Remembering Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Bronx Square To Be Renamed After Jamaican Hero Marcus Garvey

The late Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr.

CaribWorldNews, BRONX, NY, Fri. Aug. 14, 2009: A cross-section of an area in a Caribbean-populated neighborhood in the Bronx, NY, is set to be renamed after Jamaican-born, national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr.

The four corners of Gun Hill Road and White Plains Road in the Bronx will be renamed the `Marcus Garvey Square` next weekend, City Councilman Larry Seabrook revealed Thursday.

The councilman and chairman of the Civil Rights Committee in the New York City Council, said he will host elected officials and foreign dignitaries at the street renaming on Saturday, August 22nd.

`I worked with my colleagues in the City Council to rename the four corners of Gun Hill Road and White Plains Road to `Marcus Garvey Square` because not only is Marcus Garvey a Jamaican national hero, he is an African-American hero; he was also an accomplished entrepreneur, journalist and publisher who came to this country and founded a movement that empowered all people of African heritage,` Seabrook said yesterday. `His impact on the progress of Africans, African Americans and all Pan-Africans in the Diaspora is phenomenal and we must honor his legacy.`

Dr. Julius Garvey, son of the late Marcus Garvey, is set to deliver the keynote address while Jamaican Consul General, the Honorable Geneive Brown Metzger; the Jamaica Progressive League; and the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association NY, Inc. will also participate in this historic special event.

`I am looking forward to congregating with the community as we celebrate the life of this great man. Coming together as a people and honoring his life`s work is the highest tribute we can pay.` added Councilman Seabrook.

The street renaming will come some five days after Garvey`s birthday. The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League founder was born on August 17, 1887 and was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, and orator. Garvey was found guilty of using the mail service to defraud and on June 23, 1923, he was sentenced to five years in prison. He initially spent three months in the Tombs Jail awaiting approval of bail. While on bail, he continued to maintain his innocence, travel, speak and organize the UNIA.

After numerous attempts at appeal were unsuccessful, he was taken into custody and began serving his sentence at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary on February 8, 1925. Two days later, he penned his well known `First Message to the Negroes of the World From Atlanta Prison.`

Garvey`s sentence was eventually commuted by President Calvin Coolidge. Upon his release in November 1927, Garvey was deported via New Orleans to Jamaica.

He died on June 10, 1940 after two strokes. Because of travel conditions during World War II, he was interred at Kensal Green Cemetery in London. In 1964, his remains were exhumed and taken to Jamaica. On 15 November 1964, the government of Jamaica, having proclaimed him Jamaica`s first national hero, re-interred him at a shrine in National Heroes Park. Rastafarians consider Garvey a religious prophet, and sometimes even the reincarnation of Saint John the Baptist.

4 comments

  1. Nice write up temple… And this is good news!

    So what did Garvey do during his last 13 Jamaica year? You rarely hear anything about this period… Did he write? I suppose that I can research it myself but you might already know

  2. I actually cut and pasted this from a local paper. I was rushing and have to post the link ASAP. It’s from the CaribWorldNews.

    I don’t know what he did in those final years. BM: I didn’t know that either. Although, there is a book called the Holy Piby which you can get online that explains some of that. It talks about how Garvey didn’t often speak about religion, but how he demonstrated his value by the focus of his message and his commitment to Africa — particularly Ethiopia. One of the more interesting subplots to this is that there were Black from Harlem who left the US to go to Ethiopia to fight against the Italians. I haven’t been able to dig up much more than traces on this — but 1 good story would be enough.

  3. Thanks for this piece T3. It’s great to see bro. Garvey get his due. He was an incredible leader and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. I knew that Rastas held him in high regard but not as the re-incarnation of St. John.

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