Erik S. McDuffie F'17
ACLS Fellowship Program 2017
African American Studies and History
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Garveyism in the Diasporic Midwest: The American Heartland and Global Black Freedom, 1920-1980
“Garveyism in the Diasporic Midwest” establishes the importance of the Midwest in shaping the history of the black world. The Midwest’s global manufacturing centers—such as Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit—and political infrastructures offered blacks freedom and opportunities that they could not find elsewhere, creating fertile ground for Garveyism and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the largest black protest movement in world history. Attending to the paradoxes and gendered contours of Garveyism, this project globalizes African-American history and reorients the study of the African diaspora by taking into account the significance of the heartland in shaping the history of the twentieth-century black world from Cleveland and Chicago to the Caribbean and West Africa.