Born in the British colony of Bermuda in the 1970s, I was raised on Reggae music. Still, something must be said about my social engagement of music like this on an early Sunday morning, beyond the curfews of my parents and the police-imposed restrictions on Reggae sound systems. Such engagement is intricately linked to the island’s colonial education system’s denial of discursive opportunities to learn about the history of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
These dynamics speak not only to the suppression of the UNIA in Bermuda and the broader Black world, but also to the ways in which the Association has continued to inform future generations of Black movements through radical memories and political legacy. Marcus and Amy Ashwood Garvey cofounded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League on July 15, 1914. The anniversary of this event is thus a fitting occasion to…
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