Post-Civil war America exercised the segregation of Whites and Blacks. Originally, the aim of this division was to keep everything separate but equal. By the late 1800’s into the 1900’s, the “separate but equal” motive adapted into the superiority of Whites, leaving much racial tension and limitation for the freed slaves and their ancestors. Marcus Garvey, like many social activists, had many goals to either remove this separation, or to completely relocate America’s blacks to a new place of their own. Marcus Garvey’s ideas of black nationalism and fighting oppression helped shape the identity of African Americans in the United States during the 1920’s.
Marcus Garvey was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. He began his career as a magazine editor by traveling and residing in Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, and London. He eventually began studying Law and Philosophy at Birkbeck College in London. While living in London, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA), which was dedicated to black racial pride, economic self-sufficiency, and the formation of an independent black nation in Africa. He also became the editor of Negro World, a magazine dedicated to black nationalism, including poetry and articles about African pride and ancestry. In June 1919, Garvey founded the Black Star Line of Delaware, a shipping line for the transportation of goods and to later aid his campaign for his “Back to Africa” movement. After a year of success, the shipping line went bankrupt. His immediate business failure led him to being accused of mail fraud. Investigator Edwin P. Kilroe attempted to arrest Garvey of his fraud and UNIA associations, although he had not found enough evidence to do so. After back and forth tension between Kilroe and Garvey, on October 1919 a man named George Tyler arrived to Garvey’s office stating “Kilroe sent me”. Tyler then proceeded to shoot him 4 times with a .38-caliber revolver. Garvey...
Cited: McKissack, Patricia and Frederick. W.E.B Dubois. New York: Franklin Watt, 1990.
"Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2013
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