What possessed Marcus Garvey to establish the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)?

Marcus Garvey established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) as a way for blacks to arrange their own advancement. He stressed the fact that African Americans did nothing to help themselves, “The bulk of our people are in darkness and are really unfit for society”. He also stated that they did not deserve the right to equality because they had done nothing to acquire it.
With the UNIA, Marcus was able to inspire his followers to take pride in the color of their skin, their race, and their roots. His words allowed African men to remember what they once were back in Africa, and that their greatness can once again be a reality and not just a distant memory. Through Garvey and the UNIA, about one thousand blacks were given jobs through the establishment of businesses.
Because of Marcus’s success with the UNIA, the U.S. Government, and others, did what they could to put him and the UNIA to an end, they considered him as a “serious threat to the racial status quo”. Since Marcus was never deemed as an American citizen, he was threatened to be deported, and in 1972 he was by President Calvin Coolidge. After Marcus left , the UNIA struggled, and within three years ended.
Garvey was never able to return to the United States. He sadly died in London in 1940. Garvey was a great hero for African American people. With his religious faith, he was given the name “Black Moses”. He stated “Christ died to make men free, I shall die to give courage and inspiration to my race", and that is exactly what he did through his work with the UNIA.

marcus garvey
This is the UNIA flag. The colors represent the blood, The land, and the color of the African content.

For more information about Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association visit these websites:

African American History Book pages 596 to 600.