The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers

Article in the Black Man[1]

Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Community's League

A well-attended meeting of the above Associations was held on Saturday, 24th July, 1920, at Goodwood. Mr. Timothy L. Robertson, President, Parow Division,[3] presided, supported by Mr. Thos. F. W. Lawrence, vice-President, Mr. Sampson, local secretary, and Mr. Smith, local Treasurer. Amongst those present were Mr. S. M. Bennett-Newana [Ncwana], editor of "The Black Man," Mr. Clements Kadalie, manager [of the] "Black Man,"[4] Mrs. R. Brownbill, Miss Margaret Brownbill, Miss Annie Brownbill and Miss Josephine Brownbill.
After the usual business of the Associations Mr. Timothy L. Robertson dwelt upon the necessity of making this movement a formidable one in South Africa, and said in the person of the Hon. Marcus Garvey we had a true Moses who is prepared to emancipate the children of Ethiopia from the fetters of bondage.
Some of our brethren think that this movement is being confined to the bushes. It was not true, we must first lay a foundation before we can begin to build. It is, therefore, the duty of every true African to expound the movement amongst his fellow men and women to achieve the good object of our purpose.
Mr. S. M. Bennett Newana, having been formally introduced to the audience, proceeding, said:—
“We should show our cordial appreciation of the very first step taken by the Hon. Marcus Garvey to show his solidarity with us. We should ourselves set a great example by acknowledging the community of interest, and, above all, that community of sacrifice on which alone the Negro movement can permanently rest. It will, therefore, depend upon how we treat this movement. It is not a movement inaugurated by us, but one that comes to us from our children abroad. Our faith and determination is being weighed in the scale. Liberty and freedom calls upon you Africans to respond (applause).”
Mr. Clements Kadalie said he did not propose to speak that night, but seeing that he was called upon, he had this message to deliver[:]
“Our dear brothers abroad expect every man and woman in Africa, every patriotic and loyal black man, to respond to the call for liberty. This is a movement which assures every man and woman of his or her salvation. We must, therefore, unite with racial pride that at last Africa will be redeemed and all her sons return where nature first put them.”
After the vote of thanks to Mr. S. M. Bennett Newana and Mr. Clements Kadalie, the next meeting was announced for the following Saturday at Goodwood.
Printed in the Black Man (Cape Town), August 1920. Reprinted in NW, 23 October 1920.
[1] The Black Man, a monthly English-language newspaper that appeared for about six issues in the second half of 1920, was edited in Cape Town by S. M. Bennett Ncwana. Subtitled "A Journal Propagating the Interests of Workers throughout the African Continent," it appears to have been the first official organ of the ICU. By August 1920 a senior policeman was concerned about the wide circulation of the paper, which promoted self-reliance and unity among blacks, carried reports of ICU and UNIA meetings, and made glowing references to Garvey. In early 1921, Garvey referred to it as the Negro World of South Africa; he subsequently used the name for three of his own publications.
The fortunes of the Black Man declined after Ncwana broke with the ICU in late 1921. In early 1922 Ncwana, disillusioned with Garveyism, requested financial support for the publication from Garvey's opponent in the U.S., Cyril Briggs. A year later, he made the same request of Prime Minister Jan C. Smuts, and promised that the Black Man would counter those who taught that Garvey was coming to Africa with an army powerful enough to overthrow the white government. The Black Man was replaced in 1923 by the Workers' Herald (deputy commissioner, SAP, Cape Town, to secretary, SAP, Pretoria, 10 August 1920, SAGA, SAP Conf. 6/698/19; Ncwana to Smuts, 21 February 1923, SAGA, NTS 1681, 2/276; Black Man [Cape Town], August 1920; Gregory A. Pirio, "The Role of Garveyism in the Making of the Southern African Working Classes and Namibian Nationalism" [paper presented at conference, "South Africa in the Comparative Study of Class, Race and Nation," New York City, September 1982], pp. 15–16, 21; Robert A. Hill and Gregory A. Pirio, "'Africa for the Africans': The Garvey Movement in South Africa, 1920–1940," in The Politics of Race, Class and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century South Africa, ed. Shula Marks and Stanley Trapido [London: Longman, 1987], pp. 217–218; BPSA&L, pp. 31, 110).
[2] Goodwood was an important manufacturing and residential town about seven miles north of metropolitan Cape Town (ESA).
[3] Parow was a residential area adjoining Goodwood, about ten miles north of central Cape Town (ESA).
[4] Kadalie managed the Black Man Company and, together with Ncwana, promoted its ten-shilling shares in mid-1920. In addition to publishing the Black Man, the company established cooperative stores and organized industrial workers throughout the country ("Abridged Prospectus of 'The Black Man' Company," SAGA, SAP Confidential 6/698/19).