DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



Article: Marcus Garvey “The Negro Moses”

Castles Theory of Migration: Temporary labor migrants: (also known as guest workers or overseas contract workers) men and women who migrate for a limited period (for a few months to several years) in order to take up employment and send money home (remittances.)


I chose this article on Marcus Garvey because the title “The Negro Moses” immediately caught my attention. It is the perfect description of this man; based on my research so far. Garvey was one of the first African-Americans to start a movement for black people in America to return to Africa. He was one of the first to really impress upon African Americans that they didn’t deserve to be treated as second class citizens, and as Robert Hill writes in this essay, he helped to free African Americans from “the bondage of racial inferiority.”  After reading about the psychological abuse Africa Americans had to withstand in The Warmth of Other Suns this was no small feat. Within a few years of his arrival in America, the word “Garveyism” soon became synonymous with racial pride.

The Dream

            Garvey believed Africa had lost its place in the world as a country of economic and creative importance, and believed African Americans should return to Africa and return the country to its former greatness. He started a chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (the UNIA) in Harlem, and it became “the cultural capital of the black world.” 

            The political program of the UNIA was African Redemption—the territorial redemption of Africa from colonial rule and the spiritual and psychological redemption of the black race. It was a tall order to be sure, but Garvey was a talented writer and speaker, and at one point in the early 1920’s, the UNIA had over one thousand chapters world-wide.  Marcus Garvey started the “Black Star” shipping line, which gave African Americans a source of pride as well as a “tangible symbol” of black enterprise. Garvey  gave African Americans hope, self-esteem and allowed them to dream of a better life.

            Unfortunately, Garvey did not succeed.  The Black Star shipping line had questionable financial irregularities that J. Edgar Hoover found serious enough to send Garvey to prision. His dream of black Americans returning to Africa never came to fruition. As a matter of fact, Garvey never even made it to Africa himself once in his lifetime.

Conclusion & Comparison of Castles Theory of Migration

            This article on Marcus Garvey does not support Castles theory of migration known as temporary labor migrants. Garveyism did not support migrating to Africa for a temporary period of time; he wanted a complete return of black people to Africa to build up the country as an economic and creative force in the world, never to return to the United States. Garvey wanted black people to reject America completely, as America rejected them. So Castles theory of “temporary labor migrants” does not fit into the concept of Garveyism at all.



White On Arrival: Italians Race, Color and Power in Chicago, 1890-1945

Castles Theory of Migration: Family Members. Many countries, including the USA recognize in principle the right to family reunion for legal immigrants.


          Being of Italian heritage myself, I was obviously drawn to this article. I was struck by the cartoon of an African American man trying to unlock a safe titled "EQUAL RIGHTS" while Uncle Sam whispered in the ears of a white immigrant "He's been trying to open that safe for a long time but doesn't know the combination. I'll give it to you." Although Italians had problems upon their arrival in America, they had nowhere near the problems African Americans had. Italians could gain citizenship more easily, and were welcomed into the "White" sections of restaurants, hospitals, beaches, and parks, whereas African Americans were delegated to the inferior "Colored" sections of such.

The "Prized Possession"

          Thomas Guglielmo, the author of this article writes that "When it came to "fare l'America" (making it in America) to Italians, their whiteness was their most prized possession."  However,  Guglielmo also brought up an interesting point where he says some Italians complained when their neighbors were friendly with African Americans, stating, "No decent Italian--rather than no decent white person--would act like that."  Guglielmo goes on to say the reason for this is, while Italians considered themselves white, they also considered themselves the best of the whites.  ("Italians looked down upon African Americans because they thought Italians--not whites-- were "the best.")

Conclusion & Comparison of Castles Theory of Migration

          I found it difficult to find a fit for a Theory of Migration for this article, because it primarily discussed the differences in the way Italians were treated as opposed to African American immigrants.  Guglielmo only briefly discusses "mass migration from Italy in the late nineteenth century, and continuing well into the twentieth century."  Guglielmo also states "As for politics, most Chicago Italians did not follow mayoral campaigns too closely, as nearly two-thirds of them were unnaturalized in 1920." Again, to me this points to immigrants coming to American en masse to be with their families.


Three Pernicious Premises in the Study of the American Ghetto


 Castles Theory of Migration: Temporary labor migrants, men and women who migrate for a limited period in order to take up employment and send money home. Also Undocumented Migrants or or Illegal Migrants.


          In this article by Loic Wacquant, Wacquant discusses three common misconceptions about the American ghetto. Specifically they are (1): Identifying a ghetto simply as an urban area of widespread and intense poverty, without discussing the basis of the poverty, which renders the definition useless in terms of historical and sociological significance. (2): The idea that a ghetto is a disorganized social formation based solely on lack and deficiencies rather than identify the principals that underlie its internal order, and (3): To “exoticize”  the ghetto by highlighting only the extreme and most unusual aspects of ghetto from the outside.  These premises paint a very limited picture of a ghetto with very broad strokes, which does a disservice to historians and also to the people who live there. Wacquant breaks all the stereotypical definitions of ghetto by stating that “a ghetto does not have to be poor, not that it has to be uniformly deprived. And conversely, not all low-income areas are ghettos, however extreme their destitution.” He cites depressed rural counties of the Mississippi delta and Native American reservations as examples. 

          I found this article very interesting, because I myself am guilty of thinking of a "ghetto" as an area of extreme poverty and distress. Wacquant uses the example of Boston's Italian slum and says what appears to outside observers as social disorganization often turns out to be simply "a different form of social organization , if one takes the trouble to look closely."  However in the case of black American ghettos, close study and first-hand observation has been severely lacking. Why? Wacquant credits this lack of information on African American ghettos as "virulent racial antipathy conjoined with with acute class prejudice."  I took this to mean that even historians felt that black ghettos were not worth studying, for it was just assumed that African Americans in some way deserved to live in lower-class areas.

          I think this article will be valuable to my final paper, because it emphasizes the misconceptions of ghetto life; and it will show how Marcus Garvey was correct in the mistreatment of black Americans, in the sense that they were looked down upon as being “lower class” because they lived in American ghettos. And all the more reason for a push for mass migration back to Africa.

Conclusion & Comparison of Castles Theory of Migration

          I chose "temporary labor migrants" for this article, because I feel people who are not born in a ghetto probably live there because it is the only place they can afford, and on some level tell themselves that it is only temporary; that as soon as they can afford to live somewhere else they will uproot their family and move someplace better.








DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.