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  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History315 East Warren Avenue

    Detroit, Michigan, 48201

    313-494-5800

    Marcus Garvey and the UniversalNegro Improvement Association (UNIA)

    This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit

    April 22, 2015

    Describing Archives: A Content Standard

  • Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

    - Page 2 -

    Table of Contents

    Summary Information ................................................................................................................................. 3

    Marcus Garvey and the United Negro Improvement Association................................................................5

    Administrative Information .........................................................................................................................6

    Controlled Access Headings..........................................................................................................................6

    Collection Inventory...................................................................................................................................... 7

    Documentary Records..............................................................................................................................7

    Administration Records........................................................................................................................... 9

    Correspondence......................................................................................................................................19

    Meetings/Gatherings.............................................................................................................................. 29

    Printed Materials....................................................................................................................................33

    Visual Material...................................................................................................................................... 38

    Universal African Legion...................................................................................................................... 38

    African Philosophy................................................................................................................................ 39

    Related Interests.....................................................................................................................................40

  • Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

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    Summary Information

    Repository Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

    Title Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association

    (UNIA)

    Date [inclusive] 1922-1980

    Extent 6.0 Cubic feet 14 full sized archival boxes 2 half sized archival boxes

    Language English

    English Materials are primarily in English

    Marcus Garvey and the

    United Negro Improvement

    Association

    The Universal Negro Improvement Association was an organization

    formed in August of 1929, and was implemented by a man named Marcus

    Garvey who would become the first president general of the organization.

    The Universal Negro Improvement Association or U.N.I.A. as it would

    come to be called had aims for equal rights for African Americans. Unlike

    the N.A.A.C.P., the U.N.I.A. did not invite Whites to join their cause.

    Reason for this is that Garvey beleved that having a strong common bond

    within a unity of Blacks was the only way to improve their quality of life.

    One of the main causes of the U.N.I.A. was to petition the United States

    Government for a parcel of occupied land in West Africa, namely Liberia,

    to create an independent nation comprised of ex-patriots of African

    descent. One major term of this condition was that the nation would have

    full allegiance to the United Sates and her allies. Although this request

    was denied, the organization continued to operate and rally around Civil

    Rights and African Philosophy. Annual conferences were held, monthly

    bulletins were published and dues were collected much like that of any

    other organization so that their cause could be heard and their planning

    could be executed. The motto of the U.N.I.A., "One God, One Aim, One

    Destiny" clearly states what they stood for, what they believed in and

  • Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

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    what they were hoping and planning to accomplish. Due to financial

    burdens, deaths of leaders and overall social changes, the U.N.I.A. began

    to dissipate in the 1970s.

  • Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

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    Marcus Garvey and the United Negro Improvement Association

    The Marcus Garvey and the United Negro Improvement Association collection documents an importanttime in history when African Americans banned together to advocate for equal treatment. It was apart of the UNIA vision that if they could not recieve it in the United States, they would emmigrate tosomewhere they would. This collection highlights the United Negro Improvement Association, the peoplewho started it and those that kept it going.

    The Collection is organized into nine series which are: DOCUMENTARY RECORDS,ADMINISTRATION RECORDS, CORRESPONDENCE, MEETINGS/GATHERINGS, PRINTEDMATERIALS, VISUAL MATERIALS, UNIVERSAL AFRICAN LEGION, AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY,and RELATED INTERESTS

    DOCUMENTARY RECORDS contains manuscripts pertaining to the organization and foundation of theassociation. Within this series are two subseries dedicated to documentary records and the James StewartFBI Files. The first contains important manuscripts like the Declaration of Intentions, Constitution, thePetition to the United Nations, a Letter of Support of the Allied Mission, Petition to Predisent Roosevelt,and a Lawsuit filed Against the UNIA. The second is a file is comprised entirely of the photocopied andcensored FBI case looking into James R. Stewart, President General.

    ADMINISTRATION RECORDS are dedicated to manuscripts pertaining to the functionality of theorganization. There are five subseries found within the series that are: Daily Report Sheets, Receipts andDisbursements 1947-1948, Daily Report Sheets, Receipts and Disbursements 1949, 1955-1956, DailyReport Sheets, Receipts and Disbursements 1950, Financial Records, and General Finances and Receipts.This series makes up a large portion of the collection, and it is the largest series in the collection.

    CORRESPONDENCE is made up of three sub-series; personal correspondence, UNIA correspondencebooks and UNIA correspondence from "preservation concern box." Personal correspondence includesletters between influential names like Marcus Garvey, James R. Stewart, Charles L. James, Lillie MaeGibson and Mae Thomas. Correspondence books 1-8 contains letters that were previously arranged intobooks or binders that have stayed in that original arrangement. Rounding out the collection are letters thatwere found in a preservation concern box. MEETINGS/GATHERINGS include information pertainingto conferences, meetings and gatherings including mass meetings, regional gatherings and national andinternational gatherings. It also contains conference materials such as bulletins and official meetingminutes.

    PRINTED MATERIAL is devoted to holding publications by the UNIA such as the New Negro World,Stewarts Voice, Garveys Voice and the Black Pilot. Also included in printed material are flyers,signs and bulletins. An interesting artifact included is a handwritten sign for the Marcus GarveyHeadquarters.

    VISUAL MATERIALS such as photographs and portraits comprise the majority of visual materials whileposters and a map of Africa round out the series.

  • Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

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    UNIVERSAL AFRICAN LEGION contains UAL documentary and administrative records such asservice records, roll call and financial report sheets. It also contains handwritten notes and letters withphotocopies included for preservation reasons. AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY is dedicated to manuscriptsabout different Lessons in the School of African Philosophy. Included are Lessons 1-4, 6-7 and 16-17. Italso holds a poem written by Marcus Garvey, religious handouts and teachings by the Hon. Rev. ZebdeeE. Green.

    RELATED INTERESTS is a series consisted of materials not directly related to the UNIA, but areaffiliated in some way. Magazines and flyers that were sent to Headquarters, programs from differentchurches and information regarding the Welfare League's Amateur Boxing Show are all included in thisseries.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Information

    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

    Wahab

    The records were originally collected and maintained by Dr. Wahab and the Harriet Tubman Museumof Cleveland, Ohio before being accessioned by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African AmericanHistory. The UNIA Collection is currently housed with other manuscripts from the Wahab collection.

    Processed

    Collection arranged and described by Rachel Schulz, 2015

    Controlled Access Headings

    Personal Name(s)

    Garvey, Marcus, 1887-1940 -- Archives

  • Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

    Documentary Records

    - Page 7 -

    Collection Inventory

    Documentary Records

    Documentary Records Box

    1

    Box Folder

    A Declaratoin of Intentions 1 page summary of the organization1 1

    The Constit

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