BLACKMYSTORY 24/7/365: Marcus Mosiah Garvey 1887 – 1940


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

A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.
Marcus Garvey

Africa for the Africans… at home and abroad!
Marcus Garvey

Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.
Marcus Garvey

God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.
Marcus Garvey

I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
Marcus Garvey

I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province until Africa is free.
Marcus Garvey

I like honesty and fair play.
Marcus 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.
Marcus Garvey

If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.
Marcus Garvey

Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.
Marcus Garvey

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences.
Marcus Garvey

Our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa.
Marcus Garvey

Progress is the attraction that moves humanity.
Marcus Garvey

The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.
Marcus Garvey


August 17th 2010 was the 123rd anniversary of the birth of the great Marcus Garvey. As the father of modern Pan Africanism, Garvey influenced people as diverse as Ho Chi Minh (god father of independent Vietnam), Kwame Nkrumah (god father of the 1st independent African state under colonial rule), to the Honourable Elijah Muhammad and the 60’s “Black” revolution movement to present. Two of Garvey’s most endearing legacies are the RED BLACK GREEN of the African liberation flag; the other being the decree…”Africa for the Africans at home and abroad!” Marcus Garvey is not as “sexy” a figure in our modern story, unlike say Martin Luther King and W.E.B.Dubois, but even Dubois wore done, after rejecting Garvey, to live out his natural life in Ghana.

Let’s celebrate the anniversary of a man, who more than any other in the 20th century galvanized niggers and knee-grows into believing they were men and women of worth and high culture!


Marcus Garvey was born in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, on 17th August, 1887. After seven years of schooling he worked as a printer. He became an active trade unionist and in 1907 at the age of 20, he was elected vice president of compositors’ branch of the printers’ union. He helped lead a printer’s strike (1908-09) and after it collapsed the union disintegrated.

In 1911 Garvey moved to England and briefly studied at Birbeck College where he met other Africans in exile who were involved in the struggle to obtain independence from the British Empire. Inspired by what he heard he returned to Jamaica and established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and published the pamphlet, The Negro Race and Its Problems. Garvey was influenced by the ideas of Booker T. Washington and made plans to develop a trade school for the poor similar to the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

Garvey arrived in the United States on 23rd March 1916 to meet and conferred with Booker T Washington at Tuskegee, but Washington died before he, Garvey arrived. The incoming president of the University rejected Garvey and finding himself without a sponsor (Washington) immediately launched a year-long tour of the country. He organized the first branch of UNIA in June 1917 and began published the Negro World, a journal that promoted his African nationalist ideas. Garvey’s organization was extremely popular and by 1919 UNIA had 30 branches and over 2 million members.

Like the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) Garvey campaigned against lynching, Jim Crow laws, denial of African peoples voting rights and racial discrimination. UNIA differed from other civil rights organizations on how the problem could be solved, but while the self help “Race” pride stances resonated within the bosom of the poor and disenfranchised, it bothered the so called talented tenth to no end. Garvey doubted whether Caucasians in the Corporate United States would ever agree to African in America being treated as equals and argued for segregation rather than integration. Garvey suggested that African in America should go and live in Africa. He wrote that he believed “in the principle of Europe for the Europeans, and Asia for the Asiatics” and Africa for the Africans at home and abroad”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s