Reflections on Marcus Garvey’s presence and impact in Guyana

By Nigel Westmaas

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) which had a profound influence on peoples of African descent, not only in the United States, but also in what were then colonial territories like Guyana. Today historian Nigel Westmaas reflects on the movement in this country.


A familiarity with Marcus Garvey and his Universal Negro Improvement Association’s (UNIA) impact and role in British Guiana (Guyana) is notably absent from the general popular imagination, as well as from the education syllabuses and historiogaphy of this country. This is especially so as it applies to that crucial period of the 1920s and 1930s. The Jamaican born Garvey had achieved fame and notoriety in the USA, his main base in the emergent years of his UNIA. Co-founded in 1914 in Jamaica by Marcus Garvey and Amy Ashwood, his future spouse, the UNIA went on to become the largest pan-African organisation in history,  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.



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