Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. was born on the 17th of August 1887 in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. His father, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Sr., was a mason. Marcus Garvey derived his early inspiration form his father’s library which was very rich for that time. Garvey initially began his career as a printer. He was later elected the Vice President of the Kingston Union. Garvey was later fired for his involvement in a strike by printers in late 1908.
From 1912-1914, Garvey moved to England were he studied at the Birbeck College. During his stay in England, he worked for the African Times and Orient Review and spoke at Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner. He was quite fascinated by the few blacks he met who were involved in the struggle to obtain independence from the then British Empire.
Garvey later returned to Jamaica where he founded the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association), which grew to over 4 million by the year 1920. The UNIA was the largest Pan African movement. Marcus Garvey believed the best way to improve the living conditions of blacks was by Unity. During this early period of his return he published the pamphlet entitled ‘The Negro and Its Problems’.
Unlike the other black leaders of his time, Marcus had his own ideology, which was later known as Garveyism. Marcus believed in segregation rather than integration. He believed Europe is for Europeans, Asia for Asians and Africa for Africans and was determined to bring Africans in Diaspora back to Africa.
Garvey died in London on the 10th of June, 1940 after suffering two strokes. Rumours however claimed he was poisoned. His remains were exhumed in 1964 and taken to Jamaica where he was reinterred on the 15th of November 1964.
Shortly After, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana named the Ghanaian national shipping line the Black Star Line in honour of Garvey. Also, the Ghanaian and national soccer team the Black Stars as well as the black star at the center of the Ghanaian flag are also inspired by the works of Marcus Garvey. All over the world, there are numerous streets, highways, schools, statues and other monuments in honour of Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero.