GATES: I've been going to the barber shop for 70 years, but I've never been treated in a beauty shop, right?
GATES: So, what do women talk about in the beauty shop?
WILSON: I mean, should we tell them?
BRATHWAITE: I mean...
Probably the same kinds of things that men talk about in barber shops.
MITCHELL: We're talking about sports, we're talking about, uh, relationships and current events.
Those are the top three things.
GATES: Sex, politics, and... (laughing).
WILSON: We just talk and, like, exchange information.
I talked a lot, a lot about, like, my hopes and dreams.
LUMPKIN: When we talk about the barbershop or the church, it's like yes obviously they're social spaces, they're fun.
But I'm always reminded of like a time, in the not-too-distant past when we were not allowed to congregate.
LEWIS: When you look at African American networks, you're reminded of the complexities of what it meant to be part of the Black community.
And this was replicated all over the nation.
This was part of life behind the veil, that image that W.E.B.
Du Bois sort of coined in the beginning of the 20th century to describe Black Americans in a segregated world.
GARRETT-SCOTT: African Americans' life behind the veil grows out of Reconstruction.
GLAUDE: White America turns its back on the promise of a genuinely multiracial democracy.
And what that looked like for us is a community under siege.
Rayford Logan describes this period as the Nadir, the lowest point.
It is the regime of Jim Crow in the South.
LOMAX: By 1901, there is no longer any Black person serving in the United States Congress.
GILL: It was also a time of great economic disenfranchisement.
And so African Americans really began to turn inward.
GLAUDE: It's really about how do we create the conditions so that we can raise our babies?
TROTTER: Through the 20th century, Black people were hard at work, building their own cities and businesses catering to Blacks.
BALDWIN: Most people associate the term New Negro with the Harlem Renaissance in the mid 1920s.
But the New Negro really takes its form around the 1890s, up through the 1930s.
People understood the New Negro as a new sense of racial assertiveness that emerged in this nadir of Black life.
GATES: At the end of the 19th century, the Supreme Court read the infamous doctrine of "separate but equal" into the United States Constitution, where it would remain for nearly 60 years.
As the color line hardened in every corner of society, organizations, schools, and social spaces that African Americans established for each other would play a crucial role in sustaining their communities and meeting the everyday needs of their families.
For Black men, one of the most relaxing and creative ritual settings has long been the barbershop, so I invited a few friends to share their stories about Black cultural spaces and what they have meant to the community historically, and what they mean today.
Did you ever think about going to an historically Black college?
MITCHELL: I did want to go to a historically Black college but it, I just wanted to go to college.
But if I knew what I knew now, I would have went back and I would have definitely did an HBCU.
GATES: You're the only person here who graduated from historically Black, um, college.
BRATHWAITE: One of the reasons why I went is, like, this is going to probably be one of the last opportunities I'll have to be able to be in this solidly Black space, and thrive, and learn more about myself and learn more about my people and meeting people that look like me from other places and just having more of that commonality.
♪ ♪ PERRY: Schools were an essential part of freedom for African Americans.
It was a form of civic participation, uh, self-creation, self-actualization, and personal aspiration.
Education had a value in and of itself.
GASMAN: Black colleges start in a whole variety of ways, right?
They start in the basements of churches.
They start in one-room classrooms.
They start in sort of abandoned structures that had been left over from the war.
They start through the government's Freedmen's Bureau, with help from the American Missionary Association with help from the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the AME Zion Church, and philanthropists.
FAVORS: In the midst of this low point in terms of racial violence, these institutions become protective spaces.
They're using these spaces to educate but also to empower those same young Black people to see themselves as a wave of young folks who are going to begin to call out America's hypocrisy.
COOPER: Black colleges understand the trauma, the...the disinvestment that their students arrive on campus with.
And they see it as part of their mission to heal and rearrange the thinking that tells us that we cannot be the best and that we are not among the best.
TAYLOR: The very first HBCU in the country was Cheyney University.
The second was the University of DC.
The third was Lincoln University.
And the first independent HBCU funded and founded by Black people was Wilberforce.
GATES: Since 1837, more than 100 historically Black colleges and universities have been founded in the United States, most in the half century following the Civil War and most in the South, where 90% of the Black population lived until the start of the Great Migration.
These institutions educated the vast majority of Black college graduates, intent upon building a new future for themselves and for the race.
LOMAX: In 1881, Booker T. Washington is called from Hampton Roads, Virginia, where he's been a student and is now the most eminent of the graduates who are now working at Hampton.
And he's called to open a school in rural Macon County, Alabama.
The wizard of Tuskegee, Booker T. Washington, he was an incredible organizer and could link together not just in the local community but as a network across the country.
GARRETT-SCOTT: He really started from nothing, and he built that school into one of, um, the richest and most well-known educational institutions not just in the United States but in the world.
PERRY: Tuskegee often gets a bad rap because of the classic narrative divide between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B.
Du Bois and the idea of industrial education.
ANDERSON: Washington was saying, we should train teachers that will go out into African American communities and teach African American students that their place in society was common labor and domestic work.
And that they should absorb a sense of pride in doing that kind of work.
TAYLOR: There was a saying that Booker T. Washington wanted to make men carpenters, and Du Bois wanted to make carpenters, men.
LOMAX: You have to view Booker Washington, not as someone who was opposed to the political aspirations of Black people, but who is creating an institution in an environment of absolute hostility to African American education.
SOARES: Booker T. Washington saw his mission as extending beyond the campus.
He saw a very close relationship between education and business, and he was really active in a number of Black uplift efforts.
PERRY: I come from a Tuskegee family.
Many of them became engineers.
It is an institution that I say is primarily responsible for moving my family into the middle class.
LEWIS: You begin to see then, the creation of the doctors, the lawyers, the teachers, the nurses.
All become critical elements of a Black community that is differentiating, that is emerging, that is growing.
FAVORS: These natural class cleavages that begin to emerge, the more you begin to see an expansion of the Black middle class.
You do begin to see some separation within the Black community.
But let's also remember this, uh that you know, every HBCU does not have the same identity.
You have the Hamptons, the Howards, the Morehouse, the Spellmans of the world educating the Black middle class and those who can afford to attend these institutions.
But for every private Fisk, you also have the North Carolina A&T's of the world.
These are institutions which are founded for and are educating first generation, young African Americans, and many of them were straight out of the fields.
GATES: The HBCU commitment to "lifting the race" by building a collective sense of mission and pride wasn't limited to the classroom.
In fact, two of these institutions, Morgan and Howard, served as the birthplace for one of the most powerful and enduring social networks in the history of Black America: Black Greek letter organizations.
Although Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first of the Divine Nine, was founded at Cornell in 1906, the majority originated at Howard.
Not only would these sororities and fraternities play a key role in shaping some of Black America's greatest leaders, the bonds students built there would last far beyond their college years.
LOMAX: I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
TAYLOR: I'm a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
BRILLANT: Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.
WILLIAMS: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
BLOW: Kappa Alpha Psi.
SAINT PREUX: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority ANDERSON: The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
DAVIS: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
BRACEY: The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
DAVIS: Our organizations are not just for four years, they're for life.
BELL: For us it's about making a difference.
It's about being actively involved, fighting for social change.
DAVIS: I know that no matter where I go, nationwide or internationally, I will always find a member of the Divine Nine.
Because we are literally everywhere.
BRACEY: I like to wear my paraphernalia, especially when I travel, and it was incident when I was at the airport and the line was, around the airport, outside the door, so I had my Sigma hat on and then a police officer walked over to me said hey Greek.
I was looking at him I said, Yeah, what's up, he said, I'm a Kappa, you a Sigma.
We all Greek.
So he walked us all the way to the front of the line, and I looked at my wife and said, membership has its privileges.
GATES: Well, how do you get in?
WILSON: I mean, you... GATES: You call somebody and say, I want to be a, an AKA?
WILSON: I mean, you, you express interest, and they express interest back.
When you put on your letters, when you put on your colors, you are, you're putting all of those... those women on your back and on you to represent.
Like look at Madam Vice President.
I mean, I got to sit up a little taller, because of that.
I mean, like, you want to be a part of that.
So it pushes you to be better.
It pushes you to be better, um, in school.
BRATHWAITE: It pushes you, yeah.
WILSON: It pushes you to do more in the community.
BRATHWAITE: We have some dynamic women that have come through the sorority.
Shirley Chisholm, right.
BRATHWAITE: So, without Shirley Chisholm there would be no Kamala Harris.
Let's.... Let's... GATES: See that's the competition between the two of you.
WILSON: No, but that's not the competition.
BRATHWAITE: But this is what, it's not a competition.
WILSON: But we might be in different sororities, but we're in the same, we're in Black community.
GATES: In the same way that Black sororities and fraternities linked students socially, Black entrepreneurs built economic networks with profound significance for the broader African American community.
TROTTER: The building of Black enterprises was a critical component of African American, uh, life and history and the building of Black America.
WILLIAMS: I grew up in a town that was largely African American.
My paternal grandparents owned a dry cleaners.
We had all of the clothes bagged by alphabetical last name.
Except, next to the cash register, there was a rack, where all clothes for all white clients were.
And I can remember very clearly asking my grandfather, Granddaddy, why do we have clothes segregated?
And he said, you don't turn your back on people that you don't know as well.
GILL: African Americans living during the nadir, economic justice and economic opportunities were at the forefront of their mind.
They understood that unless African Americans were able to own their own labor to a certain extent, they would never really be able to have the kinds of political gains that they needed.
TROTTER: They are doing this against the backdrop of tremendous racial hostility, tremendous efforts to really undermine the capacity of Black people to remain in cities.
GLAUDE: Black folk are being lynched, that haunting ritual of American life.
We're losing ground.
But at the same time, there is this explosion in Black institutional life.
We're creating organizations at extraordinary rates.
TROTTER: Business activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries started to intensify in the teeth of Jim Crow, so to speak.
GILL: We see W.E.B.
DuBois in Atlanta in 1899 hosting a conference that is just about the Negro in business.
And just one year later, we see the man, who in many ways was his rival, Booker T. Washington, capitalizing on many of the ideas, creating what is called the National Negro Business League in 1900.
The goal of the National Negro Business League was to organize African American business leaders from around the country and bring them together to talk about best practices, how to strengthen one another, but also, they wanted to really have the race think about economics and to think about economic justice.
Part of what the National Negro Business League does is that it encourages so much entrepreneurial activity that when we look at the years 1900 until about 1930, we can talk of a golden age of Black business.
CONNOLLY: In Durham, North Carolina, you have a real epicenter of Black business, anchored in many respects by North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.
LEWIS: Black Durham symbolized several things at the turn of the century.
One, it was a destination point for African Americans leaving parts of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Durham was sort of the heart of the Black community, and then with North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and banks and other enterprises Durham becomes key.
MILLS: In 1898, John Merrick and Aaron Moore were among the organizers.
The model for that insurance company was to preside, protect and provide.
They would take on this moniker of Black Wall Street along with Tulsa, Oklahoma.
John Merrick was one of the most prominent African American barbers and businessmen in the late 19th and early 20th century.
He was born in 1859 in Clinton, North Carolina, enslaved.
He initially worked as a bricklayer but during the winter months, there was no work, and so he began to work in barber shops as a bootblack and gained an interest in learning how to be a barber.
He was invited to work in a barber shop owned by John Wright.
In 1880, both Wright and Merrick move to Durham and open this barber shop together and would eventually open five to six additional barber shops.
In 1883, both Merrick and Wright and a few other Black businessmen acquire the Royal Knights of King David fraternal society.
COOPER: The real importance of fraternal orders was that they were the places with the money.
Typically, businesspeople had connections to fraternal orders, not only because of the network but because of the mutual aid benefits, typically things like life insurance policies, burial insurance policies.
MILLS: Just months after Merrick and others organize the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, there was a riot, in 1898, in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The tension here is the founding of what would be an iconic insurance company and a major riot within months of each other.
It's quite chilling.
GATES: The violent insurrection in Wilmington was a painful reminder, particularly to those in thriving Black business districts, such as Durham, that political and economic gains were double-edged: Perceptible progress always risked a serious backlash from the white world outside.
CONNOLLY: It was a very difficult thing to balance.
The National Negro Business League helped to set Afro-America on a course where most of the people who were in charge of setting the political agenda for Black communities were themselves entrepreneurs, which means, you bring a certain kind of brokering sensibility.
You often times are working with, you know, white capitalists on the other side of the color line to try to get certain kinds of compromises.
But all that being said, it's important because Black entrepreneurship gives a sense of independence and possibility.
And for even those who aren't entrepreneurs, many of these business owners become important symbolic markers of the possibility of Black achievement.
LEWIS: If we look at the story of Black entrepreneurship, often times we tell the stories of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.
But we leave out the story of Maggie Lena Walker.
GARRETT-SCOTT: Born in 1864, the daughter of an enslaved woman and a white Confederate soldier.
She grew up in poverty.
Her mother worked as a washerwoman.
The Independent Order of Saint Luke started in the 1850s in Birmingham by a free Black woman to care for women and children.
After the Civil War it spread all across the Southeast, including Richmond, Virginia.
A young Maggie Lena Walker joined when she was just a teenager.
She worked her way up within that organization so that by 1899 she became the grand secretary treasurer of the Independent Order of Saint Luke, which was on the brink of failure and collapse.
In 1903, the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank opened in Richmond, Virginia, the first bank that was largely financed by Black women, that was organized by Black women, and that was led by a Black woman, Maggie Lena Walker: the first Black woman president.
LEWIS: Maggie Lena Walker, entrepreneur and a banker forged a new way of living in a world in a Jim Crow South that didn't want to validate her as either Black or a woman.
GARRETT-SCOTT: She wanted to empower women like her mother, working-class women, washerwomen, domestics.
She really shaped the bank around a focus on these working women.
She would have late banking hours.
Um, she stayed open on the weekends.
She also would make very small loans, the smallest $5.
When men used the St. Luke Bank, Maggie Lena Walker required that their wives cosign for their loans.
That is really unheard of, uh, at a time, that a man would need the endorsement of his wife or a woman in his life.
But for Maggie Lena Walker this was, one, an opportunity to bring more women into the bank, but it also was to acknowledge that Black women played, uh, central roles in the economic lives of their families and in the communities.
And she even was part of the women's auxiliary to the National Negro Business League.
LOMAX: The people who were the 19th century founders of the Black insurance company and the Black bank were all members of the National Negro Business League.
The Business League still exists today.
In Atlanta it is the number one association of Black entrepreneurs.
GATES: More than 100 Black-owned banks were chartered between the 1880s and the 1920's.
What effects would a resurgence have on the Black community's economic status, today?
♪ We brag on having bread ♪ ♪ But none of us are bakers ♪ ♪ We all talk having greens ♪ ♪ But none of us own acres ♪ ♪ If none of us own acres and none of us grow wheat ♪ ♪ Then who will feed our people ♪ ♪ When our people need to eat?
♪ GARRETT-SCOTT: In 2016, rapper Killer Mike puts out this challenge to all races to invest in Black banks.
And within just a few months, millions of dollars began to pour into Black banks.
KILLER MIKE: We're telling young Black people that you have the opportunity to rebuild on top of rubble, have a strong foundation.
And hopefully I'm planting a seed now that will one day grow into a oak tree that will take care of my grandchildren's grandchildren.
I created Greenwood Bank because unless you control your finance and can feed the people, you can never, ever lead or be a people.
What really appealed to me was the opportunity for people in my community to support the Black bank in a new and digital way as that Black bank supports them, supports the United Negro College Fund, supports the NAACP, supports, um, programs that help, um, people become... or partners with programs that help people become more financially literate.
We need our own banks.
We need our own banking systems, our credit unions.
LOMAX: These mutual aid societies become community supports, but then they morph into businesses and they become the backbone, the foundation of Black community, Black enterprise, uh, and Black business.
GATES: Why do you think that barber shops and beauty parlors have remained a central place of importance within the Black community?
When people, under integration, you could get your hair done anywhere.
Doctor, what do you think?
RAVENELL: I remember going to the barber shop as a kid with my father.
And that tradition is so important as a kid, because you get to see such an incredible diversity of Black men.
And I'm sure the same thing is true in going to beauty salons for Black women.
But you get to see that we are not a monolith by any stretch of the imagination.
You come in, into this chair, no matter how you came in, you leave transformed.
And it's just this magic about barbers and about Black stylists.
GILL: Black women really were at the forefront of leading the race in entrepreneurship.
Most notably among them were the Black women who were the beauty entrepreneurs.
Annie Malone was part of the group of Black women beauty entrepreneurs that emerged in the early 20th century.
She was born during the Reconstruction era in Illinois, orphaned as a child and raised by her older siblings.
While she was in high school, she really took a liking to chemistry.
She was known to tinker around with different concoctions and to play around with her sister's hair and women in the community.
She eventually turns that love of science into what comes to be known as the Poro Company.
She begins manufacturing products, particularly it was one called a hair grower, which was a petroleum-based product that was designed to help condition Black women's hair.
BALDWIN: They didn't call themselves hairdressers.
They called themselves beauty culturists, using the older term of culture as meaning, to take raw material and to cultivate it, to refashion it.
Annie Turnbull Malone hewed more closely to the idea of service nurturance to the race.
She had the Poro Orchestra for Girls.
GILL: She created a real monument to Black business in the form of Poro College, which was a massive building that stood in the Black business district of St. Louis.
MILLS: She built Poro Company with agents, as opposed to employees, which meant that they have some sense of economic autonomy.
Black women now had a space outside of domestic work to enter some field of industry with some control, with some independence.
GILL: One of the women who, um, gets excited by what she sees is a woman by the name of Sarah Breedlove, who comes to be known as Madam C.J.
Walker, who becomes one of Annie Malone's agents in St. Louis.
Walker was a woman who had her own ambitions and had her own dreams and eventually leaves St. Louis and creates her own hair product company that becomes a great competitor to the Poro Company.
GATES: Annie Malone and Madam C.J.
Walker, they basically developed hair straightening.
They made fortunes teaching Black women how to straighten their hair.
Was that a good thing for Black aesthetics, Black beauty?
WILSON: What they did is innovate and given, gave us a way to express our beauty in a different way.
Some, to some people, yes, maybe to assimilate, to survive.
And then for others to just have a way of getting our foot in the door.
Getting, get...getting around certain situations.
GATES: They allow, I love this.
I, it never occurred to me.
They gave us a way of making a choice.
They gave us possibilities, aesthetic possibilities.
WILSON: Many possibilities.
WILSON: They don't have to be this negative thing that I think a lot of people attach straightening your hair to or weaves or, you know, that sort of thing.
To me, it's just us showing the world and ourselves how fly we are on different levels.
BALDWIN: Madam Walker was much more from a working-class background and much more directly asserted that we're not just simply about serving the race.
We are taking the reins of the race.
This is an opportunity for women who have been relegated to the wash tub and the kitchen to learn to grow hair and to make money.
They went to the streets: social clubs, knitting groups, uh, quilt making groups, organized, uh, groups of washerwomen.
And they used those networks to distribute beauty culture products.
GILL: What's important about Annie Malone and what's important about Madam C.J.
Walker is, as they built these empires, as they built these very successful beauty businesses, they were not just interested in the money that they could make.
They saw their businesses as a testament to the race.
And so, they were very concerned in making sure that Black women had jobs.
They employed Black women in their beauty schools, in their manufacturing plants, in their businesses.
They saw their business as creating a greater economic base for Black women.
One of the things that is really important about the Jim Crow era is to think about how it created some places for Black folks to hide, some places where Black folks can do things that white folks just dismissed as unimportant.
Like, what could possibly be going on in there, except some hair frying?
What we really see when we look at the era of Jim Crow is that it became a place for Black women to think and to plot and to plan for political purposes.
We see voter registration drives and educational programs happening in the spaces of beauty shops.
Walter Whyte says that if it wasn't for the giving of the Walker company, the NAACP would not have survived.
And so, what we see them doing is not just engaging in business for business' sake but business in service of the race.
GATES: Black businesses provided vital support to activist organizations, organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founded in 1909 by an interracial coalition.
While the NAACP's leadership initially was predominantly white, the group's focus on the freedom struggle soon became a rallying cry for a new generation of Black activists who would transform it into one of the most important civil rights organizations in American history.
DAVIS: Being a member of the NAACP at that time was tantamount to being a member of the Communist Party.
GILL: They were very much engaged in the battle against lynching's and racial violence.
KELLEY: On July 28th 1917, one of the hottest days on record, the NAACP and some members of the clergy in New York decided to hold a silent parade.
Between 8,000 and 15,000 African Americans, children dressed in white, Black men in dark suits, women dressed in white dresses marching down 5th Avenue, starting at 57th Street.
People held placards calling out the barbarity of racist violence in America to placards that basically claimed citizenship.
This was a huge response to the violence.
COOPER: Black people have always been invested in having a voice.
And they have created a microphone and a megaphone in every century.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, that was the engine of Black newspapers.
PERRY: You have hundreds of newspapers, and then magazines.
They provide bodies of knowledge that people can take with them as they're venturing into entirely new settings, whether they're going North or Midwest or even just from the rural to the urban South.
BALDWIN: The Great Migration represents this moment where African Americans left the inequality and the inhumanity of the Jim Crow South for a better life in the North.
LOMAX: It was in the Great Migration that Black newspapers really came into their own.
RICHARDSON: There's also a Great Migration that is happening westward.
And so, you see the California Eagle, led by Charlotta Bass, one of the only women editors at the time.
LOMAX: From South Carolina she moves out to Los Angeles in the early part of the 1900s, and for $50 buys the California Eagle and turns that newspaper into a powerhouse.
Mrs. Bass was not a writer.
But she was a businesswoman, and she was a race woman.
RICHARDSON: She kind of becomes an unofficial mayor of Los Angeles and is letting people know not only what's here and what the promise economically could be but politically what people could do if they joined together.
GLAUDE: Local Black newspapers became the spaces where Black folk could not only get information about what was happening to Black America broadly, but also what was happening to their communities, more specifically.
It's also where they could experience a sense of communion with Black communities across the nation.
And that time stamp creates the conditions, as Benedict Anderson would say, for an imagined community.
These newspapers are critical to Black public life, to a sense of Black public deliberation.
Because the mainstream newspapers, quote-unquote, the Associated Press is not gonna cover what's happening in our communities.
RICHARDSON: What a lot of Black journalists did is say we can't just focus on Black struggle all of the time.
Let's focus on Black joy too.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ WHITAKER: Teenie Harris was for decades the leading photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier.
They called him One Shot, because he... he had one bulb to get a shot, and he always got the shot that he wanted with that first shot.
And he started out covering news stories for the Courier.
He went around photographing every aspect of Black life in Pittsburgh, the life of the elite, the life of the struggling working class, the life of young schoolchildren, the life of athletes, the life of musicians.
WILLIS: Teenie Harris was a person who understood the importance of photography and the importance of storytelling through not only the political lens, but the cultural lens.
BLOW: How do I live in a world in which I do not have to racially measure myself by somebody else's tape?
And in that space is the only space where joy can be found.
When you are able to see you, love you, and celebrate you regardless of who else may even exist.
LOMAX: These newspapers were telling you a story that was Black and brown but richly differentiated in every shade in between.
GATES: The lively African American press documented Black life from every angle, including the cultural experiences of the wave of Afro-Caribbean migrants in the 1920s, as they settled into Black neighborhoods in northern cities.
GATES: Your network has Caribbean roots.
How are Caribbean social networks different or similar to African American social networks?
BRATHWAITE: As with any group of people, you're always going to try to gravitate towards those that you have that connection with or those similarities.
So, for West Indian people, it's nice to be able to be somewhere where you can speak with your accent.
It's not a problem.
No one's really judging you because of it or wondering, you know, did you just reach, you just reach?
You just got off the boat?
What, you know.
So, there's more of that safe space, even within a Black space.
GATES: Uh huh.
GLAUDE: One of the things that we need to understand is that massive domestic immigration, uh, is... is paralleled with, uh... uh global movements, global shifts.
Marcus Garvey is part of this wave of West Indian immigration that impacts the landscape of Black politics in interesting sorts of ways.
GILL: Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant, establishes what is known as the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the UNIA.
What we see Marcus Garvey doing is mobilizing a mass movement that is not just here in the United States but all across the Caribbean, South America and even into parts of the African continent.
GLAUDE: So Garveyism represents a response to the failure of the state, right, vis-à-vis Black folk, to say to hell with you.
GILL: They were unapologetically Black.
They created their own flag and their own songs and their own anthems and rituals.
They were not interested in, um, collaborating with white allies.
Um, whereas the NAACP had a different approach.
GLAUDE: The NAACP takes on a particular shape because of a variety of forces at work.
You have this interesting diversity of Black political voice.
The UNIA is straight up Black nationalist.
FARMER: When we talk about Black nationalism, we're talking about the idea that Black people constitute a nation.
And there, Marcus Garvey was certainly talking about Africa for the Africans.
But he was also asking Black people to buy into the idea that even if they never left the United States, that they were part of a bigger, Black-centered, basically segregated community in which they were aligned together by their heritage from Africa and their shared cultural experiences.
Marcus Garvey was the largest Black movement and certainly the largest Black nationalist movement the world, let alone the United States, had ever seen.
Because of this, he had to be stopped.
And so therefore he was convicted of mail fraud and deported to London.
GATES: Marcus Garvey, who died in London on June 10th 1940 was perhaps the most vocal proponent of the back to Africa movement.
Garvey left behind a rich legacy of thought about pan-Africanism and Black self-determination.
Garvey declared that the New Negro movement of the 1920s should embrace pride in a pan-African racial identity and assert the right of armed Black self-defense.
Garvey's writings would inspire the founders of the Black power movement in the 1960's.
In fact, some saw Garvey as their patron saint.
BALDWIN: When we look at the critical New Negro flash point of 1919, this moment where we find what James Weldon Johnson calls the Red Summer, a series of race riots that represented white resentment to an increased Black presence and Black assertiveness in Northern and also Southern cities, we see a clear articulation of the New Negro.
Because when white folks attacked, Black people fought back in the streets but also in the salons, in the theaters, in political agitation.
So, in this period, we have a multi-layered understanding of the New Negro.
GLAUDE: There are these spaces where Black folk are beginning to take up the subject of Black life and creating extraordinarily beautiful things.
On the page, on the stage, and in sound.
And this is really important to understand that our lives are not reducible to the hell that we catch.
We still make life swing.
MAN: Oh, to be in Harlem.
The deep-dyed color, the thickness, the closeness of it.
The noises of Harlem.
The sugared laughter, the honey talk on its streets.
And all night long, ragtime and blues playing somewhere, singing somewhere, dancing somewhere.
Oh, the contagious fever of Harlem.
KING: The Harlem Renaissance is marked by Alain Locke's book in 1925, The New Negro, which is his anthology that collects the voices of African American writers at the time.
Alain Locke is basically saying, there's a new type of Black person that's possible in this moment, in this decade.
And that Black person is not going to be constrained by previous stereotypes or sort of limited ways of thinking about Blackness.
GATES: There's the Alain LeRoy Locke School on 111th Street.
LUMPKIN: Right, right.
GATES: And I went, wow.
This is appropriate.
Why does he inspire you?
LUMPKIN: He was a professor at Howard, and one of the things that he did as being on the faculty there and made it his mission was to make sure that students at Howard had money and resources to, for instance, travel to Africa, to study art, to study history, to study their cultural heritage, and also to bring that back and to create museum spaces either at the university or real museums where that art could be shown and shared and then passed down, when there were not opportunities for Black artists.
McHENRY: During the Harlem Renaissance, there's all sorts of literary salons, literary societies, literary gatherings.
They all probably look different.
I assume that anything that A'Lelia Walker threw was a much more lavish affair than the sort of affair that most likely took place in Harlem living rooms on every other block during that same time.
GATES: A'Lelia Walker, the only surviving daughter of Madam C.J.
Walker, used her mother's fortune and her own magnetic charm to host numerous soirees at her legendary salon, The Dark Tower.
Guests at her parties constituted a who's who of the Black elite.
Langston Hughes crowned her "the joy goddess of Harlem's 1920s."
WILLIAMS: The Dark Tower is this incredible space where people who have access to resources bring other people together to have everything from the salon to think about ideas, performances, how we might best be represented in music or in art, in dance, in painting or in photography.
You host salons.
LUMPKIN: Yes I do.
GATES: What is the importance of these types of gathering spaces, going back to, um, Madam C.J.
Walker's daughter, A'Lelia, with her Dark Tower?
LUMPKIN: We've talked a lot about safe spaces, creative spaces, places within the Black community from the barber shop to the church to salons where artists and other Black creative's come together.
I look at my role as someone who is a champion of Black artists, who is invested deeply in preserving our cultural capital.
The parties that A'Lelia Walker threw, and on the one hand you could see them as sort of, like, she was a philanthropist and a socialite.
But you could also see her as an activist, you know, by providing space for these artists and these creatives to gather and to make work and to express themselves.
There will always be a need for these special, sacred spaces.
♪ ♪ LOVING: The artist James Van Der Zee, he actually took a picture, uh, called Beau of the Ball, which was of a person who performed at some of the Harlem Drag Balls from 1926.
It also illustrates this idea of LGBTQ life, secret parties where even Blacks who were not considered mainstream, um, could come and still be amongst safe spaces and enjoy themselves.
SMALTZ: The drag balls?
Are you kidding?
They were right there where I lived.
The Rockland Palace was at 155th Street and 8th Avenue.
And girl, we would be right outside, waiting to see.
Those queens were dressed to the nines.
GATES: The roots of Harlem's Hamilton Lodge number 7-1-0 run all the way back to 1869, just four years after the end of the Civil War.
Its masquerade and civic balls would eventually become a safe haven for LGBTQ individuals.
The splendid Rockland Palace became the home of these balls in the 1920s, a safe haven for thousands from far and wide, long before the Stonewall riots of 1969.
KING: There's a whole flowering of possibility around identity that happens in that moment.
It's really exciting.
These sort of mini utopias or spaces or enclaves where Black people can thrive and where we can enjoy each other's company, and where we can create our own expressive culture.
WILSON: And we're the culture.
We're the culture.
We drive the culture.
BRATHWAITE: We drive everything.
WILSON: Why wouldn't you want to be a part of the community that drives the culture?
LUMPKIN: There is no American culture without Black culture.
Rock 'n' roll.
LUMPKIN: I mean, everything.
I mean... Food.
BRATHWAITE: Our language.
BRATHWAITE: Our swag.
GATES: While Black culture flourished in a renaissance in the 1920s, the party would abruptly end when the stock market crashed in 1929.
As the old saying goes, when America catches a cold, Black America catches pneumonia.
Despite extraordinarily difficult times, a new generation would emerge, determined to fight even more aggressively to end Jim Crow racial segregation, once and for all.
DAVIS: Resistance was a necessity.
NARRATOR: Next time on "Making Black America".
ARNESEN: Slaves were freed but African-Americans had not become truly equal citizens.
NARRATOR: Organizing for change.
And Black life, Black joy.
JASON: Creating these spaces or enclaves that allow us to feel good about ourselves and good in the world even if the world isn't good.
NARRATOR: Next time on "Making Black America".
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: Dive deeper at pbs.org/makingblackamerica.
Join the conversation with #MakingBlackAmericaPBS.
Stream more from "Making Black America" on the PBS video app.
To order "Making Black America" on DVD, visit shopPBS.org or call 1-800-PLAY-PBS.
Also available with PBS Passport and on Amazon Prime Video.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪