Marcus Garvey was born on august 17 1887 in St. Ann’s bay he attend school but because of his family situation of poverty he had to quit school. And gets a job as an apprentice in his god father print shop as a printer. Garvey soon aspired to become a Forman at the print shop and after the earthquake in 1907 he went on strike with the workers for better pay even though he did not have to. As a result of that he was fired and soon picked up by the Jamaican government to be a printer.
During this time there was much unrest in the country and most of the people could not vote there was a large out cry for the right to vote and the only people who were able to vote were rich land owners. People were also mad at the British control of the county and Garvey soon joined a group to support his views. The national club which wanted Jamaica to be an independent country. Because of this many Jamaican went abroad to work for better money so Garvey also deiced to travel around the Caribbean. He went to Costa Rica and stared a newspaper to help workers organize because of this he was exiled from the country. So he visited the rest of South America.
Garvey then returned to Jamaica in1912 but left shortly after that to visit his sister in London and also further his studies he got himself well educated so that he could attend the university. He also loved to go to parliament to listen to the debates and Hyde Park to listen to the informal debates. While in London he also talked to many African to see what there story was. He found that England controlled many colonies abroad and there was allot of oppression in the colonies in Africa. All the while he was starting to form his option on society and were his race should be.
While in London Garvey meet up with pan African movement leaders and other black freedom leaders. The leaders taught him about the rich history of the race. This help inspire the UNIA Universal Negro Improvement Association. The motto of the group was “one god-one aim-one destiny”. In the early day the organization was to educate the poor black lower class and get people to join. But one aspect on colonization was that the blacks felt bad about there origin the color and the culture.
In 1916 Garvey moved the head quarters of the UNIA to Harlem New York and set up branch in every country wit a black population. He was a public speaker who was one of the first to preach black pride and his saying was “You mighty race you can accomplish what you will”. He also preaches independence from the whites he said that they should build their own restaurants, factories, stores, banks and many others. He also encored the UNIA branches to buy their building and they were called freedom halls
Garvey soon develops the Lebria plan to set up a country for black in Africa and they would run the whole thing. The UNIA had negotiated with the government of Libya for a land were they could settle and the government agreed to do it but before they arrived the government changed its mind. The plan had failed but they did not stop they held a convention in 1920 were they drew up law for remaining in there own countries but a ways for them to live. 1″The convention was a hug success” (Internet source) at the convention they came up with the red yellow and green flag. And a song the universal Ethiopian. ]
The biggest business venture was the black star shipping line. Which was to promote trade with blacks. Because of this many people joined the UNIA. But the company failed in three years. The major point of failure was the cost, sabotosh, political pressure, unskilled crewmembers, and dishonesty. The USA did not like the idea of build a company builds a nation so some of the sabotage may have been caused be them.
In 1922 three member of the black star line were arrested for mail fraud. They were charred with try to get people to invest in a bankrupt company Garvey explained that he was trying to help people. And the two UNIA members that were arrested with him were released and he was sentenced to five years in jail. People all over the world protested the jailing of their leader they singed petitions and wrote letter to the pres. The president of the USA finally gave him a stay6 of sentence and deported him to Jamaica a Garvey never went back to the US.
When he returned to Jamaica he immediate set up stations every were. He tries to do every thing he could to get better working conditions and freedom from England. He tries to get an eight-hour workday but he failed at that. But he did set up unions all over Jamaica in all of the companies so the workers could bargain and have a voice. He also petitions the king of England to look in to the economic growth of Jamaica and try to improve things.
Marten Luther king studied Garveys teaching ideas and said he was the first to organize millions of blacks he was also inspired many African leaders. Each time you see a country in Africa gain freedom you know Marcus Garvey is alive said Malcolm X
Title:Champions of the Ring
Author: Gerald Suster
Publisher: Robson Books LTD
Title: Grolier Encyclopedia