bouth received all the permission it needed to institutionalize 
white supremacist beliefs. 

The key change at the turn of the century, was disfranchise- 
ment Political impotency affected every aspect of black life. 
Unable to participate in the enactment or enforcement of the law, 
southern blacks became increasingly vulnerable to physical as- 
sault, oppression, and Jim Crow. 

The southern changes were significant because in 1910, nine out 
ot every ten blacks lived there, three-quarters of them in rural 
areas, proscribed by the isolation and poverty of plantation labor, 




as much as the formal proscriptions of law. A few, mostly members 
of the tiny northern black elite, organized to protest the new condi- 
tions. 

But even the new NAACP, *stablished in 1909, did not W em 
promising. The civil rights organizations of the early 20th century, 
lacked adequate finances, political leverage, mass support, white 
allies, and access to the major institutions shaping public opinion 
and policy. Although northern Macks voted, their numbers were 
strategically insi^nilicant. Before the World War I migration, only 
one million were northern, and (hey were scattered. Five percent 
of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, it w0 percent of New York anil Chi- 
cago, and barely visible in Detroit, Cleveland, and Newark. 

Blacks fared no better in other parts of the world. By 1903, after 
20 years of the «w imperialism,. Africans remained sovereign in 
only six of 10 political units. Con-lit ions were no better in March in 
Garvey 's Jamaica. Ruled by Greaf Britain, political participation in 
local government was limited by stiff property qualifications. Eco- 
nomically, old land and international competition depressed its 
sugar economy. Jamaicans went abroad to work; some of them emi- 
grated permanently. 

Thus. Marcus f/iirvey, born in 1HK7, grew up in a society where 
economic well-being, not to say opportunity, was meager for the 
mass of Jamaicans. The son of a master mason, the young Garvey 
was apprenticed t» his godfather, a printer. Like Benjamin Frank- 
lin, Garvey found that the printing trade brought him into a world 
of advanced thought and politic*.. Like other Jamaicans, however, 
he left the Island in 1910 and traveled throughout Central Amer- 
ica, England, and Europe, seeking work and some understanding of 
the ways that black life could be lettered. 

In London, he «>et other blacks., many from Africa, and he began 
tc believe that group, or Pan-Afr^an methods, could be efficacious. 
Returning to Jamaica in 1911, Y^i began a new organization, the 
Universal Negro Improvement Association. The name captured his 
Pan-African scope, but also reveled the main methods he would 
use. The word irriprovement, at (hat time, meant to make better, 
but it also implied that the way i/> make things better was through 
profitable enterprise. Economic development corporations then, 
were frequently called improvement companies. Yet, in Jamaica, 
economic prospects were not very promising. 

Garvey 's hopes remained, howler. He had read about the eco- 
nomic ideas of Booker T. Washington, the head of Tuskegee Insti- 
tute in Alabama, In March of 19Jft, he arrived in Harlem and sub- 
sequently traveled about the United States lecturing and learning. 
Garvey's optimism was fueled fey new changes in the United 
States. As the Nation entered th* war , black appointments in the 
Labor and War Departments, recognized the new importance of the 
black population, both as soldiers and as workers. One-half million 
migrated to the North. The higher wages earned by blacks in cities 
stimulated the growth of new blajk businesses. But all was not en- 
couraging. 

There was no major change in the legal status or the power of 
the Afro-American community in the South. The right to vote was 
still denied. An attempt by black sharecroppers to form a union in 
Elaine, Arkansas was met with violent repression. Contest* for 



Ms&mu&$L- 




34 

scarce housing, in some northern cities, triggered race riots. Yet, 
for the first time since the end of Reconstruction, prospects for 
change appeared promising. Both the ideology of the war "to make 
the world safe for democracy" — and real changes in the world, the 
removal of the Russian czar, t!._ setting up of new nation states in 
Eastern Europe gave many people the sense that empires would be 
replaced by new democratic nation states everywhere. Although in 
retrospect, we know the changes were more limited, at that time 
the possibility of change stimulated many to organize and demand 
democratic rights. 

During this period, Garvey established branches of the UNIA in 
many Eastern cities. Although he protested unjust treatment of 
blacks and demanded self-determination, Garvey was not simply a 
critic. He did not believe that the Supreme Court 

Mr. Conyers. Excuse me, Professor Stein. Those two bells re- 
quire that all the members vote on a m.atter now pending on the 
Floor of the Congress, so we will take a short recess and we will 
resume your testimony as soon as we return. 

[Recess] 

Mr. Conyers. Will everyone take their seats please, so that the 
subcommittee hearings can proceed. The subcommittee will come 
to order. Professor, you may continue. 

Professor Stein. Garvey did not believe that the Supreme Court 
the national Government, or the South, would alter the key mecha- 
nisms of white supremacy. Rather, he continued to believe that 
economic power was a sure route to black equality 

He told an audience, on February 1, 1019, that blacks must 
become a commercial and industrial people." Garvey's solution 
was to build a Pan-African shipping line. From the perspective of 

i im« as . n - ot a " unsuitable vehicle for black aspiration. 

in in j, ships were preeminent symbols of national power. The 
United States Government created a corporation to increase the 
American fleet The shortage of shipping made it a very profitable 
H^rV- 00 - Mor P° v : er - ? shipping line offered Pan-African divi- 
dends. African and West Indian shippers felt that the British, who 
dominated their trade were discriminating against them in favor 
Rln,U T an J ^era-Many of them encouraged Garvey to build the 
E &tar ^ m< \ The idea appealed to blacks of ambition and 
talent, who found normal entrepreneurial routes blocked. Ameri- 
nnsitinnf h 'Tiu at , this time ./arely hired blacks in managerial 
un n in tn n^ g Mul ^ C ' °' le °[ Gar vey's ship captains, had been 
unable to obtain a position on the bridge after the War. 

snrne e n^ g K S r "'^ ^u ma ,. de clear - At the time . an <* still today, 
hTl £ a? beheved that the Black Star Line wa s the vehicle for a 
issue Hpc"' 3 JS T e ( !? en ¥ t ,\^!f aide of Garv ey's tried to clarify the 
; 'The nL h f th • UI ? IA is not a "Back-to-Africa" movement, 

other Nefro." m AmenCa has had a better opportunity than any 

mJrWn , tHe UNIA Plan for Liberia was not an exodus, but in 
™Uon co a M g H age i a - P ' a t u t0 build an infrastructure so hat the 
an l?Ji d Zl ° P IS tHe west ?rn ^y. The Black Star Line was 
an important link in the economic development of the black world 

ship AYt C h°ou P ^ a he ng the B !f C ^ Star Lin e, Garvey obtained htafiS 
ship. Although he acquired others, paid for by selling $5.00 shares, 



-ffeSife 






35 

■ Line failed. Although Garvey and his associates 
takes, ultimately, they were victims of the depres- 

dcpression, by drastically reducing world trade, 
ling business unprofitable. At the same time, the 
American economy suffered a brief, but sharp, depression. Nation- 
wide unemployment hovered at 20 percent and over 100,000 busi- 
nessmen went bankrupt. The unemployment was greatest in the 
Tidewater area and midwestern cities, which had attracted many 
blacks during the war. Many of these areas were the homes of the 
strongest UNIA locals. Forced to seek work, many members 
became inactive. The unfavorable economic conditions proved deci- 
sive. 

Garvey fought a losing battle to sustain the Black Star Line. It 
was in this period of vulnerability that the Justice Department in- 
dicted him for mail fraud, an issue which others will address in 
detail. Identified as an agitator, a radical, and even a Communist 
by J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau chief had attempted to find a crime 
so that Garvey, an alien, could be deported. Failing to discover 
income tax violations, sexual improprieties, or passport irregular- 
ities, the Justice Department hit upon mail fivud at the time the 
Black Star Line was in economic difficulties. 

However, Justice Department documents reveal that the thread 
running through the prosecutor's case was that Garvey was, in the 
words of J. Edgar Hoover, a "dangerous race agitator." One must 
remember the context of that judgment and the meaning of those 
words. To many whites in power, the race question would be solved 
gradually and through the goodwill of sympathetic whites. To agi- 
tate, meaning to protest, was outside the boundaries of legitimate 
racial politics. To attempt to organize the masses of blacks, inde- 
pendently, was similarly out of bounds. To try to build a black 
shipping line could only be a fraudulent scheme to them. 

But by 1927, the efforts of Garveyites began to have effect. Con- 
gressmen, Senators, as well as ordinary people, joined the cam- 
paign for pardon. The Attorney General suddenly discovered that 
the facts of the case were not as the prosecutor had presented 
them, and that UNIA shareholders did not believe they had been 
defrauded. Nevertheless, the Government was still motivated by its 
conception of racial politics. Garvey was not pardoned. In 1927, his 
sentence was commuted and he was deported. Garvey, an alien, 
was the most vulnerable kind of political dissident. 

The legal system should not be used, as it was in all stages of 
this case, to suppress dissent or serve the political prejudices of bu- 
reaucrats. Exonerating Marcus Garvey, by passing House Resolu- 
tion No. 84 is not only an acknowledgement that many people 
admire Garvey's work. It will remind people that American justice 
has not been perfect and that the Nation can acknowledge its 
errors. Both effects will strengthen American democracy. 

[The statement of Professor Judith Stein follows:] 









■$ 















36 



STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OP HOUSE RESOLUTION 

NO. 84, SUBMITTED TO THE SUB-COMMITTEE 

ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE OF THE COMMITTEE ON 

THE JUDICIARY, JULY 28, 1987 



JUDITH STEIN 

PROFESSOI- ?- ",".-'' RY 

THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK 






37 



Foe most people today, the model o£ a black leader la 
Martin Luther King, who self-consciously and deliberately 
tri«d to end disc iminatory laws and practices in the United 
States through the use of mass civil disobedience, or a 
black elected official who does the same through the formal 
mechanisms of government, while the course of the civil 
rights Bovement beginning after World War II— from protest 
to politics — seems inevitable, it was not. Many things 
changed between the two world wars which caused that route 
to change. In order to understand Harcus Garvey's place in 
history, it is necessary to recreate the world as it looked 
to him and many blacks during the period of World War I and 
the 1920s. From their perspective, King's way would have 
seemed Utopian. The Ingredients of the successful politics 
of the 1960s — a mobilized black community and a 
sympathetic Supreme Court, Congress, academic community, 
labor movement, and public opinion — did not exist. 

When Marcus Garvey came to New York in 1916, the 
circumstances of black life and the possibilities of black 
politics were much narrower. After the election of 1876, 
the civil rights issue disappeared from the national 
political agenda. After acting to end slavery and establish 
equality, including voting rights, the Congress permitted 
the white South to disregard black rights and disfranchise 
Afro-Americans formally and informally. Thus, it refused to 
permit the use of the Army or federal marshalls to protect 
black voters. By the turn of the century, a southern, white 






toiiB&Afe: 




.****. »3Sw "VJL"U 



advocate of disf ranchisement could assert conf ldentally that 
•ve have now the sympathy of thoughtful men in the North to 
an extent that never before existed. - In 1901, the laat 
black representative left Congress. 

The Supreme Court offered no nore hope. Although the 
aiii of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had been to 
protect the legal and political rights of Afro-Americans 
against arbitrary state action, a five-man majority 
asserted as early as 1873 that it was not the purpose "to 
transfer the security and protection of civil rlghte ... 
from the states to the federal government." Throughout the 
late nineteenth century, the Amendment was narrowed and 
state laws permitting or mandating segregation, excluding 
blacks from jury service, permitting disfranchisement, and 
barring interracial contact — in one state playing checkers 
in packs — were found to be acceptable. Writing into the 
Constitution their own belief that blacks were inferior. 
Supreme Court justices produced a legal counter-revolution 

Few American Intellectuals spoke out. Academics, 
clergymen, and editors vied to justify white supremacy by 
appeals to Darwinism and Anglo-Saxonism. The few who 
remained concerned with racial injustice counseled 
gradualism rather than immediacy. Thus, total acquiescence 
by Northern liberals and government officials gave the white 



l.C. Vann Woodward, Ibfi_Sixange_Caxee.x_oi'_,Ii»_CxO¥, 2nd 
rev. ed. (New York, 1966), esp. 70, 74. 
2. SlflugblSIzBeufiE-Casea, 16 Wallace 36 (1673); and see 
UDiied_Slat4fl_^_c X uUc S han)s , 92 U.S. 5'2 (1876) and United 
fiialfiS_i._Bee.fi*, 92 U.S. 214 (1876) . 



„. .J5»_a« l _.iS_-a l Y-, ri . ,^. ^,__1_ii_y__ai 



39 



South all the permission it needed to institutionallie white 
supremacist beliefs. 

Senator Carter Glass of Virginia proclaimed at a 
constitutional conventioni "Discrimination! Why, that is 
precisely what we propose; that, exactly, is what this 
convention was elected for — to discriminate to the very 
extremity of permissible action under the li-itations of the 
Federal Constitution, with a view to the elimination of 
every Negro vcter who can be gotten rid of, legally." 4 And 
so it went. Political impot*ncy affected every aspect of 
black life. Unable to participate in the enactment or 
enforcement of the law, southern blacks became increasingly 
vulnerable to physical assault and oppression. Jim Crow 
laws mushroomed after the turn of the century. Atlanta 
mandated Jim Crow Bibles in its courtrooms. New Orleans 
segregated prostitutes, Oklahoma, telephone booths. Black 
schools, segregated before the new era, became marked by 
gross inequalities when blacks were excluded from the 
political community in the South. 

The southern changes were significant because in 1910, 
nine out of every ten blacks lived there, three-quarters of 



3. William Gosaett, Bflcfiji Tbe_Bi_I_xy__I_aD__d£fl_in 

America (Dallas, 1963), ch. 7; I. A. Newby, _i___x____ 
DEfflD-I (Baton Rouge, 1965), ch. 1. 

4. Cited in Paul Lewison, Bfl-£_-Cla__.<_a-,_--aX-yj A__isiei_ 

_-___a____uf_xas£_aD___bi-£_-Oii-i-_-i__-_£__flu_b (New York, 
1932), 86. 

5. Ibid., 84-85; 214-20; Woodward, Slxaos__Cax_:fiX__.-..iJim 
CXO-_ 97-102; Charles Wallace Collins, __£_______£___ 

A_>£Qd]_ei___a___-b--_£a-£- (Boston, 1912), 77-78; Horace Mann 

Bond , __tegxQ__d__a_i-D_iD__laba_ia __ J S_____i___o__a__a_d 

SifiBl (Washington, D.C., 1939).