MAAP | Mapping the African American Past

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Kenneth Jackson discusses Marcus Garvey Park and the man for whom it was named
Columbia University Professor of History Kenneth Jackson talks about Marcus Garvey Park, and the man for whom it was named.
Then
Now

A black nationalist, Marcus Garvey immigrated to Harlem in 1916. There he established Liberty Hall as headquarters for a movement that would grow to almost 2 million members.

Marcus Garvey in full uniform

The Marcus Garvey Memorial Park interrupts Fifth Avenue between 120th and 124th Streets. Its 70-foot hill offers a view of the site of Garvey’s Liberty Hall on West 138th Street.

Current view of Marcus Garvey Memorial Park

Marcus Garvey

Thought by many blacks to be another Moses, Marcus Garvey rose from humble beginnings in Jamaica, West Indies, to become the number one advocate of the “Back to Africa movement.”

He left school at sixteen and went to work as an apprentice printer, organizing the printing workers in Kingston, Jamaica.

In 1917, he came to America and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), whose major goal was to create a strong Negro Nation in Africa. By 1920, the UNIA claimed more than 1 million members. In August of that year, their International Convention was held in New York City, where 25,000 people gathered to hear Garvey speak.

In 1923, Garvey was charged with and found guilty of using the mail service to defraud in connection with his fundraising to buy ships for the return to Africa. While imprisoned he wrote his famous “First Message to the Negroes of the World from Atlanta Prison,” where he said: “Look to me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for liberty, freedom and life.”

Garvey died in 1940 in London, England. He was named Jamaica’s first national hero and buried in the National Heroes Park in Jamaica.

This entry contributed by Curriculum Concepts International

Related Media


Video
Columbia University Professor of History Kenneth Jackson talks about Marcus Garvey Park, and the man for whom it was named.
Kellie Jones, Columbia University Professor of Art History and Archeology, describes New York's Marcus Garvey Park.

Images
The Marcus Garvey Memorial Park interrupts Fifth Avenue between 120th and 124th Streets. Its 70-foot hill offers a view of the site of Garvey’s Liberty Hall on West 138th Street.
A black nationalist, Marcus Garvey immigrated to Harlem in 1916. There he established Liberty Hall as headquarters for a movement that would grow to almost 2 million members.
This envelope calls for joining and contributing to the Universal Negro Improvement Association.
A 1924 UNIA flyer announces "Biggest Negro Convention in the History of the World: Program for Big Conclave Outlined."



Produced by CCNMTL, Chase, Teachers College, and CCI