10 Facts About Marcus Garvey
2 months ago
This activist attracted the authorities with his Back-to-Africa movement.
Jamaican native Marcus Garvey is a key figure in black history. Largely self-educated, Garvey’s philosophy of black nationalism, self-empowerment and pride influenced the Nation of Islam and Rastafarian movements. His ideas also struck a chord with a wide range of leaders, including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Learn more about his life with the facts below.
Born on Aug. 17, 1887, in St. Ann’s, Jamaica, Marcus Garvey was the last of 11 children.
Garvey exhibited a political streak at an early age. As a teenager he worked as a printer’s apprentice and organized a strike to for a better salary.
As a young man, Garvey traveled throughout the Americas. After returning to Jamaica in 1914, he launched the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
Garvey moved to New York in 1916 and UNIA’s message that blacks should be proud of their race and return to Africa resonated with blacks.
In 1918, Garvey began publication of the Negro World newspaper.
To help transport blacks back to Africa, Garvey started shipping company the Black Star Line. To help finance the move, he started the Negro Factories Corporation.
The country of Liberia, home to former American slaves, turned down Garvey’s request to give African Americans land to settle on in support of the Back-to-Africa movement.
Garvey’s political activism may have resulted in his conviction for mail fraud in connection to his Black Star Line business. According to BBC News, the irregularities with the business may not have drawn attention from authorities otherwise.
Following his deportation to Jamaica after his conviction, Garvey settled in London, where he died on June 10, 1940.
Jamaica declared Garvey its first national hero, 24 years after he died.
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