Rupert Lewis has written a biography of Marcus Garvey published by the University Press of the West Indies in 2018. His book Marcus Garvey documents the forging of Garvey’s remarkable vision of pan-Africanism and highlights his organizational skills in framing a response to the radical global popular upsurge following the First World War (1914–1918). Central to Garvey’s response was the development of organizations under the umbrella of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, which garnered the transnational support of several million members and sympathizers and challenged white supremacist practices and ideas.
Garvey established the ideological pillars of twentieth century pan-Africanism in promoting self-determination and self-reliance for Africa’s independence. Although Garvey travelled widely and lived abroad in New York and London, he spent his early years in Jamaica. Rupert Lewis traces how Garvey’s Jamaican formation shaped his life and thought and how he combated the British colonial authorities as well as fought deep-rooted self-doubt and self-rejection among Jamaican black people. Garvey’s much neglected political and cultural work at the local level is discussed as part of his project to stimulate self-determination in Africa and its diaspora.
Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.