Marcus Garvey

By Ms. Hellmich

A brief biography of Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey was born in 1887 in St. Anne’s Bay, Jamaica. As a young child, he worked in the printing trade where he saw his first real example of inequality. Trying to force change, he participated in a strike that failed. This desire for equality continued throughout his life. He saw and fought against the terrible treatment of black workers throughout South and Central America. As he began to fight for change, the American Activist Booker T. Washington inspired Garvey to create the United Negro Improvement Association and a trade school for blacks in Jamaica and provided the opportunities for blacks to go to Africa. This is when he first decided the solution to racial problems was for blacks all around the world to go back to Africa.

One year later, at the age of 28, Garvey moved to the United States and wrote a newspaper called the Negro World, which helped attract African Americans to his cause. He then announced his plan to build an country in Africa for blacks everywhere to move. Despite initial support of Garvey, he faced a lot of opposition due to his plan. Some even thought he was a communist. In addition, Garvey lost a lot of support after meeting with the KKK and stating that the two organizations had similar viewpoints on racial segregation. This angered much of the black community in the United States. In the end, Garvey was found guilty of mail fraud, served two years in jail, and returned to Jamaica.

Marcus Garvey - Mini Biography

Movie Questions

1. Who and what inspired Marcus Garvey?

2. What was Marcus Garvey's goal?

Impact of Marcus Garvey

Garvey helped inspire racial change in America. He pushed for black empowerment and even played a role in inspiring Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.