Garvey was a prolific but controversial political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who is often called one of the forefathers of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements. Founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), the Jamaican-born activist established the Black Star Line, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands. He studied in London and played a huge role in rallying African Americans, with a base in Harlem that was pivotal in promoting black power before it was a popular ’70s concept.
Martin Luther King once said Garvey “was the first man of color to lead and develop a mass movement. He was the first man on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny. And make the Negro feel he was somebody.”