Marcus Garvey Biography
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Biography Part 5 - Businesses run by the U.N.I.A.
Negro Factories Corporation
The Negro Factories Corporation was set up to be a cornerstone by which black people could achieve independence from whites. The Corporation was incorporated in January 1920 and it was Garvey's aim for the Corporation to run a network of businesses run and staffed by blacks, providing goods and services to black customers without any need to rely on white management, staff or customers. Garvey envisioned the Negro Factories Corporation being the cornerstone of a global black economy.
The company did not meet Garvey's high hopes and was declared insolvent in 1921. However, branches on the U.N.I.A. worldwide ran businesses and supported other black owned businesses, providing employment for thousands of black people.
The Negro World newspaper
The UNIA's official newspaper, the Negro World was established on 17 August 1918. The paper promoted African Nationalist ideas as well as giving reports on U.N.I.A. activities throughout the world. The newspaper's calls for independence lead to the paper being banned in several Caribbean and African Countries although copies were still circulated in these countries through unofficial distributors. Garvey edited the paper until November 1920 and the paper continued to run until 31 July 1932 with a brief resurgence in 1933.
The Black Star Line
The U.N.I.A. took ownership of the Black Star Line steamship company on 27 June 1919, which was to be run exclusively by black people. One of the aims of the company was facilitating trade between black nations over the world. The company acquired the S.S. Yarmouth on 14 September 1919 (renaming it the S.S. Frederick Douglas) and two further ships in 1920.
Unfortunately, the company did not live up to Garvey's expectations with too much money being paid for poor quality ships (there was allegedly a back-hander paid to the purchaser of one of the ships), financial mismanagement and thievery by senior associated of the company. The company was suspended in February 2002.Previous: Life in the USA
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