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By Professor Dean E. Robinson

Black Nationalism in American Politics and suggestion revisits the activism and arguments in aid of separate black statehood from the mid-19th century to the current, detailing the methods black nationalism mirrors broader currents in U.S. politics and proposal. This publication demanding situations the concept black nationalism is a undying, unchanging, and anti-assimilationist impulse. It argues that black nationalism within the usa attracts on analogous political process and considering specific to precise ancient eras--often inadvertently reproducing ideas and considering answerable for racial inequality within the first position.

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13 Yet, as Malcolm X explained, Elijah Muhammad’s history involved making a particular leap of faith that neither Ali nor Garvey had demanded. Muhammad explained the origins of the races with an elaborate creation mythology that taught of a “big-headed” scientist named “Yacub” who forged the white race out of the black. Yacub, Malcolm X tells us in his Autobiography, understood that the differences between white and black people resulted from two germs, a dark one and a light one. One germ was dominant, the other weaker and therefore recessive.

These divisions reproduced the structure of the parent body. They opened meetings with prayer and song. They had local divisions of African Legions, Black Cross Nurses, and other auxiliary groups. They held parades, dances, receptions, and oratory contests. The locals also provided services – like death benefits – typically offered by fraternal societies. Although improving the race and establishing a government in Africa were the UNIA’s chief aims, members engaged in a wide variety of actions, all tied to the local political, economic, and social contexts in which they operated.

Of course, the Plessy (1896) decision gave legal sanction to the practice of Jim Crow. 22 Black Nationalism in American Politics and Thought The official retreat from Reconstruction was helped by revived and expanded theories of racial hierarchy that appeared even before slavery had been totally abolished. These new theories often made use of an application of Darwinian theory. Social Darwinist Herbert Spencer crafted his theory in the light of French zoologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s work, which argued that acquired characteristics could be inherited.

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