How was Marcus Garvey important in African history?
Marcus Garvey was important to African history in several ways He led the largest black-led political movement in world history and his movement’s “Africa for the Africans” slogan exemplified its primary mission of African politico-economic independence, black control of religious educational and cultural institutions and an audacious worldview that linked the destinies of Africa and its diasporas Of course Garvey was part of a centuries-long history of diasporic blacks that sought re-connection with, and return to the African continent For continental Africans, Garveyism became a vehicle to express popular discontent with white rule, to animate and in some cases, reinvigorate their political organizations, their trade unions, etc to create and control black-led churches and schools and to spark a prophetic liberationist Christianity that placed godly black people at the center of a divinely-ordained historical drama that would lead to African redemption It is so ironic that Garvey’s extensive travels throughout the Atlantic World did not include Africa (though it should be noted several colonial states in Africa banned him) since Garveyism became such a vital ideology that linked continental Africans with diasporic blacks as they constructed transnational racial identities in their attempts to eliminate the global color line Garveyism was also an important bridge between the post-1890 African resistance movements and nascent Pan-African movements associated with diasporic blacks like Henry Sylvester Williams and the post World War Two anti-colonial and Pan-Africanist movements exemplified by future African leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Jomo Kenyatta all of whom were influenced by Garvey and Garveyism in their respective youths For historians of African history Marcus Garvey and Garveyism illustrates how African history can be fruitfully studied beyond continental borders how Africa and Africans should be more central in African Diaspora Studies and how African American and Caribbean history remained linked to African history long after the Atlantic Slave Trade

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