What did migration back to Africa mean for Marcus Garvey and his disciples?
"We are men, we have souls, we have passions, we have feelings, we have hopes, we have desires, like any other race in the world. The cry is raised all over the world today--Canada for the Canadians, America for the Americans, England for the English, France for the French, Germany for the Germans--do you think it is unreasonable that we, the Blacks of the world, should raise the cry of Africa for the Africans?"
"We have a beautiful history and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world."
Before I started this class, I had never heard of Marcus Garvey. But I knew one thing--if I were an African American living in the United States in the 1920's-60's, I certainly would not have been enamored with this country. Sitting in the back of the bus? Separate restaurants, toilets, and drinking fountains? Seriously? "America, love it or leave it!" I would have been the first to say "I'm outta here," if only I could find a way.
I had often thought, why didn't any black person ever say, "This stinks. Surely there must be some place on this vast planet where African-Americans would not be treated as second class citizens. Let's join together and find that place."
I always wondered why no African American had ever said during that time, "What are we doing here? Let's go."
Again, I say, I had never heard of Marcus Garvey.
Marcus Garvey was the leader of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). He was considered a redeemer, a "Black Moses" and most of all, a champion of the "back to Africa" movement.
For this paper, I plan to research Mr. Garvey's life, what he specifically planned to do, and how successful or unsuccessful he was in pursuing his dream. According to my initial research, (just a basic google and bing search of his name), by 1920 the UNIA had "hundreds of chapters worldwide, hosted elaborate international conventions, and Mr. Garvey published a weekly publication called the Negro World." This is beyond impressive considering the way African Americans were treated in the United States in 1920. I plan to show how inspirational Mr. Garvey was to the African American community with his dream of migration back to Africa, as well as his role as a leader and of a symbol of what was possible.
(Note to Professor G. & class: I am going to re-read the Migration article by Stephen Castles this week and try to add a connection to my intro. I see many of you have already made great connections in your introductions; I will try to do the same. Thanks!)