Garvey's God: Racial Uplift and the Creation of the African Orthodox Church
2023. "Garvey's God: Racial Uplift and the Creation of the African Orthodox Church", Kingdom Come: The Politics of Faith and Freedom in Segregationist South Africa and Beyond, Tshepo Masango Chéry
Download citation file:
Chapter 5 documents the ways Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) embraced and provided religious possibility for Black migrants from the American South and the Caribbean during the 1920s. Chapter 5 pulls from UNIA chapter documents, organizational bylaws, music, and papers from other related organizations to examine the religious infrastructure of the UNIA. Accounting for different Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious organizing that grew out of the UNIA, this chapter shows the space that these new Black nationalist theologies created for the UNIA's pious following. Within this religious context, the chapter points to the African Orthodox Church having the most profound impact. Building on Garvey scholarship, the chapter traces the founding of the African Orthodox Church in New York City, its connections to the UNIA, and its staunch Anglican underpinnings despite its global political reach.