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About Marcus Garvey and the Black Star Line

About Marcus Garvey and the Black Star Line

Garvey, called a "black Moses" during his lifetime, created the largest African American organization, with hundreds of chapters across the world at its height.

At the core of Garvey's program was an emphasis on black economic self-reliance, black people’s rights to political self-determination, and the founding of a black nation on the continent of Africa. . . .

Perhaps the largest endeavor of the UNIVERSAL NEGRO IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION (UNIA,) was the Black Star Steamship Line, an enterprise intended to provide a means for African Americans to return to Africa while also enabling black people around the Atlantic to exchange goods and services.

The economically independent Black Star Line was a symbol of pride for blacks and seemed to attract more members to the UNIA . . . .

As a result of large financial obligations and managerial errors, the Black Star Line failed in 1921 and ended operations. . . . Early in 1922 Garvey was indicted on mail fraud charges regarding the Black Star Line's stock sale. . . . [Garvey was convicted but released after serving three years in federal prison.

Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) form a critical link in black America's

centuries-long struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.

To enrich and strengthen his movement, Garvey envisioned a great shipping line to foster black trade, to transport passengers

between America, the Caribbean, and Africa, and to serve as a symbol of black grandeur and enterprise.

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