After World War I, Garvey emerged as the militant voice of "Africa for the Africans." His message of racial unity (and segregation) was welcomed by blacks and confirmed by other nationalist movements of the day. On this tidal wave of support, Garvey was able to raise several million dollars and establish Harlem's thirty or so square blocks, where UNIA was headquartered, as the capital of the black world. But as quickly as Garvey rose, he was toppled. He went from obscurity to messiah to convicted felon within five years. He was arrested by federal authorities in 1922 and charged with misusing funds intended to establish Black Star, an African American steamship company whose intended purpose was the repatriation of African Americans to Africa. He was sent to a federal penitentiary in February 1925. After serving two years of his five-year sentence, he was deported back to Jamaica, never to return.
These speeches and articles are Garvey's thoughts on everything from education to miscegenation, to prejudice, radicalism, government, power, poverty, slavery, propaganda, war, and ideals. Amy Jacques–Garvey, Garvey's second wife, published Philosophy and Opinions "to keep a personal record of the opinions and sayings of my husband... . In order to give to the public an opportunity of studying and forming an opinion of him; not from inflated and misleading newspaper and magazine articles, but from expressions of thoughts enunciated by him in defense of his oppressed and struggling race; so that by his own words he may be judged...."