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As early as 1917, federal agents kept tabs on Marcus Garvey and his speeches, fearing his power of his black nationalist movement. Beginning in 1919, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover became fixated on Garvey, calling him a “notorious negro agitator” and using black informants to monitor the leader and dig up damaging information on him and his Universal Negro Improvement Association, the largest black organization in history.
Using the first black FBI agent, Hoover ruined Garvey’s Black Star Line, a shipping line operating throughout the African Diaspora, and ultimately sent Garvey to prison after a politically-motivated prosecution for mail fraud.
ANALYSIS - The black community has decades of experience being monitored, so this type of surveillance is nothing new...