Eliot Knows…

Cultural rot in West probably set in when the American Negro was in its infancy, so our battle has been an up hill, one maybe destined for doom. I refuse to be black pilled and hope remains in my soul for my people. We shall march on understanding these sage words from T.S Eliot.

For the immediate future, and perhaps for a long way ahead, the continuity of our culture may have to be maintained by a very small number of people.
—T. S. Eliot,

Official Song of the AfroTraditionalist?

That vanished tribe I am from, the American Negro, has always found a way to express our perspectives musically whether it was on the plantation, in the juke joint or in the church. We took classical music’s instruments, improvised, and created Jazz. Read the bible and  turned God’s word into a passionate music called Gospel. Studied the preacher’s sermons and gave it that spin you may hear in a Baptist ministers sermon- we always found away to make something ours. Sometimes our additions are obvious other times you can’t pin point it you can only feel it. What you feel, the old Jazz cats would call, swing other times “soul”., but here the focus is swing.
The song that reflects this is not the most important song in our history nor is it even my favorite song but the message expresses what we stand for here.

                                                https://youtu.be/h2iEulpX910

Fireplace Chat with Sam Burnham

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The AfroTraditonalist has been interested in starting a regular fireside chat with interesting people from the various political & cultural “spheres” I interact with on the internet.
Sam Burnham is a blogger and media personality from North Georgia with roots across the South, who’s purpose is “the celebration and preservation of Southern history, culture, and agrarian ideals.”  He will be the first to pull up the chesterfield and have a chat.
He can be followed on Twitter @C_SamBurnham and be found writing at his website
http://www.allthebiscuitsingeorgia.com/.

AfroTrad: Hello, Sam I happy to have you as my first fireside chat. I have known you on Twitter for quite a while and have always enjoyed your tweets, disposition, and point of view.

Sam Burnham: Hello and thank you for graciously inviting me to be a part of this chat. I’m honored to be a part of it.
AfroTrad: You are a Southerner but not only in a geographical sense but it is a part of the foundation of your identity. I too consider myself a Southerner, but culturally as I’ve spent much of my life as part of the Black Southern diaspora.

How does your identity as a southerner inform how you approach the world?

Richard Weaver, a great Southerner & traditionalist, said:
“The man of culture finds the whole past relevant; the bourgeois and the barbarian find relevant only what has some pressing connection with their appetite.”
The chivalric, anti-industrial mores of the South’s past seem to be on the run in our current age. Places like Atlanta and Charlotte have been colonized by the most vulgar consumerist types, killing most of the character that one would associate with the old South, not only in the superficial sense but even spiritually. How can we use the South’s history and traditional culture; its folklore; literature; folkways; music and cuisine, the things that make the South a full culture, to fight this tide?  Is it possible in your opinion?

Sam: As a Southerner, I think it’s important to lay out a definition of sorts. I say “of sorts” because one thing about the South that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is how very diverse the South is. A person from Louisiana, a person from Georgia, and a person from North Carolina could all be Southerners while enjoying very different food, music, architecture, even denominations when choosing places of worship – and all while speaking in very different accents. It is possible that a visitor from Europe might not think these three people to even be from the same country, much less the same region.

But looking at what a Southerner is, we think about the Old South. So much of the “New South” movement is just a version of the ideology of the North using the word “y’all” and sipping sweet tea during breaks at a factory. It’s industrialized, it’s modernized, and its sanitized. The real South is none of that. Southerners care about the land they’re emotionally tied to, the traditions that live there, and they know there are skeletons in our closet. We know our history has ugly parts. But we also know that, without the whole picture, there’s just not a South, not as we know it.

So as I approach the world as a Southerner, I look at how to live in a way that benefits this land and its people. I look at how to preserve the old parts we still have. And I think about how our way of life and making decisions can have a positive impact on the world.
That brings me to your second question.
We have to accept that these large metropolitan areas that have popped up throughout the South just aren’t Southern. Shopping malls, skyscrapers, and factories just can’t hold a traditional role in the South. I heard it said best when a common pal of ours said: “Atlanta is what 350,000 Confederate soldiers died trying to prevent.”
But what you do about this is to look for those enclaves of the South that still remain in these places. Those old neighborhoods, monuments, cemeteries, as well as restaurants and entertainment venues.
While the modern developers have left little room for people to make their own living off the land, there are still those local businesses that we should support, especially if those businesses are carrying on a piece of Southern culture.

I also think we need to be an example. We need to not only be Southerners, we need others to see what that means. We need people to know that a Southerner is more than a white guy in a ball cap driving a pickup truck in a Luke Bryan video.  Because in so many ways, today’s modern culture has spilled over and mutated true Southern culture.

AfroTrad: The South is much more diverse than where I was raised, New England. The north has more immigrants so it is mistakenly thought of as having greater diversity. But I find the South forms of diversity to be far more interesting as it is mostly home developed. From unique cultures like Gullah of SC and Creoles of Louisiana; to interesting isolate groups like the various “smalls races”; not to mention the various cuisines and sub-cuisines popular far and wide. The South carries variety unmatched by the rest of the US.

If you were directing someone, completely ignorant of the South and its culture and history, to learn about the South what would you suggest to them? Where would you suggest they visit? What literature and poetry would you tell them contains the soul of the South?

Sam: There are so many special places – from the mountains of North Georgia to the Yazoo Delta region of Mississippi.
If you are to understand the history of The South, begin at the begin at the beginning. It’s a little-known fact that the country began in The South. The first permanent English settlement at Jamestown had been in place for a dozen years before The Mayflower landed at Plymouth. St. Augustine, Florida was in its seventh decade when Jamestown was established.
St.Augustine has always held a special place in my heart. It is a must see. The architecture there is simply gorgeous, everything is old and has a story. And it can be helpful to see Southern roots that aren’t English.
But Jamestown/Williamsburg/Yorktown triangle is really what I’d call the cradle of The South. This is where the true colonial birth of America took place. Jamestown was where the British began, Williamsburg would serve as the colonial capital, and Yorktown is where the colonists finally severed the ties with England – all within a couple miles of each other.

Then places like Savannah, Chattanooga, and Charleston, all have their own history to offer. But I’d say if you want to understand the South, you have to risk getting a little of it on you. Get out of the cities. Go find the real South.

Everyone knows that Nashville is The Music City but very few know that Country Music was really born in Bristol.
When you say Louisiana, folks to straight to The Big Easy in their minds. But you really need to hit some local spots a little further South – down around Houma, Raceland, or Thibodaux.
I just this morning saw one of these media sites compile some list of the best BBQ places in the country. Of the 2, 4 were in Atlanta. I don’t think the 4 best BBQ places in Georgia are in Atlanta, so how could 4 of the best 25 in the country be there? Get out of the cities, they aren’t Southern.

Look for forts, battlefields, agritourism, local restaurants, local musical performances, etc.

As far as literature, and of the 12 Southerners of I’ll Take My Stand renown. Faulkner, Civil War titles by Shelby Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor. Read humorists like Lewis Grizzard and Bo Whaley. And remember, if a story isn’t about how rough life is, either laughing or crying about it, it’s probably not South

AfoFogey: Three of my four grandparents are from the rural South, I spent much of my youth around the waterways of coastal SC and on the country roads of Tuskegee, AL. Some of the best times of my life. My favorite thing to do then, and now for that matter, was to visit the small AME, and the occasional Apostolic(for the music), churches that dotted my grandparent’s environs. The rural South really does have a mystical otherworldly feel that one has to visit with an open mind to really get.

What area of the South are you from? Tell us a few things about you’d like us to know.
You mentioned food. Which is always one of my favorite topics. As one of Geechee heritage red rice, perlo, and other Gullah dishes are staple foods in my house. I also really enjoy the stereotypical, but sublime, foods associated with the South like fried chicken, grits, collard greens, biscuits etc. Of course, BBQ is good. I really enjoy whole hog BBQ, I am a fan of South Carolina style most.What are your favorite dishes? Was your region known for a particular style of cuisine or dish?

I think Southerners have a keen sense of the tragic that is well represented in its folklore and literature. Your comment “And remember, if a story isn’t about how rough life is, either laughing or crying about it, it’s probably not Southern.” reminded me of this Ralph Ellison quote  “The blues speak to us simultaneously of the tragic and the comic aspects of the human condition and they express a profound sense of life shared by many Negro Americans precisely because their lives have combined these modes”, I think that’s one observation that could be said of the whole South.

I suppose we can not speak of the South without mentioning race.  In regards to Blacks & Whites, The South is the most integrated area of the nation, to the surprise of many, they have always lived side by side here. Somethings that are thought to be black in other parts of the nation could be said to be general Southern things. Slavery, reconstruction, and Jim Crow obviously are points of contention among black and white southerners but in a cultural sense, they share many similarities.

How do you think the relationship between the two group will go in the future? Do you think the influence of liberal northerners and racists has severed any for unity that could be had beyond repair?

Sam: I see we have something else in common. Three of my grandparents grew up in the rural South while one grew up in rural New England. Of the three Southerners, one grew up in North Georgia, one in South Georgia and the Florida Panhandle, The third grew up on a far outside Iuka, Mississippi. This combination is much more diverse than non-Southerners would typically understand.
In my formative years, this combination had me growing up in North Georgia while spending a lot of time in the Central Florida area. Florida is not considered to be a Southern state by many. I’d suggest that these folks have probably been to Ft. Meyers or Miami and never been to a fish fry in Morriston or Sebring. They’ve probably never fished for warmouth on Orange Lake near Micanopy or seen live manatees from a jon boat in the St. John’s River. Trust me, parts of Florida are very Southern.

As far as home, I grew up in the Appalachian foothills of North Georgia. While my history is in the mountains, I feel at home anywhere in the Peach State or the rural areas of Florida. I attended college just over the line in Alabama. My blog, and all the media that accompanies it, is based mainly on the experiences in these states but also on my travels throughout the South.

Food is one of those most Southern of things. I think I was in college before I realized that there was something known as “black food”. So many of the items labeled “soul food” were commonplace on the tables of my mother and grandmothers.  Any kind of beans or peas with a thick slice of cornbread. I’ve yet to meet a cut of pork that I did not like. Yes, the stereotypical BBQ. I don’t have a preference between Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, if it’s a pig and it’s been properly smoked, I’m going to eat it. I love fried chicken and any kind of greens. Obviously, I love biscuits and sausage gravy. And I think cheese grits are best served with fried fish and hush puppies. I remember several occasions thinking “That’s not ‘black food’ that’s my food!”

I’m glad you mentioned the blues. I think the music by people like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie Johnson, Muddy Waters, and so many others, not only told the story of the South, it paved the way for today’s rock, rap, R&B, practically every modern form of popular music. Without the early Southern music, we’d have no popular music today.
One of the great blessings in my life has been my experiences growing up in an integrated town. My parents were in high school during desegregation. I heard so many stories of what they saw and endured in that tumultuous time.
While I grew up in a relatively small town, I attended city schools. I was a racial minority in high school. Our racial makeup was about 60% black, 40% white with just a few Asian and Hispanic students. We didn’t have friends from other races because it was trendy. You had friends from other races because you didn’t really now much different. If you were on a team or in a club, you were involved with students of a different race. We had class together, lunch together, practice together, meetings together, life together. That was just our reality. It was how we were all raised. Was it free of any and all animosity? No. But neither is reality.
I like to think that we have a bright future. I think the fact that you and I are having this fireside chat is indicative of what can be. Many would look at you and I and think us to be opposites, perhaps mortal enemies. But unlike the narratives the northern liberals and racists you mentioned would have us believe, you and I have far more in common than we have in opposition. The difference between you and I and so many in our nation today is that we have taken the time and effort to find our similarities and to let them bring us together rather than letting our differences drive us apart. If a majority of Southerners will do that, we’ll not only be the most integrated part of the country, we’ll also be the most united.

This chat has been great and I appreciate the invite. If there is anything else you’d like to ask, please feel free. I’d also be very open to having other chats in the future, should you wish to.

AF: Thank you for participating Mr. Burnham, I appreciate you.

Happy (belated) Birthday Mahalia Jackson!!!

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The best singer this green earth has ever seen died on January 27, 1972, at the age of 60. She is best known for being the most famous gospel sing ever, the Queen of Gospel they say. Her name was Mahalia Jackson, Momma Mahalia to me and those AfroTrads who share my great appreciation for her work and ways.
When Mahalia sang, yes sang, if had a certain medieval depth of religious feeling, an ancient feeling of spiritually one is want to come across in this age – the kind singing and faith I imagine William A. Percy was referring to in Lanterns on the Levee. I have not come across it in my 30 or so years on earth, personally.
Ralph Ellison wrote a great essay on Mahalia that I want to share a few excerpts from, some of my favorite songs from her will follow them.
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My Favorite Song Ever.

The Upper Room

https://youtu.be/OLZcoDsPUkI

Summer Time & Motherless Child

Sweet Little Jesus Boy

Trouble of the World

White Knight Liberal Allies?

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I’m rather keen on most of Gil Scott Heron’s work, although I tend to prefer his songs to his spoken word . I rarely agree with more than 30% of what he might say in a given piece but what parts I do agree with, I really enjoy. Here is a quote from Comment #1 a spoken word recording in which I can’t say I find much to relate fully to aside from the quoted:

‘The irony of it all
Is when a pale face SDS motherfucker dares
Look hurt when I tell him go find his own revolution
He wonders why I tell him that America’s revolution
Won’t be a melting pot but the toilet bowl
He’s fighting for legalized smoke or lower voting age
Less lip from his generational gap and fucking in the street
Where is my parallel to that?
All I want is a good home, a wife and children
And some food to feed them every night’

It is slightly amusing but ultimately sad that our present day so called revolutionaries and radicals haven’t learned what Negroes like Delany spoke in the 1800’s, and Gil Scott repeated in the 70’s, about these patronizing so called white (knights) allies and are unifying with goofy anarchist, antifa, socialist and communist to destroy their own cities. Someone may benefit from these “protests”, but I assure you it won’t be any black community. Integrationist always fail on that point.

Black 400’er Edwin Harleston

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Edwin Harleston is the scion of of an old middle class Charlestonian family, who despite being constrained by his duty to his family, still managed, to be accomplished enough to be described by W.E.B DuBois as  “the leading portrait painter of the race”.

“[I want to paint] our varied lives and types with the classic technique and the truth, not caricatures,” he wrote. “To do the dignified portrait and take the picturesque composition of arrangements or scenes, showing the thousand and one interests of our group.” – Edwin Harleston

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Miss Bailey in an African shawl.

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The Cook

Third Way – Black Nationalism.

Recent issues of Third Way have discussed the music of Public Enemy and the politics of Malcolm X. Both are generally classified as Black Separatists or Nationalists (although the designation may not be an entirely accurate description of Malcolm X’s ideology in the last year of his life, when he moved toward a “we are all brothers under Islam” perspective). The major media all uniformly uphold a racial integrationist perspective and the implication of their massive propaganda machinery is that all those opposed to vast social, racial and cultural mingling are bigots motivated by hatred. We are constantly being told that unless we support inter-racial marriage and overall amalgamation of our unique ways of life, we must be “haters”.

Of course, a good case could be made that just the reverse is true, that those who sincerely care about the races of men are concerned with preserving, not destroying them. In fact those who push for wholesale integration are generally those who are indifferent to the history and traditions of both European and African peoples.

As part of the media attempt to convince us that the destruction of all differences between people is the only way to brotherhood among men a deliberate censorship is imposed on all those who have attempted and are attempting to offer an alternative vision. Increasingly, as imposed integrationism fails to satisfy both Black and White, the establishment seeks to eradicate the memory of those who have spoken out for racial pride and solidarity in the past and ignore those doing so at present.

Third Way has broken this silence, but the true tale needs to be told at greater length. Indeed, racial pride, a sense of a people’s link to past and future has been forcefully and ably articulated over the past two centuries by scores of Black Leaders. Alas, they are unlikely to have a TV mini-series on their live commissioned…..

It should be pointed out that among Blacks there have been three general positions on race. The first which may be labelled integrationist sees race as of no significance whatever and hopes to bring about a time when racial traits will be completely irrelevant. To this group, the characteristics, traditions, myths, songs, customs, collective memories and natural loyalties of a people are not deserving of respect and love nor of defence and perpetuation. The second group are best described as believers in racial solidarity yet devoted to multi-racialism. This positions’ ideology is difficult to pin down. It refers to Blacks and Whites as collective bodies, seeks legislation based on racial distinctions, associations socially with its own race, but calls for the elimination of race as a factor of any import. In this group fall large numbers of establishment tolerated Black leaders and movements. Third are the Black Nationalists who see their people as unique with a distinct past, present and future. They hope to reverse the process of integration, advocating anything from a return to Africa and (or) the granting of territory within North America and Europe for independent Black Nations or, at the very least, local autonomous government for Black communities.

Our concern at present is with the third position just outlined. The advocates of the second stance often possess a sense of racial awareness which conflicts with their political rhetoric and might make them also worthy of study. The confused nature of their position, however, places them outside the confines of our topic. Despite the fact that they may be Black Nationalists in thought and perhaps deed, they are not in word.

Black Nationalism: Early Stirrings

Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the largest population of displaced Black people was to be found in America. It was there that the notions of solidarity and autonomy that would pave the way for Separatists Doctrines were born. In 1789 the Free African Society of Newport. Rhode Island (a Black fraternal organisation) sent a proposal to its sister group in Philadelphia appealing for a return-to-Africa movement. By 1815 actual steps in this direction by a wealthy Black Shipowner, Paul Cuffee, who began repatriating Blacks to Sierra Leone.

In 1817 shortly before Cuffee’s death the American Colonisation Society (ACS) was founded to accomplish with greater efficiency his plan. The ACS founded Liberia and between 1822 and 1861 approximately 15,000 Blacks choose to return there under its auspices.

Support for a return to Africa was growing amongst American Blacks. In 1827 the country’s first Black newspaper Freedom’s Journal was published in New York City and after some initial internal battles its editor John B Russwurm firmly embraced emigration. Practising what he preached he eventually settled in Liberia himself as a superintendent of schools, sponsored by the ACS.

After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 which required that all escaped slaves be returned to their owners large numbers of Blacks embraced colonisationbecause of what they saw as the hopelessness of their situation in America. Among prominent Black leaders who supported emigration during this period were AlexandraCrumwell, Samuel Ward, Henry Highland Barrett and Martin R. Delany. Howard Bell in his monumental study A Survey of the Negro Convention Movement, 1830-1861 maintains that by the mid 1850’s the majority of Black leaders favoured repatriation.

Delany and Barrett felt that the ACS was too dominated by Whites. They associated with the Black controlled African Civilisation Society. Delany spent lengthy periods of time in the Niger Valley and is the source for the oft quoted slogan, “Africa for the African Race, and Black Men to Rule Them”.

Crumwell was a Black Preacher who eventually settled in Liberia and as an official of that Government frequently journeyed to America to persuade Blacks to return toAfrica. He was a deeply religious man who wrote:- “Races, like families, are the organisms and the ordinance of God and race feeling like family feeling is of Divine Origin.”

In passing it is worth noting that President Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves was a strong advocate of either establishing a Black colony in the Caribbean or aiding a general return to Africa. Even in August 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, when a delegation of Black Leaders visited him at the White House he told them he favouredrepatriation – which was “better for us both”.

Post Civil War Separatists

The turmoil of reconstruction after the Civil War in which the Federal government used draconian measures to enforce mult-racialism on the South resulted in the violent resistance of the Ku Klux Klan. It was a scenario to be frequently repeated up till the present day. Forced integration provoking hatred and leading to violence. Eventually the South restored segregation, but this was far from the “separate but equal” principle demanded by the nineteenth century courts. Blacks were second class citizens deprived of elementary rights to vote, go to school or earn a living. They were seen as inferior people with no identity or need for self-determination.

In response to this horrid situation Blacks organised the Liberian Exodus Joint Stock Steamship Company which in 1878 brought the steamship  Azor to Liberia full of repatriates. Financial problems followed and only one trip was made.

This failure was followed by a fascinating experiment in Black Separatism. Benjamin Singleton known among his followers as the “Moses of the Coloured Exodus” led some eight thousand Blacks from the South to settle in virgin territory in Kansas during the winter of 1879. The community survived for a brief time, but soon racism had infectedKansas and Singleton began to look elsewhere. In 1885 he founded the United Transatlantic Society to expedite Black transportation to Africa. The Society never put its goals into practice, but it went on record supporting “separate Negro national existence”.

The most prominent Black Nationalist of the Pre-World War One period was Bishop Henry M. Turner. In 1891 he visited Africa and encouraged by what he saw returned a year later to outspokenly advocate emigration. That same year he was in the forefront of those lobbying in congress for passage of the Butler Bill which would have committed the government to financially aid all Blacks wanting to return to Africa. Turner and the still existing ACS were aided in their lobbying by Professor Edward W.Blyden of Liberia. Blyden is generally seen as the father of Pan-Africanism – the belief in racial unity among Blacks world wide. A West Indian by birth he settled in Africa in 1851. Although the Butler Bill was defeated (it is interesting to imagine what the future development of America and Africa would have been had it been passed!) Byden’sextensive writings had a tremendous effect on a young Jamaican called Marcus Garvey.

Bishop Turner continued the Nationalist struggle helping to found the International Migration Society. This group originally followed by the Liberian Colonisation Society sent ships full of repatriates to Africa in the late 1890’s. Money, however, was always short. The emigrants could not afford to pay their own way and the government refused to help.

“My Race Is Mine”

Bishop Turner’s efforts reaped little practical fruit and he died in 1915. Yet, his death almost coincided with the spiritual genesis of the greatest Black Nationalist movement of all time. In 1913 Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican living in London, read Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery. Washington advocated Black Economic self-determination, not political and social autonomy, but Garvey saw the three as linked. Washington’s book changed his life. He later wrote of that time, “My doom – if I may so call it – of being a race leader dawned on me. Where is the black man’s government, his army, his President?….I could not anymore remain in London. My brain was afire”.

Arriving back in Kingston in mid-summer 1914 Garvey founded the United Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities League. The name was later shortened and it became known as the UNIA: a group with a multi-purpose program. Members devoted to themselves to Black self-help programs, African independence struggles, back-to-Africa plans, and the promotion of racial pride.

After a year, though, Garvey recognised that his movement was struggling. Talk about the glories of ancient Africa meant little to those suffering in the present. Thus, in 1916 at age 28 Garvey went to America to raise funds and enthusiasm for his movement. It was a trying time as he worked part-time and gave speeches on assorted street corners in New York’s Harlem area. After three months he began to cross America all the while speaking for the UNIA. Eventually in 1917 he was able to found a UNIA chapter inNew York city. In 1918 he began publishing what was to become the internationally distributed newspaper Negro World. At its peak circulation would reach over 60,000. The paper’s masthead said it all — “One God, One Aim, One Destiny”. It was a direct message of racial solidarity and a popular one at that. By 1919 the UNIA had thirty chapters world-wide and two million members.

It was to be a furious yet short period of success for Garvey. He held huge national conventions, staged uniformed parades in Black communities, founded a shipping company to raise money for his cause, sent a delegation to the League of Nations asked for African Independence and preached long and hard the message of Black pride and solidarity:-

The time has come for the Asiatics to govern themselves in Asia, as the Europeans are in Europe. So too it is wise for the Africans to govern themselves at home…… There is no other way to avoid the threatening war of the races that is bound to engulf all mankind; there is not better method than by apportioning every race to its own habitat.

It was a powerful doctrine and one that was firmly opposed by both the integrationist and white supremacist forces of that period. The result was swift. In January 1922 Garvey was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of mail fraud. He was kept in prison for fifteen months before ever being brought to trial. On June 21, 1923 he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. All appeals proved futile, and in 1925 Garvey began serving his sentence in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.

From the prison cell his activities continued. It was there he wrote the poem  The Tragedy of White Injustice with the memorable stanza:-

Every man on his own foothold should stand

Claiming a nation and a fatherland!

White, Yellow and Black should make their own laws

And force no one-sided justice with flaws…

In 1927 President Coolidge commuted Garvey’s sentence. He was released, but apparently it was all a set-up for shortly thereafter the government deported him. Back inJamaica he set to work strengthening the local UNIA chapter. In 1928 he journeyed to England to launch a European chapter of his movement.

From then on things took a downward turn for Garvey. Although the organisation’s 1929 convention held in Kingston was successful, overall support was dwindling. Garvey’s efforts to rebuild his once great Association from Jamaica failed and in 1935 he returned to England. Membership declined steadily despite a last attempt on his part, the founding in 1937 of the School of African Philosophy.

Marcus Garvey’s last years were lived in poverty and relative obscurity. He died on June 10th 1940, shortly after suffering a stroke. Of his family he said, “I have nothing to leave for them, but the service I have cheerfully given my race.”

The battle between integrationists and White Supremacists was fought in the West after World War Two. Victory went to the former. Yet, the Black man still suffers. He is still persecuted, impoverished and alienated. Lingering doubts remain. White supremacy is evil, but is integration the answer?

Large numbers of Blacks do not believe it is. Either ignored or castigated by the media for their beliefs they continue to maintain that all races are special with unique needs and destinies. Some like the Black Power advocates of the late sixties and early seventies, via organisations such as the Black Panther Party in America, called for black economic and communal self determination. Although shying away from talk of repatriation or statehood their movement was one of exclusionist racial memory, pride, culture and self-defence. Bobby Seale, Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver led the party while the likes of Stokely Carmichael and H. Rapp Brown functioned as movement spokesmen.

One of the oldest Separatist groups is the Nation of Islam or, as they are commonly called, Black Muslims. Founded by Elijah Muhammad and currently led by Louis Farrakhan they maintain, amidst a backdrop of unique religious doctrine, a commitment to territorial secession from White America. All they ask is that they be granted “four or five fertile States” and “twenty years of government assistance” to make their new nation work.

Osiris Akkabala carries on the Garvey tradition via his Pan-African International movement. His program calls for an eventual return to Africa and emphasises black history, pride and racial solidarity. It is continuation of the old Garvey tradition – a call for a return of the black race to its former African greatness.

There are others. UNIA itself struggles on, and Elijah Muhammad’s son Wallace leads an alternative Muslim organisation. Indeed, it seems safe to say that most black street activists although demanding a non-racist attitude in their rhetoric are, in reality, primarily racial nationalists at heart.

Practically Speaking

Obviously members of all races interested in their particular heritage’s and respective ways of life are a minority today. Most whites and blacks pledge their loyalty to nothing more than vapid consumerism and shallow “fun”. Hollywood and Wall Street dominate all races.

In this climate of “hollow men” it is foolish to speak of repatriation, of a return to ancestral soil, be it of Europe or of Africa. Before social policy can change there must be a change in the minds and hearts of men. We must strive to present the beauty of community, of being together with others, those alive, dead, and yet unborn; we mustemphasise that quality of life is man’s highest goal and his greatest source of joy.

Third Way is devoted to developing a true sense of community and to the dignity of men living with their fellows. For black and white alike it means a return to one’s innermost self. Only after we are in touch with who we are can we turn to the practical questions of land, autonomy and the like.

Marcus Garvey was a giant, a hero for both Black and White. Before his death he said, “When I am dead look for me in the whirlwind of the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace, I shall come…to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life.” In the Third Way the fight goes on.

Suggestions For Further Reading

For a general introduction to Separatist movements both past and present Raymond L. Hall’s Black Separatism in the United States (Dartmouth, 1978) is a fine place to start. Pre-Garvey movements are covered, albeit critically, in The Golden Age of Black Nationalism 1850-1925 by W.J. Moses (Oxford, 1978). A fascinating recounting of “Pap” Singleton’s journey to Kansas may be found in  Pap Singleton and his Followers in the Journal of Negro History, 33, No 1, pp 7-23. Of great importance is EdwinRedkey’s Black Exodus: Black Nationalist and Back to Africa Movements 1890-1910 (Yale, 1969).

On Malcolm X and the Muslims a neglected, but sensitive work is Peter Goldman’s The Death and Life of Malcolm X (Illinois, 1979).

Literature on Garvey and the UNIA is growing steadily. The Majority Press (PO Box 476, Canton, Mass. 02021 USA) offers at least ten books in its New Marcus Garvey Library. Of particular note are those by Tony Martin, among them Race First, Literary Garveyism, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey and The Pan-African Connection: from Slavery to Garvey and Beyond.

Other works of interest are Marcus Garvey’s Foot Soldiers of the U.N.I.A. by Jeanette Smith-Irvin (Frenton, 1989) and Black Power and the Garvey Movement by Ted Vincent (Nzinga, 1988).

Tearing Douglas’s Coat Tails

coattails

Historic figures and great people, impact tends to go beyond simple ideology, and that’s especially true the influence fighting an institution as harsh and (now) uniformly condemn as chattel slavery. Modern politics are a team sports, thus as I type this both Liberal African Americans and  Conservative African Americans are trying their best to fit an octagon peg into their respectively square and triangle slots. Of course Frederick Douglas’s time and outlook was far too different, complex and serious to comfortably compare it to the general vapidness of the modern political thought and aspirations of the Black left and right.
Professor Blair L.M Kelly has an article on The Grio  in which takes on the Frederick Douglass Republicans, the article started off with a badly formed explanation of when and why the Dixiecrats migrated from the DNC to the GOP and go on to infer that Douglas would have supported abortion, without no information supporting such a conclusion. Although, I’d agree  with her in that Douglas and , “Frederick Douglass Republican” K. Carl Smith have little in common.

The saddest thing about all of this is Mr. Smith’s Diversity Outreach website, where they provide white republicans with “The four essential statements that allow you to control the narrative and defeat the “race card.” I’ve never met a person who has participated in such a class. But I can only imagine the mixed of manipulative, honey mouth republicans and earnest foolish cucks who’d involve themselves in this fellow’s racket.