Brief (but significant) encounters? Marcus Garvey and Zionism

Brief (but significant) encounters? Marcus Garvey and Zionism
Michael Berkowitz, University College London

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
5:00 pm, Rockefeller 001

The Universal Negro Improvement Association, the campaign for African American empowerment under Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), featured the promise to 'return' masses of slaves' descendants to Africa.  Countless observers were struck by similarities between "Garveyism" and Zionism, seeing Garvey as an imitator of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904).   This presentation not only seeks to compare Zionism and Garveyism but illuminates critical relationships between them.   It focuses on (Zionist) Julian Mack's role in the Garvey trial and subsequent appeal.  While the movements were largely on parallel tracks—with Zionism (apparently) having succeeded, and Garveyism suffering an ignominious crash, with the conviction of its leader on criminal charges—the emphasis here is on their fateful direct encounter. Mentioned fleetingly in the Black/Jewish clash of the 1980s by Tony Martin, this episode deserves a thoughtful examination.

Michael Berkowitz is teaching at University College London. In his research he deals among others with Jewish identity formation, relationships between art, politics, and culture as well as the politics of religion in Mandate Palestine. Currently he is completing a publication entitled Jews and Photography in Britain: Connections and Developments, 1850-2007.

Free and open to the public!

Sponsored by the Leon Black Lecture Series and the Jewish Studies Program