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Black Zionism—The Return To Africa In Theory And Practice

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Chapter Summary

The ideology of a ?return to Africa" from the African diaspora was called Black Zionism in the first half of the twentieth century, indicating an affinity with Jewish Zionism. The idea of salvation was grounded in religious or quasi-religious longing. Unity of race is another basic Black Zionist idea. Black Zionism aimed to put an end to the suffering and oppression in exile by achieving Black self-determination, Black government and Black power in a liberated homeland. Very few Blacks did return to Africa from the Americas, but throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there were movements of return. The returnees came not only from North America, but also from the Caribbeans and South America. Marcus Garvey was in fact a right-wing Black Zionist. The emphasis he put on race was not merely defensive, compensatory and egalitarian.

Keywords: African diaspora; Black Zionism; Jewish Zionism; Marcus Garvey; return to Africa

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