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Presidential Pardon for Marcus Garvey

This petition had 10,983 supporters

Marcus Garvey taught the world that Black Lives Matter.  A Jamaican-born political and civil rights leader known for his legacy of fighting for equal treatment of persons of African descent, Garvey lead under the principles of unity and self-determination. Garvey was a business entrepreneur, international freedom fighter, and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

Under his leadership, the UNIA became one of the largest Black organizations in history; during the peak of its membership the UNIA had over six million members, in 40 countries, with 1,100 chapters. He ignited a movement to encourage African Americans in the United States to overcome oppression in the 1920s, and was a catalyst for decolonization efforts throughout many African nations. Today, Garvey’s principles are just as significant and his spirit is alive in the voice of our youth who protest current an unjust legal system that continues to criminalize Black life.       

In 1923, the United States government recognized Garvey’s power and looked for ways to persecute him and undermine his leadership. In a purely political trial, he was wrongfully convicted of mail fraud in 1923 in order to force his deportation from the United States.  The United States government criminalized Garvey during a period of political lynching, as they have historically criminalized many Black leaders and freedom fighters including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. 

In 2015 the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson-Miller, asked President Obama to posthumously pardon Garvey.  The UNIA urges President Obama to emancipate our children’s collective conscience from the transgression of an official history that criminalizes the legacy of Marcus Garvey and many Black leaders, to liberate truth unto this generation as a measure of restorative justice gifting the proud dignity of a history that breathes hope into a more just and equitable future.

Please sign our petition asking President Obama to issue a Posthumous Presidential Pardon of Marcus Garvey acknowledging that he was unlawfully prosecuted.

Join the UNIA in encouraging President Obama to right the wrong of history and grant the Posthumous Presidential Pardon of Marcus Garvey to set an example for this generation.  President Obama- Right the Wrong. Yes You Can. Pardon Garvey!


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