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HISTORY OF THE EDITION
The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Papers Project formally began in June 1976 at Northwestern University in
Evanston, Illinois, under the sponsorship of the National Historical
Publications and Records Commission. The edition was transferred the
following year to the Center for Afro-American Studies, University of
California, Los Angeles. Since 1981 it has been affiliated with the university’s
James S. Coleman African Studies Center under the sponsorship of the
National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the National
Endowment for the Humanities. The project has also received generous
supporting grants from the Ahmanson, Ford, Rockefeller, and UCLA
Foundations.
THE PAPERS
The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association
Papers is a multivolume edition organized along primarily geographical lines
into three distinct but related series. The Main Series, published in seven
volumes, covers Garvey’s life and the historical evolution of the UNIA in North
America. The African Series comprises three volumes devoted to the expansion
of the Garvey movement in sub-Saharan Africa and among Africans residing in
the European colonial metropoles during the interwar years. These volumes
also include the responses of European imperial and colonial governments to
the challenge posed by the African Garvey movement. The Caribbean Series
covers the movement in the territories of the Caribbean basin, including the
Central American littoral and South American mainland.
This tripartite structure of the edition reveals important differences in the
Garvey movement’s development in the United States, Africa, and the
Caribbean. Although there were areas of overlap among the three regions,
particularly in terms of the diverse ethnic origin of the leaders and followers
resulting from interregional migration within the Americas and Africa, each
region exhibited sufficiently distinctive patterns of development to justify
separate but interrelated presentations.
The first two volumes of the Caribbean Series comprise over 1,000
documents, spanning the years from 1910 to 1921. They chronicle the complex
and varied responses to Garveyism on the part of Caribbean-based
organizations as well as the actions taken by European colonial governments to
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