Marcus Garvey Receiving Keys to Kingston

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 15, 2012

Above: Marcus Mosiah Garvey

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, will be receiving the key to the city on Thursday — 125 years after his birth.

The presentation in Kingston will be made to Garvey’s son, Dr Julius Garvey, during a ceremony Thursday marking the 125th anniversary of his birth.

Kingston Councillor Ian Telfer called the honour a way to “pay homage to recognize the works of Marcus Garvey and not fall prey to what we’ve seen in the past where others, from other countries, other movements recognize our people prior to us making note ourselves.”

Garvey, who was born in St Ann’s Bay, is considered the leading Pan-Africanist of the 20th century.

He was the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica in 1914, eventually developing the body into a global organization. He later left to preach in the United States.

The movement continues to grow for Garvey to be pardoned by the US government, by which Garvey was imprisoned for mail fraud in 1923. His sentence was later commuted by President Calvin Coolidge in 1927.

A Kingston and St Andrew Corporation resolution further provides for Thursday to be named Marcus Garvey Day.

“Many of us have grown up with a greater sense of self because of the teachings of Marcus Garvey,” said Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke.

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