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Marcus Garvey Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA form a critical link in black Americas centuries-long struggle for freedom justice and equality As the leader of the largest organized mass movement in black history and progenitor of the modern black is beautiful ideal Garvey is now best remembered as a champion of the back-to-Africa movement In his own time he was hailed as a redeemer a Black Moses Though he failed to realize all his objectives his movement still represents a liberation from the psychological bondage of racial inferiority Garvey was born on 17 August 1887 in St Anns Bay Jamaica He left school at 14 worked as a printer joined Jamaican nationalist organizations toured Central America and spent time in London Content at first with accommodation on his return to Jamaica he aspired to open a Tuskegee-type industrial training school In 1916 he came to America at Booker T Washingtons invitation but arrived just after Washington died Garvey arrived in America at the dawn of the New Negro era Black discontent punctuated by East St Louiss bloody race riots in 1917 and intensified by postwar disillusionment peaked in 1919s Red Summer Shortly after arriving Garvey embarked upon a period of travel and lecturing When he settled in New York City he organized a chapter of the UNIA which he had earlier founded in Jamaica as a fraternal organization Drawing on a gift for oratory he melded Jamaican peasant aspirations for economic and cultural independence with the American gospel of success to create a new gospel of racial pride Garveyism eventually evolved into a religion of success inspiring millions of black people worldwide who sought relief from racism and colonialism To enrich and strengthen his movement Garvey envisioned a great shipping line to foster black trade to transport passengers between America the Caribbean and Africa and to serve as a symbol of black grandeur and enterprise The UNIA incorporated the Black Star
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