Today is the 112th anniversary of the birth of Marcus Garvey, the founding father of the black nationalist, “back to Africa” movement. Garvey founded and led the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (known as the UNIA), the largest mass movement in African American history. The UNIA flourished from about 1919 to the mid-1920’s and existed in almost 40 states domestically and over 40 countries internationally. Estimates of its membership range from one to eleven million worldwide, making the UNIA the largest Pan-African movement of all time. The movement is now led by his son, Marcus Garvey, Jr.
Garvey moved to consolidate the new organization, establishing a variety of subsidiaries and related ventures appeared. He created a Negro Factories Corporation in 1918 and eventually employed over one thousand African Americans. The Negro World weekly, soon to become the most widely circulated African newspaper in the world, began publication in 1918. The UNIA’s most ambitious economic venture, the Black Star Line Steamship Corporation, launched its first ship in 1919. The line raised over one million dollars and its ships sailed to Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and Costa Rica. Its intention was to provide employment for African seamen, dignified accommodation for African travelers, and a vehicle for Pan African trade and emigration.
- Marcus Garvey, JR, son of Marcus Garvey. Call: 718.638.5197.