Monday, March 1, 2010

Marcus Garvey Goes Back to Africa?

Marcus Garvey Goes Back to Africa?: In August 1914, when the guns of World War I erupted, Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Unlike the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which originated five years earlier and primarily addressed African-American issues, the UNIA sought to uplift African peoples from around the world. As time progressed, the association started a weekly newspaper called The Negro World and various black-owned corporations (e.g. - Black Star Line) that operated in the economic sectors of trade, transportation, and manufacturing. Even though the UNIA managed most of its businesses from the United States, Garvey pushed for an increased emphasis on Africa. By the mid-1920s, he attempted to organize a Pan-African movement for the repatriation of African-Americans in Liberia. Its ultimate objective was to develop basic infrastructure such as roads, schools, and factories in an effort to resettle the country. Ironically, Garvey never made it to Africa and the Liberia program had to be abandoned due to unforeseen conflicts with American capitalistic designs, such as the Firestone Company's interest in Liberian rubber plantations.

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