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Marcus Garvey: The Trumpet of Pride

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  • Marcus Garvey: The Trumpet of Pride

  • An Excerpt from "THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA" Published electronically by its author, Norman Coombs,and Project Gutenberg.(C 1993) by Norman Coombs.

  • Narrator

    Marcus Garvey was born in St. Anne's Bay, Jamaica, in August, 1887.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Marcus Garvey: The Trumpet of Pride
  • His parents were of unmixed African descent.

  • His ancestors had belonged to the Maroons, a group of slaves who had escaped and established their own community in the Jamaican hills.

  • They fought so well and had been so thoroughly organized that the British found it necessary to grant them their independence in 1739.

  • Garvey was very proud of this heritage and of his unmixed ancestry.

  • Jamaican society was structured hierarchically along color lines.

  • The whites were at the top, mulattoes in the middle, and blacks at the bottom.

  • Narrator

    The mulattoes enjoyed displaying and projecting their superiority over the blacks.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Marcus Garvey: The Trumpet of Pride
  • In turn, Garvey was scornful of the mulattoes, and he distrusted all people with light skin throughout his life.

  • As a young man, Garvey began making his living as a printer's helper in a large Kingston printing firm and worked his way up to foreman.

  • His leadership ability became evident when, during a walkout, the workers chose him to lead the strike.

  • He had been the only foreman to join the workers, and the company later black-listed him for it.

  • The union failed to come to his aid, and thereafter he distrusted labor organizations as a source of help for his people.

  • Narrator

    He then traveled extensively around Central and South America, staying briefly in several large cities and supporting himself by his trade.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Marcus Garvey: The Trumpet of Pride
  • Wherever he went, he found blacks being persecuted and mistreated.

  • In 1912 he crossed the Atlantic and spent some time in London.

  • There he met large numbers of Africans and became interested in their plight as well.

  • While he was there, he was influenced by a Negro Egyptian author named Duse Mohammed Ali.