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Fight Club Argument Essay - Angelfire
In 1920, a branch of the Garvey Movement (the Universal Negro Improvement Association) was established in Lagos. Militant and race-conscious, this movement was established by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican, to unite all blacks into one organization that would establish an independent country. He moved to the United States in 1916 where he created a mass organization and held conventions attended by delegates from Africa. He established the Black Star shipping line (operating to Africa) to encourage blacks in the Americas to return home to fight for freedom. His journal, the Negro World, was eagerly awaited and read in Nigeria. The conventions worked on a plan to create a Negro State of Africa and chose Marcus Garvey as the provisional president of Africa, in addition to choosing a flag and an anthem. Marcus Garvey became a foreman for a large printing business, but a strike in 1907 during which he sided with the workers instead of management derailed his career. The realization that politics was his true passion prompted Garvey to begin organizing and writing on behalf of workers. He traveled to Central and South America, where he spoke out on behalf of West Indian expatriate workers. To Garvey, Africa’s independence was not negotiable, even if violence had to be used. His movement collapsed, however, and he was jailed and subsequently deported, but his political philosophy was not without dedicated converts. His ideas influenced a number of Nigerians, including prominent nationalists such as Ernest Ikoli and Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Political associations emerged very quickly and ultimately became the key platform from which to express nationalism and contest elections. The early leaders sought changes in the system rather than independence. The earliest associations were protest movements such as the People’s Union, established in 1908 to protest the introduction of water rate in Lago. Yet another was the Reform Club, established in Lagos in 1920 to oppose direct taxation. Far more successful was the National Congress of British West Africa (the Congress), established in 1920 to fight against discrimination, unite the West African elite, and achieve self-government. At its first meeting held in Accra, Ghana, the Congress resolved to call on the British to let half the membership of the Legislative Council be educated Africans, establish a university, introduce compulsory education, and eliminate racial discrimination. These were all demands to empower the elite. In September 1920 to March 1921 the Congress sent a delegation to London to press its demands, but it was refused a hearing by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This was a resounding failure caused by the deep hostility of the colonial administration which regarded members of the Congress as self-appointed leaders who wanted to destroy indigenous institutions for selfish interests. The chiefs were equally opposed to the Congress, because they were afraid that their power would be usurped. The Congress ceased to exist in 1923, but not without recording some successes: several senior posts were created for Africans in the civil service, an elective principle was introduced in 1922, and the West African Court of Appeals was reconstituted in 1922.
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The number of trade unions increased, formed by railway workers, teachers, post and telegraph workers, marine staff, civil servants, and others. There were other associations in the cities formed along ethnic lines (for example, Ibo State Union) or town lines (Oyo Progressive Union). More associations emerged in the 1940s as hundreds of people entered wage employment. Nationalist leaders could mobilize these associations for support. More importantly, the workers had a platform from which to organize protest. In 1945, labor unions were strong enough to embark upon a general strike for fifty-two days. The strike was a challenge to the government, it enabled the trade unions and the nationalist movement to fuse, and it revealed the advantages of cooperation and the usefulness of threats to gain concessions. The north, which had been excluded from most of the previous nationalist agitations, was drawn into the strike, thus spreading nationalism and political consciousness to a region that the British had sheltered against new ideas. Many became emboldened to make demands for a transfer of power. In the early 1940s, trade union leaders and students submitted memoranda to the government and wrote essays in the media calling for the takeover of power. In 1941, WASU called for the creation of “a united Nigeria with a Federal Constitution.” Two years later, the same organization demanded ten years of representative government to precede five years of full responsible government led by Nigerians.
Argumentative Essay Outline: Fight Club
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