Garvey, born in
Founding of the UNIA-ACL
After years of working in the
After corresponding with Booker T. Washington, Garvey arrived in the
Then Garvey set about the business of developing a program to improve the conditions of those of African ancestry "at home and abroad" under UNIA auspices. In
Another venture of his was the Negro Factories Corporation. His plan called for creating the infrastructure to manufacture every marketable commodity in every big
Convinced that Blacks should have a permanent homeland in
Garvey was not necessarily a believer in Black supremacy. Rather he seemed to have been a believer in racial segregation and autonomy. He recognized the influence the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on some white Americans, and in early 1922, he went to
According to Garvey, "I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. I like honesty and fair play. You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying."
Charged with mail fraud
After an investigation by J. Edgar Hoover and the U.S. Post Office, the Attorney General brought a charge of mail fraud against Garvey for selling stock in the failed Black Star Line. It was revealed that, contrary to representations, the corporation did not own the ship pictured on the company's stock brochure. However, the Black Star Line did own and operate several ships over the course of its history and was in the process of negotiating for the disputed ship at the time of the controversy.
Of all those charged in connection with the enterprise, only Garvey was found guilty of using the mail service to defraud. His supporters called the trial fraudulent. While there were serious accounting irregularities within the Black Star Line and the claims he used to sell Black Star Line stock were misleading, Garvey's prosecution may still have been politically motivated. In any case, in 1925, Garvey was convicted and sentenced to a five-year term in the Atlanta Federal Prison.
To this day, efforts to exonerate him continue. His sentence was eventually commuted by President Calvin Coolidge. Since Garvey had been convicted of a felony and was not a
Around 1921, Garvey proclaimed a belief in racial purity. He admired the efforts toward independence of Catholics in
For not entirely unrelated reasons, he had a strong antagonism toward W.E. B. Du Bois, who had expressed hostility to the Black Star Line and other ideas of his. Garvey began to suspect that Du Bois was prejudiced against him because he was a
Garvey traveled to
In 1929, Garvey was elected Councillor for the Allman Town Division of the
In April 1931, Garvey launched the Edelweiss Amusement Company, which he set up to help artists earn their livelihood from their craft. Several Jamaican entertainers -- Kidd Harold, Ernest Cupidon, Bim & Bam, and Ranny Williams -- went on to become popular after receiving initial exposure the company gave them.
In 1935, Garvey left
West Indian Royal Commission on conditions there. Also in 1938, he set up the
Garvey's political views in his later years were increasingly right wing. In 1937, a group of his American supporters, called the Peace Movement of Ethiopia, openly collaborated with Mississippi Sen. Theodore Bilbo in the promotion of a repatriation scheme introduced in the U.S. Congress as the Greater Liberia Act. Garvey also expressed considerable sympathy for fascism and speculated about its positive application in
However, shortly before his death Garvey expressed solidarity with
Garvey's memory has been kept alive worldwide. Schools, colleges, highways, and buildings in
Hall of Heroes in
Burning Spear, a well-known Jamaican reggae artist, has done much to keep his memory alive through song, including his albums, Garvey's Ghost and Marcus Garvey. African American novelist Ralph Ellison used Garvey as the basis for Ras the Exhorter, the West Indian black nationalist demagogue in his award-winning Invisible Man. In Neuromancer, William Gibson named the tug piloted by Maelcum the Marcus Garvey.
Garvey and Rastafari
Rastafarians consider Garvey a religious prophet, and sometimes even the reincarnation of John the Baptist. This is partly because of his frequent statements uttered in speeches throughout the 1920s, usually along the lines of "Look to
His beliefs deeply influenced the Rastafari, who took his statements as a prophecy of the crowning of Haile Selassie I of
Harshly critical of Haile Selassie I in the wake of the invasion of Ethiopia before World
War II, Garvey himself never identified with the Rastafari movement, and was, in fact, raised as a Methodist who went on to become a Roman Catholic.
Memorials to Garvey at home and across the world
- Statue on the grounds of
's Bay Parish Library.Secondary school in his name in St. Ann . St. Ann
- Major highway in his name in Kingston.Bust in
in Apex Park . Kingston
- Likeness on the Jamaican 50 cent coin and 20 dollar coin.
- Building in his name housing the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New Kingston.
- Park in his name in
's Harlem.Street in his name in New York City Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Major street in his name in
, Kenya.Small park in his name in Hammersmith, Nairobi . London, UK
- Marcus Garvey Centre in Lenton,
. Nottingham, UK
- Park in his name in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, California.
- Marcus Garvey Library inside the Tottenham Green Leisure Centre building in
. North London, UK
- Marcus Garvey Cultural Center,
, Universityof Northern Colorado . Greeley, Colorado
- Spoken word introduction to The Orb's track "Towers of Dub" from the album U.F.Orb, which features a prank call made by satirist Victor Lewis-Smith to London Weekend Television: Smith claims to be Garvey leaving a message for Haile Selassie, whom he claims will be arriving there shortly.
- Secondary school in
"Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will."
"Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do."
"One God! One aim! One destiny!"
"We Negroes believe in the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God – God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, the one God of all ages. That is the God in whom we believe, but we shall worship him through the spectacles of
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
"Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm."
"A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact."
"There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike the blow for liberty."
"If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won before you have started."
"Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people."
See you in Jamaica.