The Universal Race:
Garveyism and the Practices of Pan-Africanism
This lecture by Adom Getachew, of the University of Chicago, was presented as part of the series All This Rising: The Humanities in the Next Ten Years, which features ideas and methods that will mark new paths for the humanities. "The Universal Race," also the title of Getachew's current book project, is concerned with interwar pan-Africanism especially through the lens of Garveyism. It asks (1) What intellectual and political contexts gave rise to Garveyism; (2) What conceptions of race and especially of “Blackness” did the movement advance? and (3) What institutions and political practices were central to the making of Garveyism as global mass movement? Drawing on the idea "Universal Negro” of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the lecture is concerned with the constitution of blackness as a geopolitical category and political agent.