Marcus Garvey; The Man Who Read His Obituary In A Newspaper Two Weeks Before His Death


The excellent publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Jamaican political activist and Pan-Africanist, Marcus Mosiah Garvey Sr, shortly Marcus Garvey was born to a reasonably prosperous Afro-Jamaican family in Saint Ann’s Bay in Jamaica on August 17, 1887 and died on June 10, 1940. He propounded the Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), in short, this is also known as UNIA. He was the first General President of the association as well.

Marcus Garvey

Sadly, two weeks later before his death, he had read the announcement to declare it and it was published in the newspaper erroneously. Unbelievably, a pioneering Pan-Africanist read a newspaper’s announcement of his death. He was noted to be an eccentric man with undoable plausible dreams. Before his death, he was working with the Chicago Defender Newspaper. Yet, about some days, his publications were not seen as the like of Langston Hughes, Louis Lomax among others. It was then that they came out boldly and cleared the air about his death rumour that was circulating to be a genuine blunder.

The Chicago Defender was the actual newspaper that announced or reinstated what he said about his death. The newspaper was propounded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott who was a businessman and an African-American lawyer. His parents were once freed from slavery. The Chicago Defender was highly respected when Marcus Garvey died in the year, 1940. Among the Black American people, it was the the major leading source of information which one can rely on for authentic news.

In a review, one of his biographic books, self-made man was what he was called. He inspired the thoughts of Booker T. Washington. His words and actions gave rise to people like Huey P. Newton and Malcolm X. Many are people who appreciated his efforts in building a better Africa. He was neither a scholar nor socialist rather, a businessman and political activist he was.

There was a little lack of confidence about the claim that Garvey would have felt unsuccessful when he lived his life in a rented room in London for the last few years before death laid its icy hands on him. There came a time whereby he was seriously accused of mail fraud and he was shipped out of the United States. When the sad news hit his door and dined with him, he split from his beloved wife and adorable children. In the year, 1935, his wife went to Jamaica with the children, and he went to London. For Africa, he never stepped a foot on the land again despite the fact that he was one of the people who advocate for blacks to return.

He was once struck heavily by a stroke in January 1940. Though it was a serious sickness, he survived from it. In May 1940, he heard about his death. It was published by a graphic corporation, the headline of the issue said “Marcus Garvey Dies in London” after years of being “broke, alone and unpopular”. Garvey’s change of location towards actualized the announcement made by the Chicago Defender, a newspaper outlet he had worked with before. It was immediate after reading the many reports and sadly, he said goodbye to the earth on June 10, 1940 at the age of 52.


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