Personality of Marcus Garvey: Analytical Essay

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Poverty became rampant in black communities due to wage disparities between blacks and whites. Garvey noticed this and used his extraordinary personality to convince African Americans to start investing in black owned businesses after arriving in America. Garvey's poetic words of nationalism and back-to-Africa aspirations made these capitalistic economic investments possible. Garvey was successful in raising substantial sums of money to invest in high-risk projects.

Garvey hoped to achieve economic self-sufficiency for African Americans through capitalism. He believed that having financial independence will protect African Americans from discrimination and that they could pursue other political and social goals after establishing a strong economic foundation (Fierce 1972). Garvey wanted blacks to create their own economic institutions through the Universal Negro Improvement Association. This included racial enterprises such as the Black Star Line and the Negro Factories Company. When the U.N.I.A. was established, Garvey focused on opening a variety of businesses in black communities across the country that would employ black men and women, reducing black unemployment and allowing them to develop local self-sufficiency. The Black Star Line (BSL) was a steamship company founded by Marcus Garvey in 1919.

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The name was inspired by the White Star Line, a British luxury steamship line. The Black Star Line (BSL), like the UNIA's Negro Factories Corporation, was part of Garve's broader movement to promote black self-determination and economic freedom. Garvey observed that black people across the world were largely oppressed and excluded from the global economy. So, he created the Black Star Line to help to alleviate this situation by promoting the shipping of goods among the African Diaspora, fostering the development of a self-sufficiency and a resilient global black economy (Howison, 2005). In addition, the BSL would transport emigrants to Africa in order to create the great black nation-state. BSL shares were sold for five dollars ($5) each, allowing even low-income blacks to participate in the UNIA's largest economic venture (Azikiwe, 2015). The UNIA raised managed to raise eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000) between 1919 and 1920. In the same year, Garvey was able to purchase the BSL's first ship, the Yarmouth, which was a thirty-year-old freighter ship last used in World War I. However, the vessel was bedevilled by a number of unfixed repairs and attempted sabotage by crew members by the time the BSL gained possession of it in New York (“American Experience | Marcus Garvey,” 2001).

The Black Star Line was sabotaged by the Bureau of Investigation. Furthermore, due to overcharging by engineers, thievery by officials and officers, it was, unfortunately blighted by mismanagement (Howison 2005). Two other ships, the Shadyside and Kanawha, were purchased and had similar problems to the Yarmouth. The Shadyside was a passenger ferry that ran alongside the Hudson River until it sank after a seam broke during an ice storm. Mechanical problems and employee sabotage plagued the Kanawha (Howison 2005). Although the Black Star Line was essentially a business failure, it was still a valuable symbol of black ambition, and a good marketing and recruitment tool for Garvey and the U.N.I.A. Despite the fact that Garvey declared the company's suspension shortly after his arrest on mail fraud on February 1922, the Black Star Line was still a major accomplishment for the Black community. Additionally, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League had another business enterprise called Negro Factories Corporation, which was recognised by one hundred and twenty-five (125) countries around the world and even had its own and flag and constitution (“American Experience | Marcus Garvey | People

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