Much has been written about the Harlem connection between Jamaica’s national hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey and his global reach throughout the world.
With a mission of “One Aim, One God, One Destiny,” it was in the Black mecca of Manhattan Garvey mobilized millions to join his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
However, recently at Medgar Evers College, the Pan-African proponent’s influence in Brooklyn overshadowed much of a discussion which defined his mission to empowering a diaspora steeped in assimilation of white American traditions.
“Garvey walked the streets of Brooklyn,” Waldaba Stewart, former New York State senator and current senior fellow at the Caribbean Research Center said.
“There was a Brooklyn chapter of the UNIA and he was very active here,” Stewart added.
In addition to explaining the aim and purpose of Garvey’s Back-to-Africa movement formed as UNIA; its global membership throughout the United States, South and Central America – especially in Brazil – and although he never set foot in the state of Arkansas had 45 chapters of his organization there and other aspects of the immigrant’s pioneering achievement Garvey’s forward-thinking contribution were recalled.
Following a film screening of the documentary “Marcus Garvey: A Giant In Black Politics” Stewart along with state committeeman Cory Provost and Garvey’s younger of two sons Dr. Julius Garvey made comments.
Born in Jamaica, Dr. Garvey explained his memories of the iconic individual he knew as a father. Although the publisher, businessman and national hero departed by the time he was eight years old he said he knew from his mother’s teachings and guidance from his elder brother Marcus Jr. that his dad was unique.
After recounting his parent’s life in England and later Jamaica, an 11-year-old charter school student approached the microphone to ask “why Jamaicans did not accept Garvey’s message when he returned there?”
It is a question many Jamaicans still ponder and one which might be regarded with recompense since naming Garvey with honor after achieving independence from Britain with the nation’s highest title of first national hero.
A woman in the audience who identified herself as Samms, said her family were neighbors to the Garveys when they lived at Jacques Road in Kingston.
Dr. Garvey seemed surprised and happy to see his long-time Jamaican neighbor in the borough.
More than anything else, Brooklyn residents seemed particular excited to see the offspring of “such a great man.”
“I am surprised that so many people do not know Dr. Garvey because he is always in the community,” Vena Baker, a Bronx resident said.
“You know him because you are community-minded, conscious and probably a true Garveyite,” Winsome Charlton, a visitor from West Palm Beach, Florida said.
The film was shown as part of the “On A Mission: Maroon To Rasta” Film series presentation by the Caribbean cultural Theatre.
MARLEY AMONG TOP FIVE DEAD CELEBRITY MONEY EARNERS
There is something to be said for the claim that dying is sometimes financially better for some. At least for acclaimed kings, a recent report confirms that three music royals made the top five highest earning list in 2012.
From the latest report from Forbes Magazine, bill collectors owed by the king of pop, Michael Jackson are now paid in full after his death and last year’s wind-fall from his earnings. The entertainer who in latter years was dogged by reports of being broke topped their list of top-earning dead celebrities.
According to the latest list from the respected financial publication, Jackson’s earning amounted to well over $160 million.
Behind him, the king of rock & roll, Elvis Presley tallied $55 million.
The King of reggae took third place with an irie $17 million.
The king of Broadway musicals – Richard Rodgers boosted his already bulging solo profits and with collaborations with Lorenz Hart edged into the coveted position.
Two British music royals – former Beatles’ John Lennon and George Lennon rounded out the top five accounting for sales from 63 million Beatles’ albums in the US alone.
Ironically, further down the list, the king of hip-hop, Tupac Shakur and pop princess Whitney Houston comprise the buried achievers.
According to Forbes Magazine, “The iconic reggae singer might find it strange that his name has become part of a capitalist enterprise.”
In addition Rollingstone Magazine reported that “along with the 75 million albums the reggae legend has sold over the past 20 years, Marley’s estate has diversified with the launch of the Marley Beverage company and House of Marley, which makes eco-friendly audio and lifestyle products. “
Marley died from cancer May 11, 1981 at age 36.
Catch You On The Inside!