Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, who represents New York’s District 9 in the United States Congress, has introduced a resolution hailing Marcus Garvey as a human rights activist and as an individual who championed liberation of people of African descent. The resolution, H.Res. 148, also highlights Garvey’s accomplishments and is meant to preserve his legacy by exonerating him of charges brought against him by the US government.
Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica. He became a leader of the Pan-Africanism movement and a promoter of Black nationalism. He founded the Negro World newspaper, the Black Star Line shipping firm, and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in the United States. Due to his outspoken support of Black nationalism and his human rights activism, he became a target of J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau of Investigation (BOI), which later became the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hoover began investigating Garvey and brought unfounded charges of mail fraud against him. Hoover referred to Garvey as a “notorious negro agitator” and hired the first Black agent in the FBI in 1919 to spy on him.
Clarke’s resolution calls for President Joe Biden to exonerate Marcus Garvey of these unfounded charges. It notes that Garvey is an icon of liberation for people of African descent around the world and describes him as an inspirational teacher who became a major figure in the battle for Black freedom and justice.
In her statement introducing the resolution, Clarke said, “I call for the President to exonerate Mr. Garvey on the grounds that the case against him was politically motivated, unsubstantiated, and unjust.”
Source: Congresswoman Yvette Clarke