Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Marcus Garvey" Black History Month

Before The Nation Of Islam here in the United States under The Honorable Elijah Muhammad there was Marcus Garvey. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He founded the Black Star Line, part of the Back-to-Africa movement, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands. Garveyism intended persons of African ancestry in the diaspora to "redeem" the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the continent. His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in the Negro World entitled "African Fundamentalism", where he wrote: "Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country…Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. was born as the youngest of eleven children in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, to Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Sr., a mason, and Sarah Jane Richards, a domestic worker. Only Marcus and his sister Indiana survived to adulthood. His family was financially stable given the circumstances of this time period. Garvey's father had a large library, and it was from his father that Marcus gained his early love for reading. He also attended elementary schools in St. Ann's Bay during his youth. While attending these schools, Garvey first began to experience racism. When Marcus was younger, he used to be friends with his white neighbors and play with them all the time. However, when they reached their teenage years, they began to shun him. Sometime in 1900, Garvey entered into an apprenticeship with his uncle, Alfred Burrowes, who also had an extensive library, of which Marcus made good use. In 1910 Marcus left Jamaica and began traveling throughout the Central American region. His first stop was Costa Rica, where he had a maternal uncle. He lived in Costa Rica for several months where he worked as a time-keeper on a banana plantation. He began work as editor for a daily newspaper called La Nacionale in 1911. Later that year, he moved to Colón, Panama, where he edited a biweekly newspaper, before returning to Jamaica in 1912. After years of working in the Caribbean, Garvey left Jamaica to live in London from 1912 to 1914, where he attended Birkbeck College, taking classes in law and philosophy. He also worked for the African Times and Orient Review, published by Dusé Mohamed Ali, who was a considerable influence on the young man. Garvey sometimes spoke at Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner. Garvey's philosophy was also influenced by African-American leaders such as Booker T. Washington, Martin Delany, and Henry McNeal Turner. Garvey is said to have been influenced by the ideas of Dusé Mohamed Ali in his speeches, and his later organizing of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Jamaica in 1914.n 1914 Garvey returned to Jamaica, where he organized the UNIA. Historian Rashid suggests that the UNIA motto, "One God, One Aim, One Destiny", was derived from Dusé Ali's Islamic influence (Rashid, 2002). Garvey named the organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities (Imperial) League. The UNIA held an international convention in 1921 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Also represented at the convention were organizations such as the Universal Black Cross Nurses, the Black Eagle Flying Corps, and the Universal African Legion. Garvey attracted more than 50,000 people to the event and in his cause. The UNIA had 65,000 to 75,000 members paying dues to his support and funding. The national level of support in Jamaica helped Garvey to become one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century on the island. After corresponding with Booker T. Washington, head of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and a national African-American leader in the United States, Garvey traveled by ship to the U.S., arriving on 23 March 1916 aboard the S.S. Tallac. He intended to make a lecture tour and to raise funds to establish a school in Jamaica modeled after Washington's Institute. Garvey visited Tuskegee, and afterward, visited with a number of black leaders. May 1917, Garvey and thirteen others formed the first UNIA division outside Jamaica. They began advancing ideas to promote social, political, and economic freedom for black people. On 2 July, the East St. Louis riots broke out. On 8 July, Garvey delivered an address, entitled "The Conspiracy of the East St. Louis Riots", at Lafayette Hall in Harlem. During the speech, he declared the riot was "one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind", condemning America's claims to represent democracy when black people were victimized "for no other reason than they are black people seeking an industrial chance in a country that they have laboured for three hundred years to make great". It is "a time to lift one's voice against the savagery of a people who claim to be the dispensers of democracy. By October, rancor within the UNIA had begun to set in. A split occurred in the Harlem division, with Garvey enlisted to become its leader; although he technically held the same position in Jamaica. Garvey is known as a leading political figure because of his determination to fight for the unity of African Americans by creating the Universal Negro Improvement Association and rallying to gather supporters to fight.  He though found himself in conflict with other black leaders during the times such as  W. E. B. Du Bois. Dubois  felt that the Black Star Line was "original and promising  he added reportedly  that "Marcus Garvey is, without doubt, the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America and in the world. He is either a lunatic or a traitor. Du Bois feared that Garvey's activities would undermine his efforts toward black rights it is said.
Books By Marcus Garvey:

The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey. Edited by Amy Jacques Garvey. 412 pages. Majority Press; Centennial edition, 1 November 1986. ISBN 0-912469-24-2. Avery edition. ISBN 0-405-01873-8.

Message to the People: The Course of African Philosophy by Marcus Garvey. Edited by Tony Martin. Foreword by Hon. Charles L. James, president- general, Universal Negro Improvement Association. 212 pages. Majority Press, 1 March 1986. ISBN 0-912469-19-6.

The Poetical Works of Marcus Garvey. Compiled and edited by Tony Martin. 123 pages. Majority Press, 1 June 1983. ISBN 0-912469-02-1.

Hill, Robert A., editor. The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers. Vols. I-VII, IX. University of California Press, c. 1983- (ongoing). 1146 pages. University of California Press, 1 May 1991. ISBN 0-520-07208-1.

Hill, Robert A., editor. The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: Africa for the Africans 1921–1922. 740 pages. University of California Press, 1 February 1996. ISBN 0-520-20211-2.

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