Jun. 10, 2019
June 10, 1940 Marcus Mosiah Garvey Eternal Peace
Just a few thoughts on Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Marcus Garvey lived only 53 years but the imprint that Marcus Garvey left in this world still reverberates 79 years after his death. Marcus Garvey was neither born in the United States nor was Marcus Garvey educated in the United States. However, Marcus Garvey goal and vision included the unification of all African American people in the United States along with the unification of all African peoples in the entire world. It was indeed a marvelous goal that Marcus Garvey sought. He envisioned a continent Mother Africa that would house all the African people of descent under one unified flag and one unified government. It is said the true father of Pan-Africanism was Martin Delany whose efforts before, during and after the American Civil War was dedicated to former slaves returning to the home of their ancestor's birth.
Yet, if one really analyzes the Garvey movement you will see that Delany's efforts were microscopic in comparison to the efforts of Garvey's Negro Improvement Association. Marcus Garvey actually never was able to visit the continent that he saw as the only hope for the multitude of descendants of peoples worldwide forced into servitude. He was forced out of the United States by a government hellbent on destroying his efforts to unite America's African American population. Marcus Garvey was not even respected by some of the so-called black leaders of the period. The most notable black adversary of Marcus Garvey was W.E.B Dubois, who called Marcus Garvey the most dangerous enemy of the Negro peoples in the United States. This, of course, was long before DuBois became a vocal proponent of Pan-Africanism himself was forced from the nation of his birthland by the same racist powers that imprisoned and exiled Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
You see Marcus Garvey understood that in order for any integration with whites to work Africa for Africans had to be a powerful agent for change and prosperity. Even in 2019 African Americans still, suffer from many of the same ills that affected our communities in the 1920s' and 30s'. Our community is still poverty-stricken, educationally depleted, and unequal both socially and civilly. In addition, not only has integration failed to bring about equality. Many of our communities are more segregated now than in the period of the civil rights movement that sought an educational goal of integration. We still have peoples who seek to evade their blackness in order to be acceptable to the white powers who control the wealth of this country. While Africa continues to controlled not by Africans but by white western powers who infringe on the peoples that Marcus Garvey sought to empower.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey was in my mind one of the most misunderstood black intellectuals ever. Had other African American leaders understood his pull and power our black communities may have prospered greatly. You see Marcus Garvey had the ability to relate to the common black man and woman. He encouraged a sense of pride in developing a love of their personal individual blackness. It was this movement of black beauty that eventually was rediscovered during the Black Power Movement of the 1960s' and 70s'. You see Marcus Garvey was indeed a visionary who like Frederick Douglass and every significant black leader that would come after Garvey understood that black individual growth aligned with the love of black communities would create a progressive black movement.
Marcus Garvey wasn't perfect. Marcus Garvey made mistakes like any other man like his meeting with the Grand Wizard of the KKK in Atlanta, Georgia in 1922. Yet, even though he made mistakes his overall purpose for black worldwide unification can never be easily dismissed. So, today on the 79th anniversary of Marcus Mosiah Garvey's death in London. England on June 10, 1940. The Blackman Who Reads Aloud brings the words of his famous speech the guiding principles of the Negro Improvement Association.