quote:Convinced that blacks should have a permanent homeland in Africa, Garvey's movement sought to develop Liberia. In response to suggestions he wanted to take all Americans of African ancestry back to Africa he said, "I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa, there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there." He further reasoned, "our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa." The Liberia program, launched in 1920, was intended to build colleges, universities, industrial plants and railroads as part of an industrial base from which to operate, but was abandoned in the mid 1920s after much opposition from European powers with interests in Liberia.
He believed that African-Americans should move back to Africa as a New African Elite in a free state such as Liberia. His beliefs basically translated to African-Americans coming to Africa and ruling (even against the will of the Natives).
The U.S. has had a quasi-colonial relationship with Liberia since the latter's birth in 1822 as a home for former slaves shipped to Africa by the American Colonization Society. The slaveholders who made up a large part of this society were motivated by fear that free Blacks in the U.S. could provide an inspiration to revolt.
Tension developed between the Americo-Liberians and the much more numerous indigenous Africans, who resisted the new immigrants in vain. The former slaves, who engaged in slave-trading themselves once in Liberia, came to dominate the country's political and economic life, while the latter (95 percent of the current population) were subsistence farmers or miners.
The new elite also provided forced labor at horrifically low wages for Firestone, which operated Liberia essentially as its own fiefdom from 1926, when the company established the world's largest rubber plantation there, to the early 1950s. Firestone demanded that Liberia accept an onerous loan to use for building railways and roads and improving Monrovia's harbor, setting the country on an ongoing course of steep indebtedness.
Power and wealth has remained disproportionately in the hands of the Americo-Liberians, although some democratization took place during the reign of President William Tubman from 1944 to 1971. Tubman oversaw increased foreign exploitation of resources, and also provided major help to the U.S. in waging the Cold War.
His successor, William Tolbert, promoted reforms, including universal suffrage and expanded educational opportunities, and permitted the partial rise of political activism and workers' organizations. Tolbert, however, was assassinated in the wake of riots protesting the rising price of rice, the basic staple, and suppression of dissidents.
Although indigenous Liberians initially embraced the new president Samuel Doe, his corruption and extreme brutality against ethnic groups other than his own came to alienate the public and profoundly divide the country. Thanks to increases in military and other aid from the U.S. under Ronald Reagan, however, Doe stayed in power.
With the waning of the Cold War, though, the U.S. cut back aid to Liberia. The economy deteriorated, civil strife escalated into civil war, and Doe was executed in 1990.
Some of his philosophy took pages almost directly from Western racial purism:
quote:Around 1921 Marcus Garvey's nationalism and life history led him to proclaim a belief in "racial purity." He admired the efforts toward independence of whites in Ireland, so it was not a racist idea in the traditional sense. Instead he feared encouragement of miscegenation would disadvantage those who did not or were not mixed. Still this led him to a controversial praise of Warren G. Harding's speech against miscegenation and discussion that races might be better off separate with largely separate destinies. For not entirely unrelated reasons he had an antagonism toward W. E. B. Du Bois. Previously Du Bois had expressed hostility to the Black Star Line idea and other ideas. Hence Garvey began to suspect Du Bois was prejudiced towards him as a Caribbean of darker skin tone. By the late 1920s this antagonism turned to antipathy. Du Bois called Garvey "a lunatic or a traitor." Garvey shot back saying Du Bois was "a little Dutch, a little French, a little Negro...a mulatto...a monstrosity." This led Garvey to an acrimonious relationship with the NAACP. Somewhat ironically Du Bois would nevertheless be a strong supporter of Pan-Africanism. SourcesPBS,UCLA
He also supported Imperial Japan.