Women of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (1914-1927)
Thomas Jr. Jackson
Robert L. Harris, Jr.
Thesis DT 3.5 1999 J335
x, 146 leaves; 29 cm.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Kingston, Jamaica in 1914. The organization made a transition to the United States in 1916. It was the largest mass organization of peoples of African descent during the height of its popularity between 1919 and 1929. The Universal Negro Improvement Association was a manifestation of Pan-African and Black Nationalist antecedents in the African Diaspora. It was a reaction to white hegemonic domination, colonialism, and oppression.
The women of the UNIA were a vital aspect of the movement's growth and proliferation. Most of the scholarship on the movement has not engaged the roles of women in the organization. This thesis is a small contribution in respect to documenting the activism and roles of Black women in the UNIA. The women in the organization transcended proscribed gender roles that deemed women subservient and unequal to men in the UNIA. This thesis will examine how these women stepped outside strict gender boundaries and became advocates for the advancement and liberation of people of African descent.
The women in the movement developed a consciousness that expanded their world-view and became activists, honored elders, leaders, and artists for the liberation of Black people. The Universal Negro Improvement Association gave these women a consciousness that was committed to the survival and wholeness of peoples of African descent all over the world. Women like Amy Jacques-Garvey, "Queen Mother" Moore, Audley Moore, Adelaide Casely-Hayford, Daisy Whyte, and Ethel Collins were active in the Universal Negro Improvement Association. They embodied the commitment and dedication of women involved in the movement during the nineteen twenties.