African Blood Brotherhood Research Paper

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The African Blood Brotherhood for African Liberation and Redemption (ABB) was a black liberation group founded in 1919 by West Indian journalist Cyril Briggs. Cyril Briggs, a West Indian-born radical of mixed racial parentage living in New York. The ABB were a revolutionary secret organization whose purpose and program was the liberation of African people and the redemption of the African race. It was a propaganda organization built on the model of the secret fraternity, organized in "posts" ("African Blood Brotherhood (1919-1925)”). It was centered in Harlem as the ABB established local branches throughout the country. The African Blood Brotherhood was an unusual Afro-Marxist organization operating in New York City's Harlem during the period…show more content…
The program espoused racial pride, Black Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and the economic nature of the African American struggle (Kuykendall). The ABB envisioned an international force of anti-imperialist. antiracist, and working class struggles ending oppression everywhere (Makalani pg. ). The ABB's program also advocated the organization of African American unions, opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, industrial development, higher wages, shorter work hours, better living conditions, education, cooperation with other darker peoples and revolutionary class-conscious white workers, and a united African American front (Kuykendall). The ABB proposed bringing “all Negro organizations together on a Federation bass” to build “a united, centralized Movement” as well as combining “all Negro organizations in each of the African countries in a world wide Negro federation” (Makalani pg. ). The ABB advocated armed defense against racist assaults and the creation of an independent black socialist Commonwealth (Salter). The ABB sought to unite black radicals around the issues of racism, colonialism, black nationalism, and anti-capitalism and, through its merger of class and race consciousness (Salter). The ABB supported armed defense against lynching, the right to organize unions, equal rights for blacks, and the abolition of Jim Crow laws…show more content…
Although there is some discrepancy over the total membership, posts were established throughout the United States and West Indies with the largest posts being in Harlem and Chicago. Briggs had hoped to offer an alternative to the populism of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), but the ABB’s membership never approached the members of that group ("African Blood Brotherhood (ABB) | American organization"). The ABB membership consisted of largely workers- skilled laborers in Chicago; coal miners in West Virginia; World War 1 veterans in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Anglo-Caribbean migrant laborers in the Dominican Republic and Panama (Makalani pg. 45). The group's size has been variously estimated between 1,000 to Briggs' claim of "less than 3,000" members at its peak ("African Blood Brotherhood(1919-1925)"). The ABB required “no dues, fees or assessments” (Makalani pg. 52; Winston pg.169). Especially in Harlem, its membership included some of the most influential black radicals of the period, including Briggs and fellow West Indian immigrants, Richard B. Moore and Otto Huiswoud, as well as American-born Grace Campbell (Salter). In 1921, the ABB gained notoriety and a boost in membership after its Tulsa, Oklahoma branch was linked to the armed resistance of local blacks during the Tulsa race riot

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