Marcus Garvey’s Contributions Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. , born August 17th 1887, also known as the “Black Moses” is one of those leaders most people are unaware of. It is a shame because he was a great man and through his actions, his beliefs, and the man he was he made many contributions to the Harlem Renaissance. Jamaican and US black nationalist leader. In 1914 Marcus Garvey along with Amy Ashwood founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). After moving to the United States in 1916, he established branches of the UNIA in New York’s Harlem and many other ghettos all over the country.
After moving to New York, he found work as a printer by day. influenced. At night he would speak on street corners, much like he did in London’s Hyde Park. It was then that Garvey perceived a leadership vacuum among people of African ancestry. On 9 May 1916, he held his first public lecture in New York City at St Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery and undertook a 38-state speaking tour. In May 1917, Garvey and thirteen others formed the first UNIA division outside Jamaica and began advancing ideas to promote social, political, and economic freedom for blacks.
On 2 July, the East St. Louis riots broke out. On 8 July, Garvey delivered an address, titled “The Conspiracy of the East St. Louis Riots”, at Lafayette Hall in Harlem. During the speech, he declared the riot was “one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind”. By October, rancor within the UNIA had begun to set in. A split occurred in the Harlem division, with Garvey enlisted to become its leader; although he technically held the same position in Jamaica.
Garvey next set about the business of developing a program to improve the conditions of those of African ancestry “at home and abroad” under UNIA auspices. On 17 August 1918, publication of the widely distributed Negro World newspaper began. Garvey worked as an editor without pay until November 1920. By June 1919 the membership of the organization had grown to over two million. On 27 June 1919, the Black Star Line of Delawarewas incorporated by the members of the UNIA, with Garvey as President. By September, it obtained its first ship.
Much fanfare surrounded the inspection of the S. S. Yarmouth and its rechristening as the S. S. Frederick Douglass on 14 September 1919. Such a rapid accomplishment garnered attention from many. Garvey was black and he was proud of it. In 1920 he convened an international convention to unify blacks and encourage trade between Africa and the US. On September 10th, 1919 the British colonial secretary authorized the West Indian governments to introduce legislation to suppress The Negro World and other publications considered seditious.
Perhaps Garvey’s greatest contribution to the uplifting of our people was his ability to find a formula for organizing around the African principle: the greatest good for the greatest number. This was reflected in the first International Convention of Negro Peoples of the World in Madison Square Garden, in New York in 1920. Over 25,000 Black people from all over the world witnessed the choosing of red, black, and green as the colors of the Provisional Government. However all of Garvey’s influence and power was shattered by accusations of mail fraud. Shortly thereafter Garvey was shot and killed