African-American History – Mrs. Bedford-Carter Figures in Black History Courtesy of Morpheus Your Task

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African-American History – Mrs. Bedford-Carter - Figures in Black History

Courtesy of Morpheus

Your Task: Read and annotate this article – Make 20 annotations and number each – 200 points – define Pan Africanism and Black nationalism as 2 of your 20 annotations.

Answer the 2 questions at the end of the passage – 3 bullet points and the second one in 6 to 8 sentences (on the back of the last page)

Marcus Garvey and UNIA

marcus garvey

Marcus Garvey

A discussion of the black politics of the early 1900s would be incomplete without understanding the role played by Marcus Garvey and the UNIA. Marcus Garvey was born in St. Ann's Bay parish of St. Ann on August 17, 1887. He was the youngest of his father's 11 children, nine of who died in childhood. Garvey attended infant and elementary schools in St. Ann's Bay and was considered a bright student. He also received private tuition from his godfather Mr. Alfred Burrowes, who ran a printery. At 14, Garvey was apprenticed to Mr. Burrowes to learn the printing trade.

As a youth Garvey inherited an interest in books from his father, a skilled mason, who was widely read and held a private library. This interest grew under his apprenticeship as Mr. Burrowes also had an extensive book collection. Garvey was said to have made full use of these resources, reading often and endlessly. He also came into contact with the many persons who stopped at the "printery" to discuss politics and social affairs with Mr. Burrowes. Thus began his lifelong interest in politics and social affairs.

Around 1906 Garvey left St. Ann's Bay for Kingston to look for work. He worked at first with a maternal uncle, then moved on to P.A. Benjamin Limited where he worked as a compositor in the printing section. By the age of 20, in 1907, he had become a master printer and foreman at this company. His first experience in labor organization came with a strike in late 1908 when printers, represented by the Typographical Union, went on strike for better wages. Though offered increased wages, Garvey joined in the strike that unfortunately proved unsuccessful, ending his career. Blacklisted, he was unable to find a job in a private "printery" but found employment at the Government Printing Office.

Garvey left Jamaica to work in Costa Rica as a timekeeper on a banana plantation, in about 1910. Garvey's observations on the hard labor of fellow blacks greatly moved him. He left Costa Rica and traveled throughout Central America, working and observing the working conditions of blacks throughout the region. He visited the Panama Canal Zone and saw the conditions under which the blacks lived and worked. He went to Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela. Everywhere he looked, blacks were experiencing great hardships and oppression.

Garvey returned to Jamaica distressed at the situation in Central America, and appealed to Jamaica's colonial government to help improve the plight of black West Indian workers in Central America. He was for the most part ignored. Determined, in 1912 Garvey went to London, again working and observing the conditions of blacks in other parts of the British Empire. There he learned a great deal about African culture and also became interested in the conditions of blacks in the United States.

Garvey returned to Jamaica in 1914 bolstered with the belief that black prosperity could only come from Black independence from the white world - economic, militarily, and political. Convinced that Unity was the only way to improvement for blacks, Garvey launched, on August 1, 1914, the Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities League. President of the organization, he championed the slogan "One God! One Aim! One Destiny!" The association sought to unite "all the people of African ancestry of the world into one great body to establish a country and Government absolutely their own".

Among the objectives of the association, which became known as the UNIA, were: to promote the spirit of race, pride and love; to administer to and assist the needy; to reclaim the fallen of the race; to establish universities, colleges and secondary schools for the further education and culture of the boys and girls of the race; to conduct a worldwide commercial and industrial intercourse.

Garvey left for the United States in 1916 to undertake a lecture tour of that country and to meet the legendary Booker T. Washington. However Washington died while Garvey was en route, prolonging his stay in the United States would be much longer than planned. In the United States Garvey was a hit. Garvey's ideas of Black Nationalism and "Africa for the Africans at home and abroad," attracted multitudes to the UNIA. Soon everyone knew of the UNIA and its colorful flag: "Red for the color that must be shed for their redemption and liberty; Black for the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; and Green for the luxuriant vegetation of the Motherland".

Garvey and his followers soon became known for grand parades and pageantry that attracted and appealed greatly to the black masses. By 1920, the association boasted over 1,100 branches in more than 40 countries. Most of these branches were located in the United States, which had become the UNIA's base of operations. There were, however, offices in several Caribbean countries, Cuba having the most. Branches also existed in places such as Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Namibia and South Africa. At one point Garvey proclaimed his organization's membership at 6 million. Modern estimates place it actually at 1 million. If either of these numbers can be relied upon, then no black organization before or since could boast such a massive following.

But Garvey was not simply a talker and man of pageantry by any means. Like Booker T. Washington he was a man shaped by hard labor, and thus an industrious nature grew within him. Seeing a need for black nurses he formed the Black Cross Nurses. These uniformed auxiliary groups were numerous: the African Legion, The Universal Motor Corps, etc. All helped to foster dignity and self-worth in among blacks. But Garvey didn't stop there. Seeing a need for black dolls Garvey and the UNIA opened a black doll factory.

In 1919 he started the Negro Factories Corporation, which sought to, "build and operate factories in the big industrial centers of the United States, Central America, the West Indies and Africa to manufacture every marketable commodity". A chain of grocery stores, a restaurant, a steam laundry, a tailor and dressmaking shop, a millinery store and a publishing house, were started.

A strong Pan-Africanist and Black Nationalist, Garvey believed by linking the millions of blacks in Africa, the Americas and elsewhere into one vast network of production, trade and political co-operation and eventual independence for the black race. In 1919, Garvey started the Black Star Line, consisting of the Yarmouth, Shadyside and Kanawha fleet. The Black Star Line and its successor company the Black Cross Navigation and Trading Company, operated four ships which carried passengers and cargo between the USA and Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama. This was the most ambitious venture undertaken by the UNIA.

However, Garvey's movement was not popular with everyone. Other black groups and individuals vying for power at the time saw Garvey as a threat. Adding to this, Garvey often built up his own power base by verbally attacking and criticizing established black leadership. When several of his business ventures failed to produce results, many of his detractors believed him either financially inept at best or a con artist at worst. The NAACP, with its then white liberal executive board, was one such group. And it is not surprising, yet ironic, that a battle would erupt between Garvey and that organization's leading figure: W.E.B. Du Bois.

The conflict between Du Bois and Garvey was probably more personal than between he and Booker T. Washington. Ironically enough both Du Bois and Garvey were both strong Pan-Africanists. In fact it would seem to the casual observer that the two men held views very much in common. The problems lay in methods of approach. Though Garvey's methods were unique, inspiring and worthy of praise, they were in direct conflict with Du Bois' professional and intellectual approach. Du Bois characterized Garvey as "a hard-working idealist, but his methods are bombastic, wasteful, illogical and almost illegal". After repeated attacks by Garvey, Du Bois struck back with harsh criticisms of his own. Insults between the two men turned personal, some even based on differences of skin color.

The white press, including liberal whites in the NAACP, helped exacerbate the conflict. When Garvey pointed out the inconsistency of a white run NAACP, they in turn attacked Garvey's controversial association with the Ku Klux Klan.

Garvey's rationale for this was simple. White America wanted he and blacks to leave, and he could not wait to do so. Therefore he saw an advantage in making feigned alliances with such groups. To Du Bois, the NAACP and many other blacks it was a tactic that was inexcusable given the lynching phenomenon rampant at the time.

These conflicts proved problematic for both men. Black leaders accused Garvey of death threats. Though never proven, they simply widened the gulf between Garvey and the established black leadership. Picking on financial troubles brought about by internal strife within Garvey's UNIA, a group of black leaders wrote the federal government accusing Garvey of fraud and other charges. The fall out of the conflict went both ways. Du Bois' elaborately planned Pan-African Congress was negatively affected. Many people taking sides, the turnout to the 1923 event was small.

Garvey himself was imprisoned on charges of fraud and later exiled from the United States, no doubt to the glee of many of his enemies. Du Bois saw Garvey's imprisonment in fact as proof that the UNIA, while ideal in its approach, was inept and illogical. In the end the losers of the conflict between the two men would be none other than the very people both attempted to serve.

But, unknown to Garvey at the time, he had much larger enemies than the NAACP or Du Bois. Rather there were powerful forces gathering about him. So popular was Garvey at his height in South Africa, oppressed black natives struck fear into the South African colonial government with talk that Garvey would soon arrive with black soldiers to "drive the whites into the sea".

As can be expected, a black man with such power in the early 1900s was seen as a threat to the maintenance of Euro-colonialism. Garvey soon became the central target of the FBI's Bureau of Negro Affairs then headed by a young and aspiring J. Edgar Hoover. The UNIA and Garvey became the targets of deliberate sabotage. Negotiations with the semi-independent American-made African state of Liberia were called off by Liberian officials who were told by US agents that Garvey would "take over the country".

Garvey's Black Star Line steam ship company was sabotaged from within: by a mixture of government interference and untrustworthy business partners. Embroiled in financial and legal difficulties, Garvey went abroad to raise funds for his failing steamship company. Meanwhile, the federal government was compiling lengthy charges against him for U.S. mail fraud. Faced with these charges, Garvey was sentenced to a five-year jail term. After having served two years of the sentence, he was deported to Jamaica in 1927. He attempted again to establish a political base but met with little success.

However he never stopped organizing. In 1935 Garvey went to London. During these last five years in London, Garvey remained active, keeping in touch with events in Ethiopia where war was being waged, and also with events in the West Indies. In 1938, he gave evidence before the West Indian Royal Commission on conditions in the West Indies. In that year also, he set up a School of African Philosophy to train the leadership of the UNIA. He also continued to work on the magazine "The Black Man".

Failing in health, Garvey suffered two strokes and in June 1940, he died. His body was embalmed and interred in the Kendal Green Cemetery, London. In November 1964, his remains were returned to Jamaica and reburied in the National Heroes Park, Garvey having been proclaimed Jamaica's first National Hero.

Many have called Marcus Garvey one of the greatest black men who ever lived. Even Du Bois in later years was moved to speak well of him. His legacy is felt even today as his name decorates streets, currency and schools. His beliefs and efforts would forever shape the future of black political ideology around the world for decades to come. His life's struggle can be seen in his most famous of words to black people, "Up! You mighty race, You can accomplish what you will".

Marcus Garvey was considered an international crusader on a level no other black leader has ever reached. He awakened a consciousness of black people, advocating racial pride, dignity, empowerment and above all unity, among blacks around the world. In a fitting tribute to him, someone said, "Marcus Garvey was the Negro's best hope of finding dignity".

In your opinion, why was Garvey able to attract millions of people to his UNIA? What did he offer? Explain

Had you lived in the 1920’s would you have joined his movement? Why or why not? Use textual support and your thoughts? Answer in 6 to 8 sentences (please answer using more complex sentences, no elementary sentences) – Use the back of this paper for more space – or attached another sheet.

African-American History – Mrs. Bedford-Carter – Marcus Garvey – Assignment #2

Pre-reading: Think about the 1920’s and what was happening to Blacks in America. Imagine hearing, “Up You Mighty Race, you can accomplish what you will.” How might these words encourage African-Americans? Explain

You can find the support for the statements below by reading pages 407 - 409

“The UNIA enabled people-often dismissed by the white majority for having no genuine history or culture – to celebrate one another and their heritage and to anticipate a glorious future… Garvey was an energetic, charismatic, and flamboyant leader who wove racial pride.” (Using evidence from the textbook support the above claims with details).




Garvey was an energetic, charismatic, and flamboyant leader who wove Christian faith, and economic cooperation into black nationalist organization that had spread throughout the United States by the early 1920’s.” (Using evidence from the textbook support the above claims with details).




“The United States government and several black American leaders also undermined the UNIA and Garvey.”



Garvey praised the KKK by saying, “They are better friends to my race, for telling us what they are, and what they mean, thereby giving us a chance to stir for ourselves.” He added that very white man is a klansman…and there is no use lying about it.” What are your thoughts on this? Is this offensive or do you understand his point? Explain

The Demise/decline of Garvey and the UNIA – if you had to explain what happened to someone who doesn’t know Garvey’s story, what would you say that would help y\them understand his downfall? Explain it below. Also, indicate if you believe this or not.

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