Righting Historical Wrongs
1923. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the charismatic founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), was unjustly convicted of mail fraud. Garvey was one of the first targets of J. Edgar Hoover, who had recently taken the helm of what would later be known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hoover harbored a personal vendetta against the black leader and was relentless in his goal to discredit and lessen his influence. Although President Calvin Coolidge eventually commuted Garvey’s sentence, the UNIA to this day demands a complete expunging of Garvey’s unwarranted conviction through both an exoneration and a government apology for violating his rights and smearing his name.