History of Liberty Hall


“Two and a half years ago we used to hold our meetings in four by six rooms; tonight you have  the satisfaction of knowing that you have not only one Liberty Hall in New York, but Liberty Halls all over the world, not only in the Western states are they buying and building Liberty Halls, but the news coming to us from Cuba reveals the fact that nearly every week a new Liberty Hall is bought by some of the divisions there. In Panama and Africa they are dedicating their Liberty Halls…”

­­­                      —Marcus Garvey at Liberty Hall, Harlem, 1921

UNIA Members at Liberty Hall Harlem, 1921

UNIA Members at Liberty Hall Harlem, 1921

 

Marcus Mosiah Garvey was firmly guided by his philosophy that dignity belonged to everyone  regardless of race.  He launched the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in Jamaica in 1914 aiming for the self-determination of all African people in the face of worldwide racial discrimination and colonialism. By the 1930s there were over a thousand divisions of the UNIA throughout the world in countries where the organization had significant mass followings. About 1,056 UNIA divisions were formed between 1921 and the early 1930s in the following countries:

Source: Robert Hill (Ed.) The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Vol. VII, Appendix I, (University of California Press, U.S.A.: 1990) Deduced from UNIA records of registered Divisions listed as active between 1921-1930s, and/or reported activities to the Negro World. Please note that throughout the years there were variations in the amount of divisions per country. For example, Tony Martin in Race First, 1976 stated that according to UNIA Records, Cuba which is listed above as having 26 divisions in the late 20s to early 30s had approximately 52 in 1926.  Also, the global total in or around 1926 was 996. (Martin: 1976, 15-16)

Source: Robert Hill (Ed.) The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Vol. VII, Appendix I, (University of California Press, U.S.A.: 1990) Deduced from UNIA records of registered Divisions listed as active between 1921-1930s, and/or reported activities to the Negro World. Please note that throughout the years there were variations in the amount of divisions per country. For example, Tony Martin in Race First, 1976 stated that according to UNIA Records, Cuba which is listed above as having 26 divisions in the late 20s to early 30s had approximately 52 in 1926. Also, the global total in or around 1926 was 996. (Martin: 1976, 15-16)