Born August 17, 1887 in Jamaica, activist Marcus Mosiah Garvey became one of the most thought-provoking Social Activist of his time. The last of 11 children born to Marcus Garvey Sr. and Sarah Jane Richards, Marcus grew under the watchful eye of his father. Marcus would at one point describe his father as unyielding even to higher authority of he
thought he was right, firm, determined, bold, among other things. Marcus Garvey took it upon himself to learn any and everything he could, thus was a self-educated Black man who could read and write, which was practically unheard of in those times.
At age 14 Marcus left school to become a printer’s apprentice. In 1903 Garvey traveled to Kingston, Jamaica and soon became involved in Union activities. In 1907, he took part in an unsuccessful printer’s strike that ignited his passion for political activism. Three years later, he traveled throughout Central America working as a news paper editor and writing about the exploitation of plantation workers. He later traveled to London where he attended Birbeck College and worked for the African Times and Orient Review, which advocated Pan-African nationalism.
Inspired, Garvey returned to Jamaica in 1912 and founded the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) with a vision of uniting all of African Diaspora to form a country and government of their own. By 1919, Marcus Garvey and UNIA had launched the Black Star Line, a shipping company that would establish trade and commerce between Africans in America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Canada, and Africa. At the same time, Garvey started the Negros Factories Association, a series of companies that would manufacture marketable commodities in every big industrial center in the Western hemisphere (Biography.com)
One of Garvey’s most pointed Statements:
I asked, “Where is the black man’s Government?” “Where is his King and his kingdom?” “Where is his President, his country, and his ambassador, his army, his navy, his men of big affairs?” I could not find them, and then I declared, “I will help to make them.” (African Within).
To learn More about Marcus Garvey, his teachings life and times visit any of the links provided below.