Garvey, Marcus, 1887-1940

Biography:

Marcus Garvey was a charismatic black leader who organized the first important American black nationalist movement (1919–26), based in New York City's Harlem. In 1914 Garvey and a group of friends founded the Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities League, usually called the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which sought, among other things, to build in Africa a black-governed nation. In 1916 Garvey came to the United States and soon established branches of the UNIA in Harlem and the other principal ghettos of the North, claiming a following of two million by 1919. His business methods and his doctrine of racial purity and separatism brought him bitter enemies among established black leaders, including labor leader A. Philip Randolph and W.E.B. Du Bois, head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Garvey's influence declined rapidly when he and other UNIA members were indicted for mail fraud in 1922 in connection with the sale of stock for the Black Star Line. He served two years of a five-year prison term, but in 1927 his sentence was commuted by Pres. Calvin Coolidge, and he was deported from the United States. -- Encyclopedia Britannica WWW site

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