Garvey’s ideology of African nationalism was the common denominator that unified his organization. It revolved around three simple concepts, namely
1. Race first. Africans should unapologetically put their racial self-interest first, whether in literary and cultural expression, the writing of history, the dissemination of their own propaganda or anything else.
2. Self-reliance. African people must strive to “do for self,” especially in business and industry.
3. Nationhood. Building of political power was a necessity. Africa must be reclaimed from alien exploiters and should assume its rightful role as anchor for the whole Pan-African universe. The African diaspora should be recognized as an integral part of the African community as expressed in Garvey’s slogan of “Africa for the Africans, those at home and those abroad.”