Photo Credit: The Universal Negro Improvement Association
Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican-born black nationalist who created a 'Back to Africa' movement in the United States. He became an inspirational political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator whose ideals pre-figured the later Civil Rights Movement. He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) with chapters established beyond the borders of the United States to the Caribbean, Canada, and Africa.
Garvey believed African Americans would not take action if they did not change their perceptions of themselves, he championed radical racial pride by celebrating the African past and encouraging African Americans to be proud of their heritage, melanated skin, and kinky coily hair.
Photo Credit: Henrietta Vinton Davis's Weblog
While racial pride and unity played important roles in Garvey's black nationalism seeking to establish independent Black states around the world, he touted capitalism as the tool that would establish African Americans as an independent group. In the spirit of Black economic independence, in 1919 Garvey founded the Black Star Line to provide transportation to Africa. The shipping line was founded to facilitate the transportation of goods and eventually Black people living throughout the / back to African to create a global economy.
Photo Credit: PanAfrican Connection
Along with the Black Star Line, Garvy also established The Negro Factories Corporation to build and operate factories in the big industrial centers of the United States, Central America, the West Indies, and Africa with the intent to manufacture every marketable commodity. The NFC was home to a chain of grocery stores, a restaurant, a steam laundry, a tailor and dressmaking shop, a millinery store, and a publishing house for the Negro World newspaper.