Marcus Garvey

February 1, 2011

Very Important People

Marcus Garvey (Aug. 17, 1887 – June 10, 1940)

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Among Black leaders Marcus Garvey was unique. Born August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s popularity was universal. His program for the return of African people to their motherland shook the foundations of three empires.

All subsequent Black power movements have owed a debt to his example. In building his Universal Negro Improvement Association he sought “To improve the condition of the race with the view of establishing a nation in Africa where Blacks will be given the opportunity to develop by themselves.”

Founded in 1914, the UNIA grew in just five years to include to include over six million followers. He built newspapers, schools, churches, a shipping company, printing operations, food and clothing stores. In 1919, he launched the Black Star Shipping Lines. His program was one of Black self-determination and independence and set the theme for all Black development today.