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Marcus Garvey

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Brittany Safley-Prigge

Mrs. Kennon

English 11

25 Mar. 2012

Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey was a speaker for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements; "he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Community's League" (Garvey). In 1916 when Marcus Garvey immigrated to the United States he organized plantation workers in Central America and in the Caribbean. He then re-established the UNIA in Harlem, New York in 1917.

Garvey was born in Jamaica on August 17 in 1887. He was self educated and dedicated to promoting African Americans and their resettlement in Africa. In the US Garvey decided to launch several businesses to promote a "separate black nation" (Garvey). Garvey was convicted of mail fraud afterwards and then deported back to Jamaica. Even though there was roughness connected to the business, the prosecution was politically motivated, "as Garvey's activities had attracted considerable government attention. Garvey was sent to prison and later deported to Jamaica" ("BBC" 1).

"Marcus Garvey was the last of 11 children born to Marcus Garvey Sr. and Sarah Jane Richards. Garvey Sr. was a stonemason, and Richards was a domestic worker and farmer" (Garvey). Garvey Sr. influenced Garvey Jr. greatly; he described him as "Severe, firm, determined, bold, and strong, refusing to yield even to superior forces if he believed he was right," (Garvey)When Garvey was younger he began to learn how to read in his father's large library.

Garvey traveled to the United States to raise funds for a similar venture in Jamaica in 1916 with Booker T. Washington. "He then lived in New York City and formed a UNIA chapter in Harlem to promote a separatist philosophy of social, political, and economic freedom for blacks" (Garvey). While in America, Garvey tried to raise money for the school in Jamaica by giving speeches, but his "failure to attract large audiences" encouraged him to move his base of operations to New York (Stein 41). Garvey then distributed a newspaper Negro World to spread his message.

The UNIA founded the Negro World in 1918 and a couple years later it had a "worldwide circulation of 200,000" (Calliope 20). The UNIA also started the Negro Factories Corporation in 1918. Their goal was to establish factories throughout the world.

During World War I and the 1920's, Garvey's UNIA was the biggest "black secular organization in African-American history" (Foner). Garvey addressed to organize African-Americans everywhere but made his best impact in the United States, where he tapped into and enlarged the growing black aspirations for "justice, wealth, and sense of community" (Foner).

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