Session Submission Summary

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Black Nationalism and Organizing: Case Studies of the UNIA and Black Panther Party

Sat, March 19, 3:00 to 4:15pm, Omni Charlotte Hotel, Floor: Main Floor, Dogwood Room

Session Submission Type: Panel


--Friday or Saturday Presentation only--

This panel examines the organizing strategies and political thoughts of the two most notable Black Nationalist organizations of the 20th Century: The UNIA and the Black Panther Party. Founded in 1914 and 1966 respectively, the UNIA and BPP epitomized ideas of black empowerment and con-fraternalism. Both organizations worked tirelessly to uplift the status of the black community through their emphasis on black independence and self-reliance. Papers presented in this panel explore the ideologies of the UNIA and BPP expanding our understandings of both organizations and their impact in the Black Nationalist movement. The first paper examines the role of Garveyism in the state of Connecticut in the wake of the Great Migration. It examines how the Garvey Movement became an umbrella organization bridging together the various factions of the Connecticut black community: Afro-Caribbeans, Northern Blacks and Southern Blacks. The second essay explores the connection between the Black Panther Party and the Black Studies Movement of the San Francisco Bay Area. It examines the emergence of Black Studies at Merritt College and San Francisco State University identifying key Panther members integral in the beginnings of the early Black Studies movement. The last essay of the panel explores the ideological thoughts of women in the BPP with a key focus on women who were incarcerated in New Haven, CT. Incarcerated women and their writings changed the scope, glimpse, and direction of the BPP. In totality, these papers explore the ideological underpinnings of the UNIA and BPP. They explore the legacies of Black Nationalism in the 20th century specifically in the areas of unity, women’s rights and the Black Studies Movement.

Evan Wade, Department of History, San Joaquin Delta College, “Marketing Strategies of the Connecticut UNIA: A Preaching of Unity, Religion and Fraternal Orders.”

J. Vern Cromartie, Department of Social Science, Contra Costa College, “Reappraising the Black Panther Party, 1966-1970: Its Contributions to the Black Studies Movement at Merritt College and San Francisco State University.”

Brittney Yancy, Department of History, University of Connecticut, “Living Under Fire: Panther Women, Black Power, and the Elm City.”

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