Marcus Garvey’s African Nationalism Pt. 3

No one is saying not to be fashionable. Drive your truck, leave your man and go with another man. Have a bastard, drink, have a side chick, don’t get married. Forget to pray, smoke weed, sing, rap, dance, party and get money. Living your life how you want is not what ruins the community. What destroys it is when we place pleasures and possessions above moral ethics, responsibility or traditional obligation.

Photo credit: english.illinois.edu

These are some of the issues Marcus Garvey foresaw when he created the Black Star Line. Yes, Jim Crow laws were a huge obstacle, when they compounded an abolished slave trade with segregation, lynching, racism, and prejudice. Of course, Garvey saw a return to Africa as a path to redemption. Returning to Africa became empowering for blacks because it meant an end to racism. Anyhow, returning to Africa was not the end all be all. It was from Africa where the ancestors of African-Americans and all black people evolved. Europe, Canada, The Middle East, South America and Asia had all exploited Africa for centuries. By Garvey’s time, colonialism was merely the new complication. Since every developed country in Europe was looking for an African nation to colonize.

Yes, Jim Crow laws were a huge obstacle.

Photo credit: benetonline.com

The Door of No Return

For Garvey, returning to Africa was the beginning of the process to rebuild and restore Africa. Blacks from Europe and the Americas would bring education and experience while those in Africa would teach the culture and revive long-lost traditions.

Europe, Canada, The Middle East, South America and the Caribbean Islands had all exploited Africa for centuries.

The British forced Ghanaian natives into slave ships through “the door of no return.” A fortress that opens into the Atlantic Ocean they also exploited it as the Gold Coast. Evidently, Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister and president of Ghana, derived the black star in Ghana’s flag from Garvey’s concept of the black star line when he led the country to its independence. Today after many civil wars and epidemics Africa still holds on to the dream of a United Continent. *

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