Four undercelebrated black women who contributed immensely to Pan-Africanism

June 06, 2019 at 03:30 pm | Women

Araba Sam

Araba Sam

June 06, 2019 at 03:30 pm | Women

Amy Euphemia Jacques Garvey  

Garvey was born in Kingston, Jamaica to George Samuel who was Black and Charlotte Henrietta, who was half White on 31st December 1885. She moved to New York in 1917 and got involved in publishing the Negro World newspaper in Harlem.

She married Marcus Garvey after his divorce with his first wife. Amy Garvey edited the volume 1 of the Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey (which was a compilation of Marcus’s writings and speeches). She also became the face of UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association), a Black nationalist movement founded by her husband in 1914. Amy published a book, Garvey and Garveyism and revealed that she researched and crafted most of Marcus’ speeches. In this book, Amy describes how Marcus implored her to read through front-page articles and other prominent new sources, and explain their importance to him. After gathering the information he needed, he would then use it for his own speeches.

Amy Garvey was known to be an excellent speaker who toured the country with and without her husband. There were times that an audience preferred to listen to her over Marcus because they were inspired by her speeches and published works. After Marcus Garvey was convicted of mail fraud in 1923 and later sentenced to five years in prison, Amy took on the leadership role of UNIA and earned money by delivering speeches.

She further edited and published volume 2 of the Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey and two volumes of his poetry, The Tragedy of White Injustice and Selections from the Poetic Meditations of Marcus Garvey. After the release, deportation and death of Marcus in 1940, she continued to fight for Black nationalism and African independence. In 1944 she wrote “A Memorandum Correlative of Africa, West Indies and the Americas,” which she used to convince U.N. representatives to adopt an African Freedom Charter.

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