The Politics of Religious Black Nationalism: A Chronicle of the Missing Years 1930-1950


Within the field of study concerning 20th century Black Nationalist movements in the United States scholars and historians have primarily focused on two aspects of the movement: The Marcus Garvey era of the early twentieth century and the Black Power movement of the tumultuous 1960s and early 1970s. In regards to the decades in between, the 30s, 40s and the 50s, scholars have been in comparison relatively silent. While at first glance, it may appear that nationalist movements were dormant during these years, the research will show evidence to the contrary. The project establishes that during the 30 year period between Marcus Garvey and the UNIA and the Black Radicalism period of the 1960s, the Black Nationalist movement was expanding and evolving under the leadership of Religious Black Nationalist organizations.

The research focuses on the ideologies, activities, and the political transformations in Black Nationalism that occurred within the following Religious Black Nationalist organizations: the Black Hebrew Israelites, the Father Divine Movement, and the Nation of Islam. These groups combined different expressions of the Black Nationalism. To varying degrees the Black Hebrew Israelites, Father Divine, and the Nation of Islam incorporated Black Nationalist elements into their spiritual messages. The research finds that these Religious Black Nationalist organizations were the forefathers of the Black Power organizations that were prevalent in the 1960s. These groups provided models to the next generation for mobilization, spreading their message, setting up economic foundations for their movements, and perhaps most importantly organizing politically within a system that did not recognize them.


This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by STARS for more information.

Thesis Completion





Young, Kurt B.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

This document is currently not available here.