The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers

Article in O Brado Africano[1]

Black Star Line

In Jamaica, an American country, the negroes are subscribing to the shipping company "Black Shor [Star] Line" whose ships will link Africa, India, and Central and Southern America.
They have collected up to 500,000 dollars. The ships will have all-negro crews.
May their company and aim be successful for the development of the negro race.
Printed in BA (Lourenço Marques), 25 October 1919. Translated from Ronga.
[1] O Brado Africano (The African Cry) was published in Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, beginning in 1918, and it appeared in various forms until 1974. Edited by João and José Albasini for the civic, social, and political organization Grêmio Africano, it supported urban, educated Africans who were excluded from Portuguese politics. It replaced Africano, which had been published by the Albasini brothers from 1909 to 1920. Both papers printed a number of articles concerning workers and working-class issues in Lourenço Marques. In 1928 O Brado Africano announced that it had the widest newspaper circulation in Mozambique (Jeanne Penvenne, "A History of African Labor in Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, 1877 to 1950" [Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1982], pp. 340–347; idem, "We Are All Portuguese! Challenging the Political Economy of Assimilation, Lourenço Marques, 1870–1930," in The Creation of Tribalism in Southern Africa, ed. Leroy Vail [London: James Currey; Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989], pp. 255–288; Ilídio Rocha, Catálogo dos periódicos e principais seriados de Moçambique da introdução da tipografia à independência, 1854 – 1975 [Lisbon: Edições 70, 1985], pp. 29, 52–53).
[2] Lourenço Marques was the capital and major port of colonial Mozambique, located at the colony's southern tip, sixty miles from the South African border. Virtually all the major sectors of its economy were controlled by British and South African capital. Between the wars, African political activity became far more intense in Lourenço Marques than in any other Mozambican city. As early as 1911, Francisco Domingos Campos and others attempted to organize the União Africana for all Africans working there. During the second decade of this century, there were also a number of sporadic strikes and work stoppages. Railway and port workers were probably the best-organized and most militant segment of the nascent African working class. They participated in strikes in 1917, 1919, 1925, and again in 1931. At the same time, leading mulatto and black families belonging to the Grêmio Africano voiced their opposition to racial oppression, social discrimination, and the cultural arrogance of the Portuguese settler community. Through the Grêmio's newspapers, Africano and its successor, O Brado Africano, they also protested against forced labor and other injustices inflicted by the colonial regime (Gregory A. Pirio, "Race and Class in the Struggle over Pan-Africanism" [paper presented at conference at University of Minnesota, 25 May 1983], pp. 5–11; Penvenne, "A History of African Labor," pp. 334–390; Elaine Friedland, "Mozambican Nationalist Resistance, 1920–1949," Afrika Zamani [Yaoundé] 8 [1978]: 160–164; Eduardo dos Santos, Pan-africanismo de ontem e de hoje [Lisbon: published by the author, 1968]; Allen Isaacman and Barbara Isaacman, Mozambique: From Colonialism to Revolution, 1900 – 1982 [Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1983], pp. 69–78).