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Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind

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Interview Clips: Frances Warner

Frances WarnerWhat do you remember about Garvey speaking?
Marcus Garvey was a small structure, small built, but he spoke powerful and everybody listened. You could see that the attention was drawn to him whenever he spoke. But I enjoyed, ah, really more looking at the parades. Once in a while I would go to the hall, not often, because it was a very long affair. So the parades is what I was interested in.

Why did the Garvey Movement catch on so much at that time?
Well, I can only speak from my father's experience. He felt that Garvey was directing his black people to understand that they were just as important as the white race, and we had a home and we should group together, black people should all eventually return to their home, their native home, Africa. And that's the way he felt. And that's the way my father put it forth to us, that we also -- we should acknowledge that we belong there and that is our root. And eventually he said all black people will return to Africa.

How were black people treated here in terms of education?
Well, to me, when I went to school, very little was spoken about the black history, very little. To learn anything about it, I can't recall. To me it was always Europe and the white folks, but not the black people. There was nothing in public school that made you feel as though you, ah -- it was important for you to know that you also had a beginning somewhere. The only thing we knew is that you were brought here as slaves from your home. But that's -- it -- so that -- that's how my father came to keep pushing it and pushing it into us to remember that we, too, have a root. And it's the white folks that brought us here, but we don't belong here. And someday he hoped to live to see everybody going back to their roots. That was my father's wish.

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