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"Up You Mighty Race, You Can Accomplish What You Will." -Marcus Garvey

Updated on December 31, 2010

His father was a descendant of the Maroons, escaped slaves who fought fierce guerrilla battles for their liberation in the Jamaican mountains. He was also for the most part self educated and possessed a prominent library were young Marcus began his early learning, reading. Young Marcus was really proud of the Maroon linage he inherited from his father. He concluded from that, and other like experiences, that Blacks could never get equal treatment from whites. When he went to the British authorities to seek justice he found them to be indifferent to his plight and the plight of his fellow Blacks. This allowed him to develop the journalistic skills that came in handy later.

When he went to Kingston to further his craft and began to experience first hand the discrimination of Blacks in the trades. His parents were said to be of unmixed Black stock. Garvey left school early on due to financial troubles to take a job as a printer apprentice to his godfather.

He became involved in radical journalism and reform in order to handle these concerns. Here too he realized the miserable conditions of Blacks.Sickness brought him back to Jamaica.
In 1912 he decided to go to London to discover about the conditions of Blacks in other parts of the British Empire.

There he became connected with the Egyptian nationalist Duse Mohammed Ali, and he wrote for his monthly magazine African Times and Orient Review.Washington, sparked his purpose to become a race leader.He also met other young Black students from Africa and the West Indies, African nationalists, sailors, and dock workers.Realizing that his efforts would require more money, he went to Costa Rico where his uncle helped him get a job as timekeeper on a banana plantation. Garvey became involved in organizing to assist Blacks improve their circumstances. From them he received information about the shape of Blacks throughout the world. There too Garvey noticed similar conditions for Blacks. One of the books he read, Up From Slavery by Booker T. He traveled throughout several countries in the area and found like conditions for his people. He became a zealous reader on African subjects.

"One God! One Aim! One Destiny!"

He had been in touch with Booker T.Garvey and received some backup from oppressed Blacks and some whites, but little or none from well to do Blacks and mulattoes.

Garvey's whirlwind tour began in Harlem and proceeded through thirty-eight states. Jamaica were sabotaged by socialists and Republicans who wanted to turn it into a political club. However, the attorney general of New York warned Garvey not to sell stock unless the enterprise was a legalize business. In late 1919 he issued a call for the first international convention of the US. You can accomplish what you will. Even though the purchases were ill advised, they instilled pride and enthusiasm among his followers and many of the Black masses worldwide. Moreover, support for the Black Star ship line continued to pour in. Earlier that year Garvey had begun public speaking of Black owned and operated steamships that would linkup Black peoples of the world, uniting the Black Diaspora to the African Motherland. In November, he reportedly held a meeting in New York of five thousand people. The Garveyites planned the convention carefully and by any measure, it was a resounding success and a glorious occasion. Garvey pushed on. He took to the streets, joining the soapbox and stepladder orators and form political alliances with some of Harlem's most prominent radicals. August of 19 Delegates were to come from throughout the Black world. Harlem had latterly turn converted into the Black section of New York City and the virtual capital of the Black world. It would eventually become the most widely circulated paper of its kind and the bane of European colonialist. Garvey embarked on a second fundraising tour of duty.

However, Garvey pushed on and in mid-September announced the viewing of the first ship the When Garvey arrived in the US. In addition, when Garvey decided to stay in the United States the US. Some of his opposition was from shear jealousy while some was guileless and legitimate. By the summer of 1919 Garvey had raised enough money to purchase a large auditorium which he renamed Liberty Hall. Mone raised was to purchase ships for the promised Black Star Line. Other chapters would establish similar sites that would become headquarters for race redemption and bastions of Black freedom. Moreover, by the next year, 1919, he was established certainly as one of Harlem’s most crucial figures. Therefore, when he returned to New York he chose to set up his headquarters there. American cities with significant Black populations. This one too had its divisions but Garvey was able to weather the storm. Garvey then incorporate the black Star Line in the state of Delaware where the laws were more liberal. He found work as a printer and saved enough money to begin a fundraising tour throughout the United States. In the midst of the contemporary Black disillusion, Garvey thundered his famous slogan and battle cry: Up, you mighty race! Two more ships were to follow. They were not in the best of condition, and the price paid for them far exceeded their value. Many laughed at Garvey's attempt to develop a ship line. This proposal quickly captured the vision of many of the Black masses. The Black Star Line was only one of Marcus Garvey's visions for leading his people to economic independence. The Black multitude responded by the thousands.  Later concerns were raised about his business practices and many of them felt that his followers would lose their meager earnings. Now the world began to take notice of Marcus Garvey as the outcome instilled a sense of pride and inspiration throughout the Black world.

In practice, the corporation normally lacked funds to lend to ambitious Black entrepreneurs, but it helped to develop a chain of cooperative food market stores, a restaurant, steam clean laundry, tailor and dressmaking workshop, hat shop storehouse, and a publication house


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