Garvey's group began to grow in popularity internationally soon after its conception. In 1920, when the association held its first convention in New York City, 25,000 came to hear Garvey outline his plans of building an African nation-state. The UNIA enticed more and more individuals with Garvey's radical ideas and within a short period, had 1,100 branches in 40 different countries. Garvey began to publish a newspaper called The Negro World and tried to open the Black Star Shipping Line to transport blacks back to their homeland. Garvey's plans were soon cut short for several reasons. Garvey was at first not able to attain any new land for colonization; he had hoped to attain territories lost by Germany in World War I, but his wishes were denied by the League of Nations. In addition, the association experienced financial betrayal from trusted leaders, a loss that severely depleted the already stretched reserves of the UNIA. Legal troubles soon haunted Garvey, too, as he was sentenced to five years in jail for fraud.
After being released, Garvey returned to Jamaica and tried to reform the politics in his home country but was defeated soundly at the polls. After the demoralizing results, Garvey moved to England where he died in 1944 with little recognition for the beliefs he had tried to spread.
Garvey was to many the first Black Nationalist and stressed the idea that blacks were equal to whites, and if they were not treated as such, they should leave. These ideas of equality were vital to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. While Garvey did not have an immediate impact during his lifetime because he was unable to gain enough economic support for his revolutionary plans, he still had a large effect on the black psyche of the time and raised awareness of the world's oppression of minorities.
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