Broadside for the Black Star Line


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Broadside for the Black Star Line
This item highlights African American employment and industry in Delaware.
A double-sided broadside with photographic images of the S.S. Frederick Douglass and the S.S. Phillis Wheatley. Underneath the image are the words “Colored Men! Would you like to be Ship Masters? Engineers? Wireless Operators?” Also underneath the image is a quote from H. A. Price and additional contact information. Printed below the image is “Invest Your Money in the Most Colossal / Most Prosperous Negro Industry of All Times…”

This broadside was distributed by the Black Star Line company, a steamship corporation established in 1919 by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey, the leader of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Garvey incorporated Black Star Line (BSL) under the State Laws of Delaware in 1919. He believed a version of Pan-Africanism, a strong link bringing together the peoples of the African Diaspora with the continent of Africa itself, would result in more successful trading and thus, wealth and capital that would improve the lot of Black people everywhere. The FBI, who relentlessly investigated Garvey as the foremost black “agitator” of his day, seized and destroyed many of the papers of the UNIA.
The SS. Frederick Douglass
The SS. Phillis Wheatley
African-American Industry
Issued by: Black Star Line, Inc.
Printed by: The Hunt Printing Company
Physical Dimensions: 11.25" x 8.5"
Digital Dimensions: 473 x612px
Ink on Paper
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Photograph and digital image © Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Not for reproduction or publication.
The copyright and related rights status of this item has not been evaluated. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available (noted above in Publisher and Identifier) for more information.