Black History Profiles: Day Twenty

Name: Marcus Garvey

Basics: He was a major leader for the Pan-African movement and even started something called Garveyism that still carries influence in black circles of thought till this day.  He promoted a separate black nation, believing that blacks would better prosper when surrounded by each other.  Garvey even helped in trying to create resettlement programs that would bring African-Americans back to Africa.  He even started a shipping company that would establish trade between Africans and African-Americans.  Ultimately, some of his employees and himself were found guilty of small fraud and Garvey was deported back to Jamaica.  Garvey lost support amongst the black community when he worked with a well-known segregationist Senator to create a bill that would force the deportation of blacks to Liberia.  Sadly, he died in London after having several strokes.

Why I Chose Him: I can’t speak for Garvey so I can’t really say what may or may not have motivated him towards the end of his life.  But if I had to guess, I would say it was frustration on not making any progress.  I think those of us who choose to try and uplift our people often find many roadblocks and often those roadblocks come right from our own.  It’s a difficult thing to digest when the people you’re trying to help and trying to get to see a better way don’t want to see it.  So I look at Garvey and see a cautionary tale.  Have passion for your people but not so much where it drives you to ruin.

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