Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, was a proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, inspiring the Nation of Islam and the Rastafarian movement.
According to Biogr
Born on Aug. 17, 1887, in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, Garvey was an orator for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Communities League, Biogr
It said Garveyism would eventually inspire others, from the Nation of Islam, to the Rastafari movement.
Social activist Garvey was self-educated, who was dedicated to promoting African-Americans and resettlement in Africa, according to Biogr
It said that, in the United States, Garvey launched several businesses to promote a separate black nation.
After he was convicted of mail fraud and deported back to Jamaica, he continued his work for Black repatriation to Africa.
Garvey was the last of 11 children born to Marcus Garvey, Sr. and Sarah Jane Richards. His father was a stone mason, and his mother a domestic worker and farmer, Biogr
It said Garvey, Sr. was a great influence on Marcus, who once described him as “severe, firm, determined, bold, and strong, refusing to yield even to superior forces if he believed he was right.” His father was known to have a large library, where young Garvey learned to read, Biogr
At 14, Marcus became a printer’s apprentice. In 1903, he traveled to Kingston, Jamaica, and soon became involved in union activities, Biogr
It said that, in 1907, Garvey took part in an unsuccessful printer’s strike, and the experience kindled in him a passion for political activism.
Three years later, he traveled throughout Central America working as a newspaper editor and writing about the exploitation of migrant workers in the plantations, Biogr
It said Garvey later traveled to London, where he attended Birkbeck College (University of London) and worked for the African Times and Orient Review, which advocated Pan-African nationalism.
Inspired by these experiences, Garvey returned to Jamaica in 1912 and founded UNIA with the goal of uniting all of African Diaspora to “establish a country and absolute government of their own,” Biogr
After corresponding with Booker T. Washington, the American educator who founded Tuskegee Institute, Garvey traveled to the United States in 1916 to raise funds for a similar venture in Jamaica, Biogr
It said Garvey settled in New York City and formed a UNIA chapter in Harlem to promote a separatist philosophy of social, political, and economic freedom for Blacks. In 1918, Garvey began publishing the widely distributed newspaper Negro World to convey his message.
By 1919, Marcus Garvey and UNIA had launched the Black Star Line, a shipping company that would establish trade and commerce between Africans in America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Canada and Africa, Biogr
At the same time, it said Garvey started the Negros Factories Association, a series of companies that would manufacture marketable commodities in every big industrial center in the Western hemisphere and Africa.
In August 1920, Biogr
Before a crowd of 25,000 people from all over world, Marcus Garvey spoke of having pride in African history and culture, according to Biogr
It said many found his words inspiring, but not all. Some established black leaders found his separatist philosophy ill-conceived.
W.E.B. Du Bois, a prominent black leader and officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called Garvey, “the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America,” said Biogr
In 1922, Biogr
It said the trial records indicate several improprieties occurred in the prosecution of the case. On June 23, 1923, Garvey was convicted and sentenced to prison for five years, Biogr
Claiming to be a victim of a politically motivated miscarriage of justice, Garvey appealed his conviction, but was denied. In 1927, he was released from prison and deported to Jamaica, Biogr
It said Garvey continued his political activism and the work of UNIA in Jamaica, and then moved to London in 1935.
But it said Garvey did not command the same influence he had earlier.
“Perhaps in desperation or maybe in delusion, Garvey collaborated with outspoken segregationist and white supremacist Sen. Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi to promote a reparations scheme,” Biogr
In 1964, his remains were exhumed and taken to Jamaica, where the government proclaimed him Jamaica’s first national hero and re-interred him at a shrine in the National Heroes Park, according to Biogr
It said Garvey’s memory and influence remain, adding that his message of pride and dignity inspired many in the early days of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
In tribute to his many contributions, Biogr