Why Was There An Attempt On This Black Leader's Life?

Marcus Garvey
Leslie Taylor-Grover
October 8, 2021

George Tyler burst into Marcus Garvey's office and shot him twice. Why had Tyler, a Black man, come to murder Garvey? After all, Garvey was well-respected in the Black community and as a leader he was all about empowering our people.

Allegedly, New York's white Assistant District Attorney, Edwin Kilroe, sent Tyler to kill Garvey. This isn’t confirmed – but Kilroe HAD recently failed to charge Garvey with trumped-up crimes and Garvey had written a scathing editorial about the man.

What happened to Tyler for attempting to assassinate Garvey?

He was arrested  the next day, but mysteriously died in custody. Supposedly he tried to escape and jumped 30 feet to his death! But there was more bad news for Garvey – the FBI targeted him for his undying commitment to Black liberation. 

Would the target on Garvey’s back finally scare him into silence?

Nope! Garvey kept riding for his people. Just one month later, in November 1919, Garvey's first ship, the S.S. Frederick Douglass, set sail.

Garvey's fight for freedom threatened white supremacy. Though much mystery surrounds his attempted assassination, we know our history – and there are countless examples of violence against Black leaders fighting for our liberation. 

Garvey’s perseverance toward liberation, no matter the hurdles along the way, inspires us in our ongoing fight for liberation!

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