Marcus Mosiah Garvey (Part ten)

Influence

The UNIA flag uses three colors: red, black and green.
The UNIA flag uses three colors: red, black and green.

Schools, colleges, highways, and buildings in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States have been named in his honor. The UNIA red, black, and green flag has been adopted as the Black Liberation Flag. Since 1980, Garvey’s bust has been housed in the Organization of American States‘ Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C.

Malcolm X‘s parents, Earl and Louise Little, met at a UNIA convention in Montreal. Earl was the president of the UNIA division in OmahaNebraska, and sold the Negro World newspaper, for which Louise covered UNIA activities.[57]

Kwame Nkrumah named the national shipping line of Ghana the Black Star Line in honor of Garvey and the UNIA. Nkrumah also named the national football team the Black Stars as well. The black star at the center of Ghana’s flag is also inspired by the Black Star.[58]

Flag of Ghana
Flag of Ghana

During a trip to Jamaica, Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King visited Garvey’s shrine on 20 June 1965 and laid a wreath.[59] In a speech, he told the audience that Garvey “was the first man of color to lead and develop a mass movement. He was the first man on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny. And make the Negro feel he was somebody.”[60]

King was a posthumous recipient of the first Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights on 10 December 1968, issued by the Jamaican Government and presented to King’s widow. In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Garvey on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.[61]

The Obama Administration declined to pardon Garvey in 2011, writing that its policy is not to consider requests for posthumous pardons.[62]

There have been several proposals to make a biopic of Garvey’s life. Those mentioned in connection with the role of Garvey have included the Jamaican-born actor Kevin Navayne[63][64] and the British-born actor of Jamaican descent Delroy Lindo.[65][66]

Garvey as religious symbol

Rastafari

Rastafari consider Garvey to be a religious prophet, and sometimes even the reincarnation of Saint John the Baptist. This is partly because of his frequent statements uttered in speeches throughout the 1920s, usually along the lines of “Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand!”[67]

His beliefs deeply influenced the Rastafari, who took his statements as a prophecy of the crowning of Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Early Rastas were associated with his Back-to-Africa movement in Jamaica. This early Rastafari movement was also influenced by a separate, proto-Rasta movement known as the Afro-Athlican Church that was outlined in a religious text known as the Holy Piby—where Garvey was proclaimed to be a prophet as well. Garvey himself never identified with the Rastafari movement,[68] and was, in fact, raised as a Methodist who went on to become a Roman Catholic.[citation needed]

Moorish Science Temple of America

Members of the Moorish Science Temple of America honor Marcus Garvey as a “Saint John the Baptist like” forerunner to their organization’s Prophet founder, Noble Drew Ali, as evident in Chapter 48:2-3 of their holy scripture:

“John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus in those days, to warn and stir up the nation and prepare them to receive the divine creed which was to be taught by Jesus. In these modern days there came a forerunner, who was divinely prepared by the great God-Allah and his name is Marcus Garvey …” [69]

Memorials

Garvey is remembered through a number of memorials worldwide. Most of them are in Jamaica, England, and the United States; others are in Canada and several nations in Africa.

A Jamaican 20-dollar coin shows Garvey on its face.
A Jamaican 20-dollar coin shows Garvey on its face.

Jamaica

Garvey was given major prominence as a national hero during Jamaica’s move towards independence. As such, he has numerous tributes there. The first of these is the Garvey statue and shrine in Kingston’s National Heroes Park. Among the honors to him in Jamaica is his name upon the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs; a major highway bearing his name and the Marcus Garvey Scholarship tenable at the University of the West Indies sponsored by The National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, Inc (NAJASO) since 1988.

Garvey’s birthplace, 32 Market Street, St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, has a marker signifying it as a site of importance in the nation’s history.[70] His likeness is on the 20-dollar coin and 25-cent coin. Garvey’s recognition is probably most significant in Kingston, Jamaica.

Africa

Garvey’s memory is maintained in several locations in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya, and Enugu, Nigeria have streets bearing his name, while the township of KhayelitshaCape Town, South Africa, put his name on an entire neighborhood. YenagoaBayelsa StateNigeria has a library named for him. A bust of Garvey was created and is on display at a park in the central region in Ghana, along with one of Martin Luther King.

England

Garvey’s influence is acknowledged through a number of sites in England, most of which are in London:

  • The Marcus Garvey Library is inside the Tottenham Green Leisure Centre building in North London.
  • There is a street named Marcus Garvey Way in Brixton, London.
  • blue plaque marks 53 Talgarth Road, Hammersmith, London, as his residence.

    GARVEY, Marcus (1887–1940) Pan-Africanist Leader, died here, 53 Talgarth Road, W14. [Hammersmith and Fulham 2005]

  • The Marcus Garvey Centre in Lenton, Nottingham, England, is named in his honour
  • There is a statue of Garvey in Willesden Green Library, Brent, London.
  • There is a memorial park behind Hammersmith Road, named after him called Marcus Garvey Park.[71]
  • The West Brompton train station restroom contains a street artist’s rendition of a portrait of Garvey.

United States

The United States is the country where Garvey not only rose to prominence but also cultivated many of his ideas.

The Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City, is home to Marcus Garvey Village, whose construction was completed in 1976[72]. This building complex is home to the first energy storage microgrid at an affordable housing property in the country. It will use the energy storage system to cut electricity costs, improve grid reliability, and provide backup power during extended outages[73].

Harlem, in New York City, was the site of the UNIA Liberty Hall and many events of significance in Garvey’s life. There is a park bearing his name and a New York Public Library branch dedicated to him, as well. A major street bears his name in the historically African-American Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

A Marcus Garvey Cultural Center, University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, Colorado). The National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations Inc. (NAJASO) founded on 4 July 1977 in Washington DC), based in the United States, named Annual Scholarship tenable at the University of the West Indies since 1988, the Marcus Garvey Scholarship. Marcus Garvey Festival every year on the third weekend of August at Basu Natural Farms, in Pembroke Township, Illinois. The Universal Hip Hop Parade held annually in Brooklyn on the Saturday before his birthday to carry on his use of popular culture as a tool of empowerment and to encourage the growth of Black institutions. Since 1980, Garvey’s bust has been housed in the Organization of American States‘ Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C.

Canada

In Canada, Marcus Garvey Day has held annually on 17 August in Toronto; there is a Marcus Garvey Centre for Unity, in Edmonton, Alberta, and the Marcus Garvey Centre for Leadership and Education in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto. His 1919 Toronto UNIA Headquarters (home to the School of African Philosophy) located at 355 College St, Toronto is today a Roots Reggae nightclub called Thymeless Bar & Grill. The original UNIA markings are at the foot of the front door.

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