Interview Clips: Joseph Bailey
What was the feeling among people about the Black Star Line?
Oh, it -- it -- it caused tremendous excitement. Ahm, I remember the, ahm ... on a trip to New York, ah, from school, I spent a week in New York and attended Garvey celebrations on 138th Street, where his headquarters were. Ah, the enthusiasm -- enthusiasm of the West Indians was almost unbelievable. Garvey had some followers among native American blacks, but the vast majority of his following here in New York were persons of West Indian descent, especially Jamaicans. And it was weeks of celebration and excitement and enthusiasm. Ah, it's almost unbelievable to think how, ah, these people could not understand really how difficult it would be for the ... Garvey program to be really successful. Especially, of course, they didn't naturally know, but, as it turned out , especially since they had been deceived, the Garvey people, including Marcus Garvey himself has been, ah, deceived as to the condition of those -- the Black Star Line.
What was the Black Star Line's mistake?
In making a purchase of those liners without, ah, being led by experts. He was deceived about the condition of those -- of those ships and overpaid for -- for our own -- what their value should have been. It was a disaster for the movement and turned out to be a disaster for Mr. Garvey.
What was the influence of the "Garvey Must Go" campaign?
The "Garvey Must Go" program, ah, campaign was instituted because there was a feeling on the part of certain leaders of the NAACP and of the Urban League and, ah, A. Philip Randolph and his associates, ah ... the Messenger magazine, ah, which was very important -- it was the organ of -- of Randolph and his associates -- was based upon the fact that, ah ... these men were integrationists.
They had dedicated themselves and the programs that they believed in to, ah, winning for black Americans the implementation of -- of their full civil rights -- the ballot, work opportunities, et cetera, all of the elements that -- that go into making for, ah, equality and citizenship. And to them, spreading a propaganda about the possibilities of -- of a Back to Africa program or, ah, implementation of Booker Washington's philosophy of -- of, ah, ah, accommodation and acceptance of white America's, ahm, program for -- for blacks, made Garvey an enemy to a full citizenship program for blacks in this country and in - - implementation of the rights guaranteed to -- to -- to blacks by the Constitution. And, ah... they wanted him out of the country. They felt that his propaganda was hurting a -- a program of, ah -- of equal, ah, rights under -- under the Constitution. And -- and that it was an acceptance of white America's, ah, program, ah ... and a feeling that -- that the Garvey program didn't call for the advance of blacks in this country, but, ahm, a far-fetched idea in the future of full rights in some other part of the world, mainly Africa.