Amy Ashwood Garvey (1897-1969) is the Jamaican born feminist, playwright, Pan-Africanist activist and ex wife of Marcus Garvey. Amy was a director of the Black Star line Steamship Corporation, and along with her former husband Marcus she founded the Negro World newspaper. She was one of the pioneering Black women journalists and publishers of the 20th century.
Amy founded the precursor organisation to the West African students (WASU) in London in 1924. She organised women’s organisations in West Africa and the Caribbean and became an important figure in the anti-racist movement in England working with Claudia Jones. She also helped to establish the International African Service Bureau and the London Afro-Women’s centre.
I just loved reading about Amy; she was such an inspirational, resilient woman who showed a great passion for women’s rights. Let’s face it, she was a bad-ass woman, I mean she just had to be given that she was operating in a very male (especially a white male) dominated society. Amy
- opened the Florence Mills Social Club a jazz club on Carnaby Street, which became a gathering spot for supporters of Pan-Africanism
- was involved in organising the first session of the 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester in 1945 where she was only one of 2 two female presenters
- gave talks to women’s groups
- helped to set up the “Afro Peoples Centre” in Ladbroke Grove in 1953
- co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Coloured People In the wake of the 1958 Notting Hill race riots
I was particularly intrigued to learn that Ashwood had a relationship with a certain William Tubman the president of Liberia. I smiled when I read this as it reminded me of the time when I met one of the late prime minsters’ of Dominica, Pierre Charles… I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination
Ohhh I almost forgot, she is now one of my NoMo sheros, yep she didn’t have any children.
Well you can research more about Amy Ashwood Garvey at your leisure but for now I will leave you with a few of her quotes…