Garvey was inspired by his Maroon heritage, and by other Afrikan thinkers, the likes of Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Henry Highland Garnet, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, Duse Muhammed Ali, Booker T. Washington, and Hubert Harrison. But Garvey was unique, in that he was able to established a global mass movement with economic empowerment program. Yes, Garvey had a program; the majority of the militant and radical black leadership were more talk than action. Even to this day, those folks have failed to build or organize Afrikan people. The UNIA would become the organization charged with Afrikan Redemption, and Garvey would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement (which proclaims Garvey as a prophet).
The intent of the movement was for those of Afrikan ancestry to "redeem" Afrika and for the European colonial powers to leave it. His essential ideas about Afrika were stated in an editorial in the Negro World entitled "African Fundamentalism", where he wrote: "Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country…"