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City of IslandsCaribbean Intellectuals in New York$
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Tammy L. Brown

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462265

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462265.001.0001

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“Garvey’s Ghost”: Life after Death1

“Garvey’s Ghost”: Life after Death1

(p.188) Coda “Garvey’s Ghost”: Life after Death1
City of Islands

Tammy L. Brown

University Press of Mississippi

The legacy of Jamaican-born black nationalist political leader Marcus Garvey haunts the cultural landscape of black thought and artistic production from the 1920s to the present. In turn, Trinidadian-born choreographer and dancer Pearl Primus’s belief in ancestor worship, epitomized by the phrase “Those who are dead are never gone,” is particularly apt when considering this phenomenon. According to Primus, “The spirits of the ancestors are all around, never wandering too far to return either to help or punish the living.” Likewise, for the protagonists in this study, Garvey was an omnipresent intellectual ally or foe. He literally and figuratively stood at the center of debates over black racial identity and uplift strategies as each historical actor participated in significant political movements ranging from communism, socialism, anti-colonialism, civil rights activism, and feminism to pragmatic humanism. Although Garvey’s deportation and death preceded the political and intellectual prime of many of the historical actors in City of Islands, these intellectuals continued to contest his legacy, arguing with or gleaning inspiration from Garvey’s bold intellect and charismatic personality.

Keywords:   Marcus Garvey, Harlem, New York, Immigration, African Diaspora

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