Sun | Jul 15, 2018

'Read Garvey' - Charles Jr gives charge to Tamarind Farm inmates

Published:Monday | February 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, state minister in the Ministry of National Security, is challenging inmates at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St Catherine to use National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey as a role model for improving their lives.

"Read Garvey," Charles Jr, last Wednesday, told 10 of the 15 inmates who graduated from Lifeskill 101, a 12-week programmed designed for inmates who are nearing completion of their sentence, as a guide to re-entry into society.

"Read Garvey, it will allow you to know who you are, sitting down there. Some of you don't know who you are, you think you are who people have told you, but you don't realise exactly who you are yet. Read Marcus Garvey and you'll understand what I mean," Charles Jr urged.

An attorney-at-law by training, the state minister for national security disclosed that he (Charles Jr) is probably still on the books as chief counsel for the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) founded by Jamaica's first national hero. His charge to learn from Garvey's life was directed at the general audience but "especially inmates".

In 1923, Garvey was convicted on federal charges of mail fraud in connection with the sale of stock in the UNIA's Black Star Line and sentenced to five years in prison. After being released, he was deported to Jamaica and in 1935 relocated to London.

In 1929, Garvey was elected councillor for the Allman Town division of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, representing the People's Political Party (PPP), which he had formed that year. However, in a political speech, he reportedly made reference to corrupt judges and was thereafter convicted of contempt of court. As a result of the prison sentence, Garvey lost his bid for the seat, but in 1930 was re-elected unopposed, along with two other PPP candidates.