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Marcus Mosiah Garvey

“Why Is It When A Leader Comes Dedicating the Life in a Fight For The Liberation Of Black People, The Leader Ends up Receiving the Ingratitude From The Black People the Leader Loves so Dearly ?” – Chief Elder, Osiris

Devon Evans

Text Box: “Our First National Hero Deserves Better”

By Devon Evans – Our Correspondent in Jamaica

Text Box: The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940), Jamaica’s First National Hero, is still not fully recognised in Jamaica, the country of his birth.
Despite being made the county’s ‘First National Hero’ in 1964, it is regrettable that, to date, not much has been done in Jamaica to both preserve and promote this most important part of our National Heritage.
It is no secret that Marcus Garvey is the best known of all the seven national heroes of Jamaica, to people of the world. The other Jamaican heroes are Sam Sharpe (1801-1832), George William Gordon (1820-1865), Paul Bogle (1822-1865), Nanny of the Maroons (birth not recorded; death believed to be 1734), Alexander Bustamante (1884-1977) and Norman Washington Manley (1893-1969)
But unfortunately, Garvey has earned greater respect in some countries than he has earned in his own native land. This was perhaps one of the reasons he finally left Jamaica and set up permanent residence at 53 Talgarth Road, Hammersmith, West London, in the UK, until his death in 1940.
Since Garvey was named a National Hero, along with the other national heros, successive Jamaican governments repeatedly made promises to the people about doing things to preserve the legacies of Garvey but, so far, the majority of the people remain disappointed over the very slow pace of proposed developments.
To the contrary, this cannot be said of national heroes Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley.
One of the clearest examples is the state of the birthplace of all three heroes. Bustamante’s birthplace in Blenheim, Hanover and Manley’s in Roxborough, Manchester, are both well kept with manicured lawns, beautiful flowers, attractive buildings, and so on. Garvey’s birthplace is in shambles and abandoned to a large extent by most of his Jamaican countrymen and women. The international community and Garvey’s supporters must be made aware of this almost ‘sacrilege’.
In 1977 a statue of Garvey was erected in the grounds of Lawrence Park, St. Ann’s Bay. By 1987, Jamaica observed Garvey’s 100th Birthday Anniversary. A Commemorative Plague was mounted at Garvey’s birthplace at 32 Market Street, St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. The plague was unveiled by Garvey’s cousin, Ms Evelyn Gilmore, and among the dignitaries, was Mrs Coretta Scott-King (1927-2006), late widow of Martin Luther King (1929-1968), the most accomplished African-American Civil Rights Leader.
The establishment of the Marcus Garvey Study Centre, which was scheduled to open on 15th December 1987 failed to materialised, although government funds were used to refurbished the Old Cotters Wharf Building in St. Ann’s Bay, to house the Centre. 
There was a change of government in 1999 and plans for the Marcus Garvey Study Centre were scrapped.  The apparent superficiality of accolades  continued in 1991 when Garvey birthplace was declared a National Monument; but to date nothing has been done to up-grade the premises to reflect this new National Status. On visiting the birthplace, one sees no Jamaican flag being flown, as should be the case in these matters. The premises are without running water or toilet facilities for the many people who visit the Garvey Shrine daily.
There are no street signs pointing to the location of Garvey’s birthplace; there are no personnel in place, equipped with the appropriate information, to guide visitors to the birthplace and, above all, the place is unsightly and clearly reflect an insult to Jamaica’s most illustrious son.
At Lawrence Park, where the Garvey Statue is located, the lights are turned on only once per year on the day of his birthday anniversary, when an official function is usually held.
In the meantime, the much mooted teaching of Garveyism in Jamaica’s schools, which began during the Michael Manley regime of 1970, is yet to become a reality.
Oswald Johnson, along with his children, live at Garvey’s birthplace. He cried “shame” on the Government and the local authorities for not paying more attention to the premises. Without a steady income, Mr. Johnson said that he had to be using some of his meagre resources to up-keep the premises as much as he could.
Chairman of the St. Ann’s Bay Home-Coming Committee, Herbert Murdock, who has returned to Jamaica after spending over 20 years in the USA, said he was appalled by the apparent neglect of Garvey’s local  legacies. 
Chairman Murdock wrote to the Jamaican Prime Minister, urging the Government to initiate a move towards greater recognition of the Country’s First National Hero.
Barry, a local resident, said “there is so much the population could gain from the promotion of Garvey’s legacies locally, like attraction of international tourism, local civic pride, sound identity and cultural education”.
Jamaicans at home should take note  the deep respect and venerations people at various parts of the world hold for one of St. Ann’s Bay’s sons. Examples are given, here, in the UK and the USA. Others, not mention, are those in Africa, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere.
Garvey’s International Celebrations
In The United Kingdom: The Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement in the United Kingdom, has designated the eighth month of the year, ‘Mosiah’, in honour of “the life and legacy of the Most Eminent Prophet and King, His Excellency Marcus Mosiah Garvey”. Mosiah Month Celebrations, as it is called, which is characterised by a range of family events throughout the month, “aimed at assessing the rich legacy of the Garvey Movement and extracting the lessons in our current quest for Afrikan self-determination.”
The Celebrations Open with  prayers and thanks giving’  at a Methodist Church, in London. 
‘Mosiah Children’s Day’ consisting of ring games, stories, quizzes, art & crafts & refreshments held at Harriet Tubman House, in London.
Marcus Garvey Organising Committee events included the Afryea Adofo (Pan African Youth Organisation)  examing  'The Legacy of Garvey From a Youth Perspective'; to 'Learning from Garvey's Approach to Business'
Celebrants are encouraged  to  wear Red, Black and / or Green during the celebration periods.
The USA: On 17th August 2006 and thereafter on the same date of the month each year, The First Way Institute Of Afrikan Mysticism / Sankofa Repatriation Movement, “will give Praise, Honour, and Respect To that Divine Spiritual Prophet, The Honourable Marcus Garvey, as we will Fast until 1pm that day, light candle, and speak the prophet words on his birthday in his Honour, as we will continue to advance his teaching through action, advocating our Right to return Home to Afrika as the next established State, with our Enslaved Ancestors Reparation.”
Osiris, Chief Elder, Sankofa Repatriation Movement Hierophant, Teacher Of Ancient Black Theology, continued: “We will remain committed to advancing, without ignoring or changing one jot or tittles of his Dream and Vision, wrapped up in his philosophy and opinion, telling us what Black Folks Need to do in order to Save The Black Afrikan Nation, as he advocated the return of the Lost Children back to their Enslaved Ancestors Home Land and a Pan-Afrikan acquaintance with the Lost children Kith and Kin in Afrika, knowing that such a relationship represents the resurrection of a once lost and dying Black Afrikan Nation, as well as the Land, Afrika.”
The Chief Elder asked, as many are also asking – “Why is it that here is a Man of Sacred Divinity, came to point the way to Freedom for Black people, able to attract the attention and Love From the Black World and capable of defying the Black enemies from within that Black world, yet until this day, get not the honour and respect he deserves from the Black Nation?”
The consensus of those who were interviewed was that the international Black, African and other interested communities needed to actively encourage the Government of Jamaica to do more for the Garvey visual and intellectual legacies on the Island. A Jamaica Embassy or High Commission is based in most countries. People should send e-mails to the head of the missions in effect. Others might have more effective ways of getting through to the Jamaican Government and other well placed individuals.
In honour of The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s memory and his countless legacies - “We declare to the World. Africa must be free!”
__________________________
Editor’s notes:
Devon Evans is an award winning Journalist based in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, who writes and broadcasts for Jamaica’s media. He is also Self-Help News resident Correspondent. 
Devon may be contacted via selfhelpnews@ubol.com or direct to devonevans@ubol.com  Telephone: 1-876-855-8623     
[Click here to See About Devon Evans]

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Last up-dated  December 2008

 

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Britain Commemorates  the Bicentenary

 of  The Slave Trade Abolition  Act 1807.

 

One of the Black Community’s Contributions -

 

“Cries of Our Kidnapped Afrikan Ancestors”

 

 

 

________________

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“All faith is FALSE, all faith is TRUE.

TRUTH is the shattered mirrors strewn In myriad bits; while each BELIEVES

His LITTLE BIT the whole to own.”

 

From “The Kasidah of Hji Abu el-Yezdi”, as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton

 

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(Legends in their fields)          

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The Environment

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Music & Entertainment

Youth & the Survival Game in Britain (YSGB)

Short Story &   Writers’ Forum

What is Pan-Africanism

Editorial

Resident and Guest Correspondents

 

______________

1807-2007

 

Britain Commemorates  the Bicentenary

 of  The Slave Trade Abolition  Act 1807.

 

One of the Black Community’s Contributions -

 

“Cries of Our Kidnapped  Ancestors”

 

 

 

________________

Beliefs and Commentaries

 

“All faith is FALSE, all faith is TRUE.

TRUTH is the shattered mirrors strewn In myriad bits; while each BELIEVES

His LITTLE BIT the whole to own.”

 

From “The Kasidah of Hji Abu el-Yezdi”, as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton