Remembering the Great Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey on his Birthday

-A +A

[Marcus Mosiah Garvey]
UNIA: "Marcus Garvey 1887-1940 was born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, on August 17, 1887, was the youngest of 11 children."
Photo: YouTube

Today is the birthday of the great Pan-Africanist the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association, (UNIA), founded by Garvey represented the largest mass movement of Black people around the world in history.

Garvey in combining the entrepreneurial teachings of Booker T. Washington, and the African-centered ideology of the early Pan-Africanist giant Edward Wilmot Blyden, became one of the greatest Black leaders of the 20th Century.

The following is an excerpt--from the UNIA website: a historical biographical outline and timeline of Gravey's life:

Marcus Garvey 1887-1940 was born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, on August 17, 1887, was the youngest of 11 children. Garvey moved to Kingston at the age of 14, found work in a printshop, and became acquainted with the abysmal living conditions of the laboring class. He quickly involved himself in social reform, participating in the first Printers' Union strike in Jamaica in 1907 and in setting up the newspaper The Watchman.

Leaving the island to earn money to finance his projects, he visited Central and South America, amassing evidence that Black people everywhere were victims of discrimination. He visited the Panama Canal Zone and saw the conditions under which the West Indians lived and worked. He went to Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuala.

Everywhere, Blacks were experiencing great hardships.

Garvey returned to Jamaica distressed at the situation in Central America, and appealed to Jamaica's colonial government to help improve the plight of West Indian workers in Central America. His appeal fell on deaf ears.

Garvey also began to lay the groundwork of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, to which he was to devote his life. Undaunted by lack of enthusiasm for his plans, Garvey left for England in 1912 in search of additional financial backing. While there, he met a Sudanese-Egyptian journalist, Duse Mohammed Ali.

While working for Ali's publication African Times and Oriental Review, Garvey began to study the history of Africa, particularly, the exploitation of Black peoples by colonial powers. He read Booker T. Washington's "Up From Slavery," which advocated Black self-help.

In 1914 Garvey organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association and its coordinating body, the African Communities League. In 1920 the organization held its first convention in New York. The convention opened with a parade down Harlem's Lenox Avenue. That evening, before a crowd of 25,000, Garvey outlined his plan to build an African nation-state.

In New York City his ideas attracted popular support, and thousands enrolled in the UNIA. He began publishing the newspaper The Negro World and toured the United States preaching Black nationalism to popular audiences. His efforts were successful, and soon, the association boasted over 1,100 branches in more than 40 countries. Most of these branches were located in the United States, which had become the UNIA's base of operations.

There were, however, offices in several Caribbean countries, Cuba having the most. Branches also existed in places such as Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Namibia and South Africa.

He also launched some ambitious business ventures, notably the Black Star Shipping Line. In the years following the organization's first convention, the UNIA began to decline in popularity. With the Black Star Line in serious financial difficulties, Garvey promoted two new business organizations — the African Communities League and the Negro Factories Corporation. He also tried to salvage his colonization scheme by sending a delegation to appeal to the League of Nations for transfer to the UNIA of the African colonies taken from Germany during World War I.

Financial betrayal by trusted aides and a host of legal entanglements (based on charges that he had used the U.S. mail to defraud prospective investors) eventually led to Garvey's imprisonment in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for a five-year term. In 1927 his half-served sentence was commuted, and he was deported to Jamaica by order of President Calvin Coolidge.

Garvey then turned his energies to Jamaican politics, campaigning on a platform of self-government, minimum wage laws, and land and judicial reform. He was defeated at the polls, however, because most of his followers did not have the necessary voting qualifications.

In 1935 Garvey left for England where he died on June 10, 1940, in a cottage in West Kensington.

Also Check Out...

William McDonald, 45, of West Allis, Wisconsin, admitted that in March 2021, he vandalized a Black woman’s vehicle
Wisconsin Man Pleads Guilty To
 Donald Trump called Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg a “Soros-backed animal”
Bowman Slams Trump’s Racist Attack
A former detention officer with the McClain County Jail in Purcell, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty
Oklahoma Jail Officer Pleads
Bernie Sanders To Hold Rally For Brandon Johnson
Chicago: Sanders To Hold Rally For
Zoe, a brilliant business minded 11 year old girl wanted a doll that looked like her.
11-Year-Old Black Girl Launches
Riley June Williams, 23, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 36 months in prison
Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced On