n African Renaissance - A critique of Marcus Garvey's brand of Pan Africanism

Volume 4 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


I consider myself a Pan Africanist. Therefore, it seems necessary for me to look at what other Pan Africanists mean by the term, Pan Africanism. One of those associated with Pan Africanism is Marcus Garvey. Thus, I decided to take a look at his life and work.

Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887. After brief elementary schooling (he went as far as the fifth grade) he obtained training as a printer. For some years he worked as a printer at Kingston, Jamaica.
Like many West Indians of his generation, Garvey tried to improve his lot in life by exploring opportunities outside his country. He visited several Central American countries, and for a while worked in Costa Rica. Thereafter, he went to Britain and lived at London for four years.
Exposure to English ways, apparently, opened Garvey's eyes to how the colonists' behavior contrasted with their behavior at home. Abroad, English colonists, to the colonized blacks of Jamaica, seemed like gods but at home, in England, they were largely no more than common folk. Moreover, Garvey was exposed to African students from the continent of Africa and from elsewhere and his eyes opened to the wider world of blackism.

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