Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey Thought by many blacks to be another Moses, Marcus Garvey rose from humble beginnings in Jamaica, West Indies, to become the number one advocate of the “Back to Africa movement.” He left school at sixteen and went to work as an apprentice printer, organizing the printing workers in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1917, he came to America and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), whose major goal was to create a strong Negro Nation in Africa. By 1920, the UNIA claimed more than one million members. In August of that year, their International Convention was held in New York City, where 25,000 people gathered to hear Garvey speak. In 1923, Garvey was charged with, and found guilty of, using the mail service to defraud in connection with his fund- raising to buy ships for the return to Africa. While imprisoned, he wrote his famous “First Message to the Negroes of the World from Atlanta Prison,” where he said: “Look to me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for liberty, freedom and life.” Garvey died in 1940 in London, England. He was named Jamaica’s first national hero and buried in the National Heroes Park in Jamaica. © Curriculum Concepts International • Passage provided under license from Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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