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.