Marcus Garvey and the African-American Civil Rights Movement

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Marcus Garvey and the African-American Civil Rights Movement

The 1920’s were a period of struggle for African-Americans. Slavery was abolished, but blacks were still oppressed and were in no way equal to whites. However, at this time blacks were starting to make some progress toward racial equality. The Harlem renaissance started the first real sense of African-American culture through art, jazz, dance, and literature. There was also at this time the beginning of strong African-American movements to further the black race. A prominent movement was led by W.E.B Dubois that focused on educating blacks to create equality. On the other end of the political spectrum was Marcus Garvey, who led the movement for blacks to unite as a race
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Garvey had to quit school and begin working when he was 14 (Sewell 18).

By 1910, Garvey had made a name for himself in Jamaica as an accomplished printer, writer and politician. Garvey joined The National Club, the first organization in Jamaica which introduced anti-colonial thinking into Jamaica (Sewell 21). The inequality that Marcus Garvey encountered in the world outside of lower school in Jamaica was full of inequality and hatred for the black man. Garvey decided to leave Jamaica to see if blacks were treated the same way in other countries. Garvey spent the next two years, from 1910-1912, traveling around Central America experiencing the black condition in several countries (Sewell 18). He experienced the same condition around Central America as he found in Jamaica. So, he traveled to England to see if he found the same. In England, Garvey was pleasantly surprised. The blacks in England were not segregated, like in the west (Stein 29). Garvey took courses at Birbeck College in England. However, he studied a lot on his own, visiting museums and following black leaders in England (Stein 29).

Many of his ideas were developed during his stay in England (Stein 30). Garvey identified closely with the Pan-African movement in England. The main principle of this movement was "to unify people of color against imperialism all over the world" (McKissack 79). Garvey returned to
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