Last Updated 07 Oct 2020

The Man Himself: Marcus Garvey

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Brandi Faulk English 421 Dr. Tiffany Adams February 15, 2013 The Man Himself Many people wonder who Marcus Garvey is. He was born a raised in St. Ann Bay Jamaica. During his young life Garvey was not aware of any racial segregation of whites and blacks. However, he had a few childhood friends. At the age of fourteen Garvey was called a “nigga” by one of his white friends and he was told that he could never be able to see his white friends again. Because of this incident, Garvey eyes were open to all of the racism surrounding him.

Also because of this incident, he was no long close to any white people and racism and inequality became prevalent forces in Marcus’s life. As far as working Marcus as forced to work in labor because his parents were intellectuals, and the work was not cut out for then in the industrial country of Jamaica. Marcus and his sister, Indiana were forced to work in order for the family to have enough money to survive. In the 1910’s Marcus made a name for himself in Jamaica as an accomplished printer, writer, and politician.

He joined The National Club, which was the first organization in Jamaica that introduced anti-colonial thinking into Jamaica. In inequality that Marcus encountered in the world outside of lower schools in Jamaica of inequality and hatred for black men. He then decided to leave Jamaica to see if blacks were treated the same way in other countries. For the next two years Garvey decided to travel around Central America to experience the black condition in several countries. Throughout his traveling experience he realize that the same conditions he found in Jamaica were the same as the one’s in Central America.

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He then decided to go further and decided to go a visit England. However, he was pleasantly surprised. In this particular the blacks in England were segregated like in the west. Later in life Marcus decided to move to the United States after the UNIA was established in Jamaica. Garvey felt the need that he needed to start a branch in Harlem to promote is ideas in the United States. Garvey saw Africa as having fallen from a past greatness that had to be restored for peoples of African descent to resume their rightful place in the world. Such redemption could only be achieved by black peoples themselves.

After his idea remain the same , he started advocating the ideas of black. nationalists; that some blacks should move back to Africa, in order to protect Africa from imperialism. Garvey took action to begin to take blacks back to Africa. He started the Black Star Shipping Company in 1919. The company took two boatloads of people to Liberia, but had to stop after management problems. This has been coined the "back to Africa" movement. (UCLA) However, Garvey’s intent with the "back to Africa" movement was not to lead all blacks back to Africa.

Rather, he thought that a strong African center of black power would protect blacks all over the world from imperialism. The UNIA in the United States attracted a very large following. The membership was in the millions. The ideology of the UNIA attracted a strong working class following. The fraternal feeling and self-help ideas attracted many blacks that felt as if whites would never change to the point of equality. The working class felt the pressure of oppression most of all African-Americans. There was a small following from the black intelligentsia, but the majority of them followed W.

E. B. Dubois and the NAACP. The religious content of the UNIA also appealed very strongly to people. UNIA meetings were structured like church services with prayers, services, and singing. Garvey told followers to "reject the white image of Jesus and God".. The religion gave followers an even stronger sense of brotherhood and pride. The UNIA also had a women’s chapter, so it attracted a strong women’s following as well The UNIA appealed broadly across the African-American community through the use fraternity, religion, ideology, and an appeal to women.

Garvey saw Africa as having fallen from a past greatness that had to be restored for peoples of African descent to resume their rightful place in the world. Such redemption could only be achieved by black peoples themselves In the early 1920’s is when the struggle for African American was real. During this time is when slavery was abolished, blacks were still oppresses and they were still no way equal to whites. However black people were staring to make some progress towards racial equality. During this time was a strong African American movement to further the black race.

A prominent movement was lead by W. E. B Dubious. His focus was on education blacks to create quality. However on the other hand from the political spectrum was a man by the name of Marcus Garvey. In his movement he led the movement for blacks to unite as a race against oppression. The background has a strong impact on his belief which acted as catalyst for his life’s work. The involvement has a strong influence on the black population and the African-American civil rights movement of the 1920’s.

Marcus Garvey grew up in poverty, surrounded by the struggle of blacks to gain political, economic, and social equality. He devoted his life’s work to end of these struggles. He developed a set of beliefs that influenced many people and encouraged many blacks to put forth extra effort to get ahead. Marcus Garvey and the UNIA is the largest African-American movement to date. Garvey’s legacy has also been manifest in the careers of leaders ranging from Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana to Malcolm X in the United States.

Borne along on the tide of black popular culture, Garvey’s memory has attained the status of a folk myth. He is daily celebrated and recreated as a hero through the storytelling faculty of the black oral tradition. As the embodiment of that oral tradition transmuted into musical performance, Jamaica’s reggae music exhibits an amazing fixation with the memory of Garvey. Re-evoking spiritual exile and the historic experience of black dispossession, the music of such performers as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear presents a Garvey who speaks from the past directly to the present.

The result today is that the legend of Garvey functions as an icon of universal black pride and affirmation Reference Garvey, Marcus. The UNIA Papers Project. http://www. isop. ucla. edu/mgpp/lifesamp. htm. 1925 Sewell, Tony. Garvey’s Children: The Legacy of Marcus Garvey. Trenton:Africa World Press, Inc. , 1990. Stein, Judith. The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in Modern Society. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1986

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