Garvey, Dubois and Pan Africanism

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Pan Africanism, in its fundamental definition, implores the black population to pursue self-dignity and self-determination in bettering their situation and becoming equal to the majority population; W.E.B. Dubois and Marcus Garvey, while both active Pan-Africanists in theory, have different goals and perspectives on the ways in which the racial problems should be approached. The central differences between Dubois and Garvey lie in their adolescent upbringings, and permeate through adulthood to form opinions about the history of colonialism and imperialism that separated society as a whole. In many ways, class structure ultimately shapes the views of a person towards themselves as well as society in general — as we compare and contrast Dubois and Garvey, their upbringings give substantial rationale as to why they may have diverged in many of their basic ideologies. Essentially, the two men were extreme advocates for the creation/ restoration of black dignity, and wanted to pursue self-determination for the blacks that rallied behind them. This shared idea of self-determination directly relates to the notion of Black Power and can be seen as the early stimulus for the modern black power movement that is most often referenced in popular culture. Dubois and Garvey, seeing the necessity for change of the black situation and the black mindset, adopt the Pan Africanist viewpoint towards society The strength of Pan-Africanism, at its height, came from its numbers — the support from the black community was extremely high. What drew this overwhelming support was the message of self-worth and a chance of self-identity throughout the African diaspora. Dubois and Garvey both held and promoted the belief that, as an alienated citizen in Ameri... ... middle of paper ... ...and with Pan Africanism, because without this desire for self-determination and giving a sense of self-worth, there would not have been as many followers for either. While essentially Pan-Africanists by definition, Garvey and Dubois had fundamental differences within their ideologies, which can make the argument that the two men were not fighting for the same thing at all. It is important to remember that the main point of black social uplift and restoration of self-dignity is at the epicenter of the men’s’ messages, and thus provides an interesting comparison between the two ideologies. Pan-Africanism, at its height, drew support from all over the world, and united the black in the diaspora; the uniting was not always welcomed by the native Africans, but achieved the goals of Garvey and Dubois’s desire for a sense of oneness throughout the black community.
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