History August 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm

The controversies that ended the rise of Pan-African leader Marcus Garvey

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor August 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm

August 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm | History

Marcus Garvey (from second right)

‘President of Africa’

His black nationalism got him to a position where he was “inaugurated” as president of Africa. His love for flowing robes, gold-tasselled turban and grand titles began to infuriate some black personalities who saw him as a charlatan and an embarrassment.

One of his worst critics, W.E.B. Dubois once described him as “without doubt the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America and in the world,” though Garvey believed that Du Bois was prejudiced against him because he was a Caribbean native with darker skin.

Du Bois felt that Garvey’s program of complete separation, which was a form of surrender to white supremacy, threatened the gains made by his own NAACP movement. Hence, by the early 1920s, Du Bois and Cyril Briggs, chief of the African Black Brotherhood and editor of Crusader magazine started an active campaign aimed at getting Garvey out.

Meanwhile, his hopes of building a base of operations in Liberia did not also materialise as they denied him entry.

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