Amy Jaques Garvey born December 31, 1895 is one of the most overlooked Pan-Africanist of her age. Many of us who adhere to Garveyism (or Neo-Garveyism as I do) have been singularly focused on Marcus. Sexism? I think so. While it is understandable that at the time the sexual politics of the day would put women in the background even if they were putting in massive amounts of work. Today we ought not perpetuate such actions. In terms of Garveyism this means that the role of Amy Garvey ought to be put in it's proper place.
Marcus Garvey and the seminal work that most people are familiar with: Garvey and Garveyism, is as much a product of Amy as it was of Marcus. We should recall that Mr. Garvey was in prison when that book was compiled. It was edited by Mrs. Garvey. No Amy. No Philosophies and Opinions collection. Furthermore the book Garvey and Garveyism, where I believe (but cannot confirm) the use of the term Global White Supremacy was first put to paper by a Pan-Africanist. This is pretty important as it underscores Garveyism as an intellectual framework concerned with confronting a system by systematic means rather than seeking accommodation with or favors from, that system.
In an era where persons such as Bill Cosby are excoriated for "harsh" critiques of black behavior. We would find a less comedic form of the same criticisms from Amy, who held black men to what some would call impossibly high standards of behavior and thought.
[He] is always out of a job because he is too lazy to go out and make a job for himself; he prefers to hang around the white man's factory doors begging for a job, and oftimes gets what he deserves -a kick.
...ill bred children are a menace to any country because they develop into individuals who take on vices that often wreck their homes and endanger the safety of their communities
Garveyite women were of the opinion as said by Ula Yvette Taylor's The Veiled Garvey That if black men did not step up they ought to "be prepared to be put down and led by those who were better equipped."
I think that Amy is not given her just due also because it may be believed that she was merely repeating that which she heard or learned from Marcus. I don't agree with this position. I look at it like a Jazz musician. Once has to learn from those who have laid down the foundations but then one develops one's own style and become a master in ones own right. While I do not believe that Amy Garvey had the "epiphany on the boat" as Mr. Garvey had, Mrs. Garvey continued to develop Garveyism after her husband's passing and helped to cultivate modern Pan-Africanists and perhaps even helped bring DuBois into the fold in his later years. I say this because though Mr. Garvey and DuBois were not on anything close to "good terms," Mrs. Garvey had managed to open the line of communication to DuBois along with others.
So today lets take time out to recognize one of the most important women, indeed one of the most important people in the development of Pan-Africanism.