Compiled By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 16, 2022: The youngest editor of Marcus Garvey’s newspaper, the Negro World, was Caribbean immigrant Wilfred Adolphus Domingo.
The Jamaican activist and journalist was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to the US is in 1910, settling initially in Boston before moving to New York in 1912.
He originally planned on going to medical school, but he soon changed his course and became an activist, specifically focusing on advocating for constitutional changes in Jamaica. In 1913, Domingo embarked on a speaking tour to various places in the United States where he discussed his vision for reform and progress in Jamaica.
As a member of the Socialist Party, Domingo became involved with others in Harlem who shared similar political ideologies, such as the editors of The Messenger, A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen, who published critiques of Marcus Garvey’s controversial ideology. Having met Marcus Garvey in 1915 through Jamaica’s first nationalist political group, the National Club, Domingo introduced Garvey to figures such as Henry Rogowski, who was the printer for The Call. Thus, Garvey began his own newspaper, Negro World.
Domingo was the founding editor of and a contributor to Negro World until 1919.
Domingo and Garvey eventually had a falling out over the content of Domingo’s writing, which often argued in favor of radical socialism, and which Garvey said was “not in keeping with the UNIA programme.”
Domingo himself was never a member of Garvey’s UNIA. For that reason, Domingo was forced to resign as editor of the newspaper, but continued to write for the Black socialist press. A year later, Domingo and Richard B. Moore began a journal, The Emancipator, but only ten issues were published before its end.
In 1936, Jamaican writer Walter Adolphe Roberts and Domingo created the Jamaica Progressive League, of which Domingo became the vice president. The League’s most basic aims included establishing Jamaican self-governance, universal suffrage, and the right to form labor unions. They also encouraged their countrymen to study Jamaica’s history and art in order to foster the desire for people to express themselves and their culture artistically.
The League also argued against the establishment of the West Indies Federation.
Domingo traveled back to Jamaica in 1941, after 31 years of living in the United States.
He was invited back to help expand the burgeoning People’s National Party (PNP), a Jamaican political party with social-democratic views. While in this group, Domingo focused on organizing with others to establish Jamaican self-governance. However, upon Domingo’s arrival to Jamaica in 1941, Sir Arthur Richards, the governor, had ordered that Domingo and several others be detained for 20 months due to them being “considered threats to the peace and security of the country.”
Domingo’s detention was protested by organizations both inside and outside of Jamaica, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
Domingo returned to New York in 1947, where he continued to fight against the federation of Caribbean nations and fight for Jamaican independence.
He stayed involved with Jamaica’s diaspora community and politics up until his death. In 1968, Domingo died in New York City, having suffered a stroke four years earlier in 1964. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. There are no monuments to his memory or work in Jamaica today.