The Root African Literature & Cultural Learning Center

Garvey and Garveyism

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Like all great dreamers and planners, Marcus Garvey dreamed and planned ahead of his time and his peoples' ability to understand the significance of his life's work. A set of circumstances, mostly created by the world colonial powers, crushed this dreamer, but not his dreams. Due to persistence and years of sacrifice of Mrs. Amy Jacques Garvey, widow of Marcus Garvey, a large body of work by and about this great nationalist leader has been preserved and can be made available to a new generation of black people who have the power to turn his dreams into realities. - From the introduction, by John Henrik Clarke. 

Amy Jacques Garvey (1896-1973) was a leading Pan-Africanist, Black Nationalist, and the wife of Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities' League (UNIA-ACL.) Born in Jamaica, Amy Jacques moved to the United States in 1917, became a committed Garveyite and Garvey's personal secretary. She later served as Secretary General of the UNIA, and as a columnist for the organization's paper, the Negro World. She married Garvey in 1922 and provided key leadership for the UNIA during his imprisonment and later expulsion from the United States. Following his death in 1940, Mrs. Garvey, then living in Jamaica, raised their two sons, Marcus, Jr. and Julius Garvey and continued to support African leaders and Pan-Africanist organizations. In addition to preserving critical documents on the Garvey movement, she authored essential books on Marcus Garvey and the UNIA, including The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, Garvey and Garveyism, and Black Power in America. Written as a participant and confidant, Amy Jacques Garvey's perspective continues to provide an intimate and first-person narrative of the Garvey movement and this important nascent period of Black Nationalism.