The Influences of Marcus M. Garvey and Booker T. Washington In the early years of the twentieth century, there was a major problem for African Americans. There was the question of how to respond to a white society that greatly supported white supremacy and refused to treat blacks as equals. In hopes to find a solution, many African American leaders devoted much time and energy to finding ways that would resolve this problem. Two of these leaders, in particular, were very prosperous at this goal. Marcus Garvey and Booker T. Washington were major sources of influence on Africans. They both dedicated their lives to bringing about change for African Americans and finding ways to link all people with an African ancestry. They came up with many ideas and tactics to improve the lives of black Americans. Booker T. Washington and Marcus M. Garvey were also two important actors in the African diaspora. They had a major effect on where African American migration during the twentieth century. The impacts of each influential leader on African Americans must first be discussed in order to effectively outline their influence of the African diaspora. Marcus Garvey once stated: “A race without authority and power is a race without respect.” He believed that separate self-development of African Americans within the United States was the way to uplift black’s authority and power. His influence on the people of Africa was most effective when he initiated the UNIA, Universal Negro Improvement Association, in 1914. In 1919, Garvey started the first black-owned shipping company in the United States, the Black Star Line. The publicity of the Black Star Line caused excitement and motivation among African Americans. The UNIA gave rise to many small black owned-businesses including restaurants, grocery stores, and a toy company that made black dolls. Through this organization, Marcus Garvey brought inspiration to many and spoke of many people’s dreams and desires. In addition, Garvey wanted to reverse the African Diaspora; he stood firmly on the idea of repatriation. He wanted a “return to Africa of the black diaspora.” Along with the goal of self-development, Garvey set in another goal for the UNIA. His additional goal was to promote his famous slogan “Africa for Africans,” and encourage his back to Africa movement. His Black Star Line Steamship Company was also formed to encourage his movement. He used this company to transport Africans back to Africa. Garvey sees those of African heritage as one people, part of a global African community and calls for a political and economically united Africa. Through all of Garvey’s tactics he brought together a race that had no direction. He gave them a sense of hope and he developed many opportunities for them. He led the largest black movement in all of history and successfully created the change he imagined. Booker T. Washington believed that change for African Americans should be done through education and self-improvement. Hard work, economic progress, and merit, he believed, would prove to whites the value of blacks to the American economy. Washington felt that African Americans should focus on education, industrial training, and business ownership and that by doing this equal rights would eventually come. He argued that African Americans should concentrate on educating themselves and investing in their own businesses. Washington developed and guided what eventually became a powerhouse of African-American education, the Tuskegee Institute. Here, Washington taught his students to become self-sufficient by teaching them carpentry, bricklaying, printing, agriculture, and other trades like how to grow their own food and how to make bricks. By doing this, Washington had a remarkable influence on the change of African American culture. Unlike Garvey, Washington did not see any need for repatriation. “Cast down your buckets where you are”...
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