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The case to pardon Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey has influenced generations of Black leaders. His son tells Into America why he’s still fighting to clear his father's name.

About this episode:

In the early 20th century, the Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey led the largest movement Black people in the world. Through his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Garvey preached about the great history of Black culture and called on Black people around the world to unite to create an “Africa for Africans.”

But like so many Black leaders, Garvey's fame and power during his lifetime attracted enemies in the white establishment, including J. Edgar Hoover, who was a young agent at the precursor to the FBI. Hoover felt threatened by Garvey, and by 1923, under murky circumstances, Garvey was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to prison. A few years later, President Calvin Coolidge commuted his sentence, on the condition that the government deport him back to his home country of Jamaica.

But the conviction against Marcus Garvey stands to this day. For years, his family has been trying to get Garvey a posthumous pardon. This week on Into America, Trymaine Lee talks with Dr. Julius Garvey, Marcus Garvey’s only surviving son, about his father's life, legacy, and Justice4Garvey, the movement to clear the Garvey name.

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