BLACK ✊ HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : WALTER RODNEY

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By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Walter Anthony Rodney was born on March 23, 1942 in British Guiana.
Rodney came from a working-class family and he was encouraged to strive for educational greatness and was considered a very bright student. He would eventually attend Queens college in British Guiana (now Guyana) and was a champion debater and athlete. Rodney would eventually earn a Phd in African History in 1966 from the School of Oriental and African studies in London, England.

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After college, Rodney would continue to travel internationally and would soon become well-known as an activist, orator and scholar.

Rodney would go on to teach in Tanzania, Africa, at the University of Dar es Salaam, from 1966-67 and later in UWI Mona in Jamaica.

He was a harsh critic of the middle-class and their role in post-Independence Caribbean nations, and argued against capitalism and argued for socialist development.

Because of his advocacy for the working poor, that created public awareness and caused some riots to breakout, costing millions of dollars in damage to public property and according to the government, resulted in the death of several people, Rodney was banned from returning to Jamaica by the Jamaican government.

Rodney would soon return to the University of Dar es Salaam from 1969-74, as a history professor.

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Rodney would become an influential Pan-Africanist and played a big role in the Black Power movement in the Caribbean and North America.

In 1974 Rodney returned to his native country of Guyana from Tanzania, Africa. Where he intended to get a professor position at the University of Guyana, but because of his political activism, he was denied a professor job because of government objection . Soon afterwards, Rodney would found his own political party, the Working People’s Alliance, a party that would quickly become a legitimate threat to Guyana’s government, that was controlled by the PNC party.

In 1979 Rodney would be arrested by the government and accused of arson on two government buildings.

On June 1980, Walter Rodney would be assassinated, when a car bomb exploded when he got into his car, after returning to Guyana from a independence celebration in Zimbabwe.

Rodney was only 38, it is believed but still has not been proven that Rodney’s assassination was set-up by then president of Guyana, Linden Forbes Burnham.

Video on Walter Rodney

For additional information use link below :

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Rodney

BLACK 🌍 HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY JR.

 

GARVEY SUIT

BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., was born on August 17, 1887, in St.Ann’s Bay , Jamaica , to Sarah Jane Richards and Marcus Mosiah Garvey Sr., he was the youngest of eleven children, but only Marcus and his sister Indiana would survive to adulthood.

Garvey’s father owned a massive personal library, it was from this library where a young Garvey would first be educated. The young Garvey would continue his early education at some of St.Ann’s Bay elementary schools, it would be at those schools, Garvey would experience racism for the first time in his life.

In 1907, while working in the printing industry, Garvey would get his first taste of political activism, when he took part in a printer’s strike, the strike was  not a success , but it sparked his interest in politics and activism.

In 1910, Garvey would leave Jamaica and travel throughout central America, first working as a timekeeper on a banana plantation in Costa Rica, Garvey would move on to work as an editor for a newspaper called La Nacionale  and then later that year in 1911, Garvey would move to Panama, where he edited a biweekly Newspaper.

Garvey would return to Jamaica in 1912.

From 1912 to 1914, Garvey would live in London, England , where he would attend Birkbeck College and take classes philosophy and law classes. Garvey would also work for the African Times and Orient Review, published by Duse Mohamed Ali. Garvey would also be influenced by many civil rights activists of his time and was a huge admirer of Booker T. Washington.

When Garvey returned to Jamaica in 1914, he would form the United Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A), a Pan-Africanist organization.

On March 23,1916, Garvey would arrive in the United States, his goal was to raise money doing lectures to help build a school in Jamaica, modeled after Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. When Garvey first arrived in New York, he found a job as a printer. On May 9, 1916, Garvey would perform his first of many public lectures, eventually Garvey would go on a 38 state speaking tour.

In May 1917, Garvey and his 13 associates would form the United States’s branch of the U.N.I.A, and soon began to preach economic and social freedom for people of African descent, both living inside and outside of Africa.

In 1918 Garvey began to publish the Negro World Newspaper, the paper had a dual objective, to educate black people on News and events, in their community and  and to help spread the message of the U.N.I.A and grow its membership.

UNIAandACL

By June 1919, the U.N.I.A’s membership had grown to a massive two million members. That same year the U.N.I.A’s incorporated the Black Star Line of Delaware and bought their first ship.

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That same year, a assistant district attorney in New York,  named Edwin P. Kilroe began investigating Garvey and the U.N.I.A,  but no illegal acts could could be uncovered, so no charges were filed. But that would only be the beginning of a bitter relationship between Garvey and Kilroe. On October 14, 1919, a man named George Tyler, attempted to Assassinate Garvey,  he shot at Garvey four times and wounded him in his right leg and the upper part of his head. George Tyler claimed A.D.A Edwin P. Kilroe sent him,  but before his arraignment,  George Tyler allegedly jumped from the third floor of a Harlem jail and committed suicide.

Later  Garvey would create the Negro Factories Corporations,  he developed the business with the intentions to manufacture everyday commodities,  Garvey planned to have NFC branches in the United States,  Central America, West Indies and Africa.

In 1919 J. Edgar Hoover,  then a special Assistant to the Attorney General and the head of the General Investigative Division of the Bureau of Investigation,  later to be renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),  would open an investigation into the activities of Garvey and the U.N.I.A organization. The bureau hired its first five black agents to infiltrate Garvey’s movement. The aim was to find a reason to deport Garvey and to sabotage his U.N.I.A movement.  Eventually they would charge Garvey on mail fraud in connections with stock of the Black Star Line,  the accusations were that even though Garvey was in the process of buying the steamship on the BSL brochure,  he did not own it at the time he placed it on the brochure,  therefore it was in the court’s eyes it was fraud and he was convicted and sentenced to five years on June 23, 1923.

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After prison,  Garvey would continue his work for the black race, while based outside of the United States,  in 1928 Garvey traveled to Geneva to present the “Petition of the Negro Race”, to the League of Nations  (the precursor of the United Nations ), in that petition he outlined the abuse of people of African descent by western nations.

In September of 1929, Garvey would found Jamaica’s first modern political party,  the People’s Political Party (PPP), its objective were to improve education,  help end poverty  and improve  workers’  rights for black people living in  Jamaica.

In 1935 Garvey left the Island of Jamaica for London, England,  he would live there until his death on June 10, 1940, Garvey died at the age of 52, after suffering  two strokes.

Legacy :

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. would influence future civil rights leaders like Malcolm X,  Martin Luther King Jr. , and the first  President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.

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The Rastafari consider Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. to be a religious prophet.

The plaque outside of the home he died at.

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Blue plaque, 53 Talgarth Road, London

WATCH THIS MINI BIOGRAPHY ON MARCUS GARVEY:

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION USE LINK BELOW:

http://www.biography.com/people/marcus-garvey-9307319

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Garvey