Happy New Year all of you disruptive people out there! Entering the ROARING 20’s is a great time to reflect on nostalgic parts of US and World history. This is one of my favorite eras in US history for sure.
The 1920’s had its’ good times and it’s bad times, but most of all it is a major part of the USA’s history that had some of the greatest influence on the nation and culture that we are today!
1920’s Politics and Civil Rights Movements
First and foremost there is no way to talk about the 1920’s for me, without mentioning one of my most respected historical people, Marcus Mosiah Garvey. This was a man responsible for major civil rights advancements for black people, but also humanity as a whole. Mr. Garvey essentially united oppressed people under the umbrella of a can-do attitude as well as capitalistic principles that would give them hope and determination that many oppressed people in the world needed at that time. Mr. Garvey demonstrated that despite cultural, economic and legal setbacks, that a determined people could use the free market to their advantage, and rise up out of the disposition that they had been in under slavery, classism, and other major challenges. Marcus Mosiah Garvey formed the UNIA (United Negro Improvement Association), as well as The Black Star Line amount many other business ventures and collective activism causes that employed capitalistic principles to gain strength and independence.
Over the years I have posted many speeches and inspiring quotes from Mr. Garvey, and my pen-name on some of my blogs is “Rich Garvey Banton” (the Garvey part is in respect for Marcus Mosiah Garvey). I will share two videos specifically that I created which had a strong focus on the works of Mr. Garvey.
The first video is titled: Racial Diversity featuring Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley
This video illustrates several cultures that went through forms of racial abuse, servitude and slavery in the 18th and 19t centuries in the USA. Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley are featured in this video.
The second video is titled: Marcus Garvey interview, Mr. Garvey speaks about his trial and persecution
This video is an interview with Marcus Garvey regarding the bunk charges that he was pinned with in regards to “mail fraud” showing how corrupt laws and governments can be in relationship with political opponents.
The Black Star Line was a blessing and a curse to the UNIA cause and Marcus Garvey. But it was a great demonstration of American and Human ingenuity. One of my most fond moments in history
The Early Mob days
When I was growing up, I was fascinated with mob movies. I loved the 1920 – 1950s. These were pure Americana, what really separated us and made America’s melting pot so unique. Crime families had such an interesting oath and code of ethics. It was a time when loyalty and integrity even played a huge role in the underworld.
It always made me wonder what happened to that. I mean on one hand, these people were cold-blooded killers, and criminals, On the other hand, they were loyal to the end, and kept a strict code of conduct. When they killed people, most of the time it was their own. It wasn’t a full on murder spree, they were often killing other gangsters.
I think about the mafia/mobs now. Like for example when John Gotti was taken down by his second in command, Sammy Gravano. In this situation, the loyalty oaths and code of conduct had been broken long before Sammy Snitched. This is where the mafia devolved into chaos and there were unauthorized hits, and power struggles. It was nuts. Then John Gotti decides to take out his second in command, for no good reason, and when Sammy hears of this, he rats out the boss and pretty much every other high ranking gangster that he was involved with. These types of things were almost unheard of in the 1920’s, even though the mafia was in its prime at that time. That is not really to romanticize the mafia, but the era.
Traditional values of the 1920s
Then you look at unwed mothers and single-parent households. It was almost unheard of in the 1920s. Most kids grew up with two parents. Now the tides are changing, and those statistics have almost reversed.
I have gotten data back to the 1940s, and even then it was nearly non-existent to have single-parent households.
Music of the 1920s
Then, of course, there was Jazz music and a bunch of new wonderful and exciting genres of music.
There is no doubt this was a major turning point for our nation and our world. Where-as our culture was becoming more progressive in many good ways, while still retaining whole-some and traditional values. Of course, many of these changes influenced a culture shift that would turn out to have many more negative qualities later in life. But I think without the help of the CIA, the FBI, and corrupt politicians, the wholesomeness and traditional cultural values would have lasted longer, and this is once again why Marcus Garvey’s trial and conviction are important. With the meddling of the US government in social movements and political movements, a lot of things were un-naturally forced on the USA’s culture and people.
There were other downsides to the 1920s that we can learn from, such as the Great Depression, a time directly after the USA implemented income taxes (for the first time in our nation’s history), and the Federal Reserve act. This happened at the very end of the 1920s, but it is a notable turning point in our nation’s history.
One of the worst plagues in the USA in all of history occurred this year 100 years ago, which was the prohibition of alcohol. This is the catalyst that ignited the gangs, and the massive influx of organized crime. On January 17th, 1920, the USA went “dry” after the US Senate had ratified the 18th Amendment one year prior. Then for 13 years, our country was torn to pieces by tyranny, until the passing of the 21st Amendment which ended prohibition.
Regardless, it is still such a wonderful time to be alive. Maybe with these new ROARING 20’s we can dial back to a time when things were more simple, yet fun and exciting. When capitalism was not “crony capitalism”, when music was exciting but not obscene, when dads and moms kept promises to each other and their children, and when being American meant really good things, and the rest of the world admired us for it.
ALOHA AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!