By Sainey Faye
REMEMBERING MARCUS GARVEY ……Do you remember old Marcus Garvey?
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” ——Marcus Mosiah Garvey
“Whether we are of America, Canada, the West Indies, South and Central America, or Africa, the call for action is ours. The scattered children of Africa know of no country but their own dear motherland. We may make progress in America, the West Indies, and other foreign countries, but there will never be any real lasting progress until the Negro(African) makes of Africa a strong and powerful republic.”
” Let Africa be our guiding Star, our Star of Destiny! ”
(Axioms Of Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey.)
“Organization is a great power in directing the affairs of a race or
nation towards a given goal.To properly develop the desires that are
uppermost, we must concentrate through some system or method, and there is none better than organization.”
—– Marcus Mosiah Garvey
IN AFRICAN HISTORY/MARCUS GARVEY REMEMBERED -1887-1940.
AUGUST 17, 1887 — On this date Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Pan-African founder of the UNIA; was born in Jamaica. He helped inspire Africans worldwide to rise up and liberate Africa and themselves from subjugation, and mental slavery. His legacy still lives on, among Pan-Africanists & Freedom fighters. Africans worldwide remember his positive contributions to their ongoing struggle for emancipation and human dignity, freedom and justice.
His teachings and writings influenced many African nationalist and also
Pan-Africanist, both at home and abroad many of whom were students during the colonial era. Some became leaders in Africa and elsewhere in the East, the Caribbean and the West Indies.To name a few – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (1st President of Ghana), Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe (1st President of Nigeria), Dr. Julius Nyerere (1st President of Tanzania,) Jomo Kenyatta (1st President of Kenya); and many more in the Caribbean Isands.He inspired Pan-Africanism and also Black/African nationalism and pride in being African; to an oppressed people of Africans scattered, and suffering all over the world in the 20th century. He will always be remembered for his positive contributions by generations to come. Our beautiful Pan-African ‘Burning Spear’ of Jamaica could not have made a better song ….’Do You Remember Old Marcus Garvey’. The legendary Reggae star Bob Marley also made great songs about him.
But who was this man who challenged the oppressors, slave owners, and colonialism to get off the backs of his people; and let them live a life of freedom and dignity?
It is ironic, that barely weeks ago,the African heads of states were convened in the U.S.A., on the invitation of the son of an African who is also the sitting President on his second term of office. Garvey must have been smiling in his grave if they united as one, spoke with one voice, had a clear agenda and formed a continental united states of Africa. That’s what some of its diaspora, scattered suffering children would have love to see, and the masses on the continent are struggling to get rid of despots, so that they can move on faster with economic liberation. ‘Up You Mighty Race….You Can Accomplish What you will ‘ as he reminded the African masses worldwide!!! His famous words were ….” One God, One Aim, One Destiny.”
Amy J. Garvey published “Garvey and Garveyism” in 1963; which focuses on the life and teachings of Marcus Garvey as a leader of the UNIA, and as a husband and father. She helped popularize Marcus Garveys ideals worldwide.
Here are a few excerpts from her other book “The philosophies & Opinions Of Marcus Garvey Ch.4 p. 45-46 “ Three hundred years ago no Negroes were to be found in this Western Hemisphere, we were to be found exclusively in Africa. Just about that time a large number of White people (called Colonists) settled in America. They desired laborers to help them in the country’s development. At that time a man named John Hawkins (afterwards knighted) asked permission of Queen Elizabeth of England to take the Blacks from Africa into her colonies of America and the West Indies and use them in their development. The Queen asked what consideration you would give them.” Hawkins said “They will be civilized and Christianized in the colonies, for in their own country they are savages and barbarians.”
Under these pretenses the British Queen signed a charter empowering John Hawkins and others to remove from Africa millions of our fore parents-men, women and children—who were sold in the slave markets of the Southern States of America and the West Indies. Parents were separated from children, husbands from wives. All scattered in this Western Hemisphere to work in the cotton fields of the Southern States of America and the sugar plantations of the West Indies.
The Negroes (Africans) who were sold in the West Indies remained as slaves for 230 years and those sold in America for 250 years. The West Indian Negroes (Africans) were emancipated 85 years ago by Queen Victoria of England, and the American Negro (African) 58 years ago by Abraham Lincoln.
We-the Negroes (Africans) in this Western Hemisphere are descendants of those Africans who were enslaved and transported to the shores, where they suffered, bled and died to make us what we are today…Should we not therefore turn our eyes towards Africa, our ancestral home and free it from the thralldom(servitude) of alien oppression and exploitation?”
Garvey was influenced by earlier Pan-Africanist like Edward Wilmot Blyden of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the late Egyptian Muslim scholar Duse Muhammah Ali; who was an editor of ‘The African Times’ and the Orient Review in London, England. It was here that Garvey developed and learned whilst working with the papers African nationalism and many other aspects of African struggle. When he later moved to the U.S.A and founded the famous “Negro World newspaper he let Duse Ali as co-editor. Druse Ali also influenced many others like Elijah Muhammed, a founder of the Black Muslims of America; with which El Hadj Malick El Shabazz (Malcolm X) became a member. The now famous “Nation Of Islam” grew out of the factions of the earlier group of Muslims under Elijah Muhammad.Garvey therefore had been influenced by both the Christian and the Muslim faiths, it is no wonder that the Garveyite hymn contains Islamic wordings of “Allah” in their pledge of allegiance to one Africa, and the land is of great emphasis.
Another great influence he notes in ‘Philosophy And Opinions Of Marcus Garvey’ by his wife Amy Jacques Garvey is a book by an educator Booker T. Washington : “I read Up From Slavery by Booker T Washington and then my doom—if I may so call it—of being a race leader dawned upon me …I asked…….. ‘Where is the black man’s Government? Where is his King and his Kingdom? Where is his President, his country, and his ambassador, his army, his navy, his men of big affairs?’ I could not find them and then I declared, ‘I will help to make them.”