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Position Paper 1


                            POSITION PAPER 1                   

October 2014


What’s in a name?

After one hundred years in existence(1914-2014), as the Universal NEGRO Improvement Association and the African Communities League (UNIA and ACL), many individuals are calling for a name change, in fact persons who are calling for a name change have a problem with the IDENTITY-TAG word NEGRO in the body of the organization. Anthony T Browder’s 1989 ‘Inside the Browder Files’ informs us that,


The NAME that you respond to determines the amount of your SELF worth. Similarly, the way a Group of PEOPLE collectively respond to a name can have devastating effects on their lives, particularly if they did not choose the name.

Browder continues,


The name negro is Spanish for black.  The Spanish language comes from Latin, which has its origins in Classical Greek. The word negro, in Greek, is derived from the root word necro, meaning dead. What was once referred to as a ‘physical condition’ is now regarded as ‘appropriate state of mind’ for millions of AFRICANS now residing in America (the West).


 In 2001 version of Chambers Dictionary of Etymology the following definition of the word Negro appears


Negro n. 1555, black –skinned person from Africa or of African descent, in Eden’s translation of Peter Martyr’s Decades of the New World or West India borrowed from Spanish or Portuguese negro black, Negro from Latin niger black of uncertain origin . – adj. 1594, of or characteristic of Negroes, black skinned;From the noun.


The above is the definition many Africentric thinkers, intellectuals, academics, etc. of the 21st Century find troubling. There is also the organic intellectual, the persons on the ground that have embraced Pan –Africanism and who finds it difficult to say “I am a Negro”.


The RASTAFARI UNIVERCITY of HIGHER LIFE LEARNING is of the view that there are persons who are afraid to tamper with Garvey’s legacy who need to be pragmatic. The RASTAFARI UNIVERCITY of HIGHER LIFE LEARNING recommend that InI “take the quantum leap and change the course of the struggle of Africans all over the globe”.


Garvey’s work influenced the liberation struggle in Africa, South America North America. Eminent Garvey scholar Robert Hill, has stated that he found Garvey’s work in Spain and in Prison Libraries in the United States his works have been found in libraries all over the world.

But the discourse is not about the worth of Garvey’s philosophy, but about the efficacy of a name change. In the modern cosmology a rebranding and a repositioning of the mantra” Africa for the Africans those at home and abroad is most essential.


Towards a Renaissance of Garveyism


Renaming is critical, as well we need to stop being afraid that we will taint Garvey’s legacy. We cannot sustain his ideas if we are not building on his legacy. We need to add value to the body of ideas he has left behind. Garvey is the only national hero who not only built an International Organization, he also penned his ideas. Typical of Garvey he left the solution, he realized the dilemma and he left the solution for us…with the formation of the AFRICAN COMMUNITY LEAGUES.


Heretofore, the RASTAFARI UNIVERCITY of HIGHER LIFE LEARNING makes the following two suggestions:

1) The African Communities League/Association  subsume the title/name UNIA and become the spring board/driving force behind the renaissance of Garvey’s New World Organization, or   2)The UNIA be re-named the UNIVERSAL AFRICAN IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION (UAIA)


The RE NAMING must be seen as a “call to action” and used as a springboard to infuse digital and social media  as tools of the organization. There must be a dedicated cyber information blitz to address issues that would concern Garvey. The various levels of crisis economic, religious, social and political, are new challenges for People of African origins/descent the globe over.





Chambers Dictionary of E TYMOLOGY








































Such was the power of Garvey’s Works/words that he was charged for sedition, mail fraud and then deported to Jamaica. Back home he never found favour with the mass of people in Jamaica. His Pan-African vision of a return to Africa was embraced by Rastafarians, who regard him as a Prophet/Visionary, and credits him with even prophesying the coronation of Haile Selassie.

This reasoning will leave the following question for further examination; ‘who decides that Pan-African organizations from the 19th Century to the mid 20th Century would call the person of African Descent Negro?

.; my personal proposal change the name of the organization to The African Communities League. Typical of Garvey he left the solution, he realized the dilemma and he left the solution for us.

  • Title: Position Paper 1
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