Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. was born on August 17, 1887, in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. He established the red, black and green flag often associated with African American pride and is the best known 20th century Black leader who advocated that Blacks go “back to Africa” to escape racial oppression in the U.S. and determine their own destiny.
In 1914, Marcus Garvey established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Harlem to promote self-help within the Black community and to instill a sense of racial pride and dignity. During this period many Blacks had begun to lose faith in the nation’s commitment to protect them and treat them as first class citizens. The appeal of Marcus Garvey’s self-help message grew in the U.S. as the:
1.) influence of the Ku Klux Klan became more widespread in the South and regions in the mid-west;
2.) racial violence increased in the South between 1890-1905 including over 2,000 documented lynchings, and;
3.) civil and political rights gained by Blacks during the Reconstruction Period immediately following the Civil War were being taken away.
Marcus Garvey’s self-help approach included: establishing numerous businesses, stores, and shops so that Blacks in the U.S. could provide an income and needed services for themselves and their community during the Jim Crow era; creating a newspaper called the Negro World to promote his self-help message throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Africa; and establishing the Black Star Steamship Line, as a means for blacks to go “back to Africa” and establish a new nation where they could live in human dignity, free from racial violence and oppression. By 1920, the UNIA was able to claim four million dues paying members.
The African American community and the Marcus Garvey Karate Club owe a debt of gratitude to Marcus Garvey for his courage, vision and dedicated service to his people.The African American community and the Marcus Garvey Karateowe a debt of gratitude to Marcus Garvey for his courage, vision and dedicated service to his people.