The 1920s
The 1920s

Marcus Garvey in The 1920s

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) was the most popular black nationalist leader of the early twentieth century, and the founder of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). A Jamaican immigrant, Garvey rose to prominence as a soapbox orator in Harlem, New York.

By the 1920s, the charismatic Garvey's UNIA claimed more than 4 million members, and crowds of more than 25,000 people packed into Madison Square Garden to hear Garvey speak of racial redemption and repatriation to Africa. Garvey's militancy and popularity spooked the U.S. government, which eventually imprisoned and deported Garvey on dubious charges of mail fraud.

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