Recent Works on Black Women, Gender, and Global Garveyism

Amy Jacques Garvey, Henrietta Vinton Davis and Marcus Garvey
Amy Jacques Garvey, Henrietta Vinton Davis and Marcus Garvey

In my recent review of Adam Ewing’s book, The Age of Garvey: How a Jamaican Activist Created a Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics, I emphasized the significance of foregrounding the ideas and activism of black women in order to fully capture the rich and complex history of global Garveyism. As I explained in my review, black women’s roles are vital to understanding the global contours and enduring legacies of Garveyism. In an effort to encourage scholars and members of the general public to deepen their understanding of the role of women and gender in the history of global Garveyism, I have compiled a list of the most recent works on the subject. These readings offer new and valuable insights on Garveyite women’s roles as well as the gender politics in the movement during the 1920s and beyond. All of these works were published within the last six years and some will be published in the new year. In addition to these new works, I encourage readers to also become acquainted with the foundational works on the subject including those written by Ula Y. Taylor, Tony Martin, Barbara Bair, Honor Ford-Smith, Kate Dossett, Michele Mitchell, Anne Macpherson, Karen Adler and William Seraile.


*Adi, Hakim. “Amy Ashwood Garvey and the Nigerian Progress Union” in Gendering the African Diaspora: Women, Culture and Historical Change in the Caribbean and Nigerian Hinterland, eds. Judith Byfield, LaRay Denzer, and Anthea Morrison (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010).

*Blain, Keisha N. “‘Confraternity Among All Dark Races’: Mittie Maude Lena Gordon and the Practice of Black (Inter)nationalism in Chicago, 1932-1942,” Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International (forthcoming, Spring 2016).

*Blain, Keisha N. “‘We Want to Set the World on Fire’: Black Nationalist Women and Diasporic Politics in the New Negro World, 1940–1944,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Fall 2015): 194-212.

*Castillo-Garsow, Melissa. “Afro-Latin@ Nueva York: Maymie de Mena and the Unsung Afro-Latina Leadership of the UNIA,” in Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas, eds. Petra R. Rivera-Rideau, Jennifer A. Jones, and Tianna S. Paschel (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan Press).

*Duncan, Natanya. “If Our Men Hesitate Then the Women of the Race Must Come Forward: Henrietta Vinton Davis and the UNIA in New York,” New York History, Vol. 94, No. 1 (Fall 2015): 558-583.

*Duncan, Natanya. “Princess Laura Kofey and the Reverse Atlantic Experience” in The American South and the Atlantic World, eds. Brian Ward, Martyn Bone, and William A. Link (Gainesville: University of Florida, 2013).

*Goldthree, Reena. “Amy Jacques Garvey, Theodore Bilbo, and the Paradoxes of Black Nationalism,” in Global Circuits of Blackness: Interrogating the African Diaspora, eds. Jean Muteba Rahier, Percy C. Hintzen and Felipe Smith (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010).

*Leeds, Asia. “‘Toward the “Higher Type of Womanhood’: The Gendered Contours of Garveyism and the Making of Redemptive Geographies in Costa Rica, 1922–1941,” Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, Volume 2, No. 1 (November 2013): 1-27.

*Makalani, Minkah. “An International African Opinion: Amy Ashwood Garvey and C.L.R. James in Black Radical London” in Escape From New York: The New Negro Renaissance Beyond Harlem, eds. Davarian L. Baldwin and Minkah Makalani (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

*McDuffie, Erik S. “The Diasporic Journeys of Louise Little: Grassroots Garveyism, the Midwest, and Community Feminism,” Special Issue: Women, Gender Politics, and Pan-Africanism (eds. Keisha N. Blain, Asia Leeds and Ula Taylor), Women, Gender and Families of Color (forthcoming, Fall 2016).

*McDuffie, Erik S. “Chicago, Garveyism, and the History of the Diasporic Midwest,” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Vol. 8, Issue 2 (2015): 1-19.

*McDuffie, Erik S. “Garveyism in Cleveland, Ohio and the history of the diasporic Midwest, 1920–1975,African Identities, Volume 9, Issue 2 (2011): 163-182.

*Morris, Courtney. “Becoming Creole, Becoming Black: Migration, Diasporic Self-Making, and the Many Lives of Madame Maymie Leona Turpeau de Mena,” Special Issue: Women, Gender Politics, and Pan Africanism (eds. Keisha N. Blain, Asia Leeds and Ula Taylor), Women, Gender and Families of Color (forthcoming, Fall 2016).

*Reddock, Rhoda. “The First Mrs. Garvey: Pan-Africanism and Feminism in the Early Twentieth Century British Colonial Caribbean,” Feminist Africa, Issue 19 (2014): 58-77.

*Swaby, Nydia A. “Amy Ashwood Garvey and the Political Aesthetics of Diasporic Social Spaces in London,” Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics, Volume 14 (2014): 59-73.


Keisha N. Blain

Keisha N. Blain is the Senior Editor of Black Perspectives. She is a historian of the 20th century United States with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her first book, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press), will be published in Spring 2018. Follow her on Twitter @KeishaBlain.