From Slavery To Freedom Film Series Sheds Light On Marcus Garvey

Jamaica Marcus Garvey

In honor of Black History Month, the Heinz History Center and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host the From Slavery to Freedom Film Series, a selection of films celebrating the African-American experience. On Feb. 11th, the two organizations will present Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind, a feature documentary about an immigrant turned revolutionary.

Marcus Garvey is one of the most contradictory and enigmatic figures in American history, both visionary and manipulative, a brilliant orator and a pompous autocrat. He was a strong advocate of black self-help and unity among people of African descent, yet was willing to collaborate with the Ku Klux Klan. He inspired African Americans to support his economic enterprises with their hard-earned money, yet lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the mismanagement of those schemes.

Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind, the first comprehensive documentary to tell the life story of this controversial leader, uses a wealth of material from the Garvey movement-written documents, film and photographs-to reveal what motivated a poor Jamaican to set up an international organization for the African diaspora, what led to his early successes, and why he died lonely and forgotten. Among the most powerful sequences in the film are articulate, fiery interviews with the men and women whose parents joined the Garvey movement more than 80 years ago. Together they reveal how revolutionary Garvey’s ideas were to a new generation of African Americans,West Indians and Africans and how he invested hundreds of thousands of black men and women with a new-found sense of racial pride.

Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind will screen at 5:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood. The event is free.

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