Marcus Garvey's Influences

1086 Words May 29th, 2006 5 Pages
Marcus Garvey 's influences

America has a long history of discrimination against non-white peoples. White Americans are responsible for the eradication of Native Americans from their native lands, and for the importation of Black people from Africa for enslavement. Today racism is not even close to what it had been 150 years ago, when slavery was still legal; however the changes have come gradually. The Harlem renaissance was a pivotal time for the recognition of black culture in the US, and Marcus Garvey emerged as a strong and cunning political leader. During the Harlem Renaissance, Marcus Garvey was instrumental in defining the black identity in the World, and the fundamental basis of this goal was black self-determination. From
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This means that Garvey sought to position a stronghold of blacks in Africa. There was a movement with which Garvey participated called the "Back to Africa" movement. The purpose of "Back to Africa" was to send blacks to Africa in order to claim the continent as a possession of its native black peoples, and was not to be claimed by imperialism (Stein 14). This movement did not really amount to much, although it represented another of Garvey 's ideas for blacks to gain their own power.
If a unified African state was formed, it would need a government, and Garvey 's views on government were unique. He believed that a perfect government was possible. Garvey placed utmost importance on the integrity of the leader of the Government, and believed that the leader must be infallible and under the constant scrutiny of those over which he governs. If the leader is found to be a "good representative" then they will be rewarded with honors in the presidential "honor roll"; If, however, the leader is "found to the contrary, he should be publicly disgraced." (Garvey). This method of scrutinizing a leader ensures that he will be respected and trusted by his people in order to ensure the strength of the government.
Garvey was not the only influential black leader in the US at the time of the Harlem renaissance. Booker T. Washington had very similar views to Garvey 's concerning self determination. W.E.B. Dubois was the
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