This Day in History: Marcus Garvey, Pan-Africanism Pioneer, Dies in 1940 at Age 52

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Black nationalist Marcus Garvey is shown in a military uniform as the 'Provisional President of Africa during a parades up Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York City, Aug. 1922, during opening day exercises of the annual Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World. (AP Photo)
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Marcus Garvey, the leader of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, died in London after suffering from several strokes on this day, June 10, in 1940. He was 52.

Born in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, on Aug. 17, 1887, Garvey credited his father, a stone mason, for instilling in him a passion for reading and a spirit of self-determination.

His interest in activism began at age 14, when he left school to become a printer’s assistant and later became involved in union activities in Kingston, Jamaica.

In 1912, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which aimed to unite the entire African diaspora.

Garvey’s legacy would later inspire the formation of the Nation of Islam and notable civil rights leaders, including Malcolm X, in the 1950s and 1960s.


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