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Garvey's legacy, not statue, is cause for concern

Published:Wednesday | June 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM


This little country of ours has produced many notable sons and daughters, perhaps none more consequential than a man born in the garden parish of St. Ann - a man by the name of Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Mr Garvey, who was the forerunner to Pan-Africanists and civil rights luminaries, the likes of King, Malcolm X, Lamumba and Nyerere, was essentially the lone voice in the wilderness during the early 20th century, pushing the idea of black consciousness and pride in all things black.

In spite of challenges and efforts of subterfuge to undermine him, Marcus Garvey, nevertheless, rose to legendary heights. Those heights, and more importantly, his examples, have left behind what can only be described as a deep well of a legacy. Sadly, as a people and as a country, we have failed to drink from this well.

Today, with the 130th anniversary of his birth fast approaching, it seems that all there is to remind us of Garvey is his image on our currency and statues which may not 'fully represent him'. Garveyism is yet to be taught in schools on a full-time basis; books by Garvey are not necessarily national bestsellers; and worst yet, how we treat each other, as children of Africa, is approaching utter disdain.

Black pride, as well as self-pride, is seemingly on the decline. With all of this staring us in the face, there are more worrying things to be alarmed about than a statue.

Noel Matherson