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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Marcus Garvey

Today is Marcus Garvey’s birthday!

His leadership in laying foundations for pan-African philosophy helped to empower the African Diaspora and provided inspiration for Black Nationalism, the Nation of Islam, the Rastafari movement, and others. 

Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), whose red, black, and green flag now serves as the Pan-African/Black Liberation flag.  Garvey also founded the Black Star Line to facilitate the return of the Diaspora back to Africa. It is from this legacy that Ghana derives the star on its flag (and subsequently the name of its football team).

Find a complete list of speeches and poems by Marcus Garvey, and celebrate his birthday today by reading this timely speech he gave after the July 2, 1917 East St. Louis Riots.

"Millions of our people in slavery gave their lives that America might live," he said. "From the labors of these people the country grew in power, until her wealth today is computed above that of any two nations. With all the service that the Negro gave he is still a despised creature in the eyes of white people, for if he were not to them despised, the whites of this country would never allow such outrages as the East St. Louis massacre. ...This is a massacre that will go down in history as one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind for which any class of people could be held guilty."

See Also:
White History Month 
Malcolm X
Appropriation vs Appreciation

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