Garvey vs. Du Bois

1980 Words8 Pages
The Common Difference’s of Elitism Vs. Nationalism
The often fierce ideological exchanges between Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Du Bois are interesting, not as much because of the eloquence of their expression, as because of the fact that although outwardly contradictory, these ideologies were often unified at their foundation. This unity was not simply in terms of the broad and obvious intent to better the conditions of “black folk”, it was in terms of the very details that defined the trajectory and means of the advancement of blacks in America and all over the world.
It is clear that the seeming ideological disunity between the Garvey and Du Bois perspectives only masked the commonalities that underpinned each of their approaches to
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He authored Black Folk Then and Now, to shed light on the often untold history of Africans and the transatlantic slave trade and, in fact, died and was buried in Ghana where he was living by the personal invitation of Kwame Nkrumah. Equally impassioned by the cause for black rights in the international arena, Garvey’s work toward this end was reflected in the name and practice of his “Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities (Imperial) League”. Like Du Bois, Garvey spoke fervently on behalf of the interests of blacks both in the United States and internationally. It was the express mission of this organization to bring together the people of what Garvey called “the African race”. He too participated in the Pan-African Congresses and a cornerstone of his movement was “pride in the race’s African heritage.” This concept of the interconnectedness of blacks across the globe, with African heritage as their anchor, was a unifying aspect of Du Bois’ and Garvey’ ideologies. Here again, however, this fundamentally similar belief was overshadowed by more superficial ideological differences. Although loyal to Africa, Du Bois saw himself and blacks born in the United States as Americans, a contrast to Garvey who rejected this concept, defining his identity and allegiance first and foremost in terms of his blackness. Du Bois, on the one hand, regarded himself and blacks born in the United
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