Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League
Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. (August 17, 1887 – June 10, 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a proponent of the Pan-Africanism movement, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).
He also founded the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.
- Prior to the 20th century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs.
- Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism.
- Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement (some sects of which proclaim Garvey as a prophet.)
Garveyism intended persons of African ancestry in the diaspora to “redeem” the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the continent.
- His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in Negro World entitled “African Fundamentalism.”
- He wrote: “Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country…”