” A people without the knowledge of its history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey.
August is the birth month of Jamaica’s first National Hero, Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey and without prejudice, I suggest that this is when most Jamaicans remember him. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery” words by Marcus Garvey and put to music by another famous parishioner Hon. Bob Marley, are echoed daily.
Fortuitously, this year marks the centenary of Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Convention of Negro Peoples of the World held in New York August 1920, with an attendance of approximately 2,000 people, including delegates from 22 countries. It was at this conference that the document “Declaration of Rights of the Negro peoples of the World” was adopted, complete with 54 recommendations. This was one of the world’s earliest documents about the rights of humans!
Marcus Garvey’s contribution to world history, especially the recognition of the Negro race, is impatient of debate and his famous words, “The black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness” highlight the achievements of the race.
Akufo Addo, president of Ghana, reminded us of the influence of Marcus Garvey in Africa, especially Ghana, and its first president, Kwame Nkrumah who was exposed to Garvey’s message in his student days at university in America. Indeed, the flag of Ghana bears the image of the star of Garvey’s first shipping line, the Black Star Liner.
So, as we remember the contribution of Garvey, we are aware that we have a story to tell because in the words of the African Proverb, “Until the lions have their own historians the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
Another parishioner, Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, was born at Nine Miles and on a personal note, as an organist, please indulge me, his music Three Little Birds, finds favour at weddings and funerals.
In summary, among his many citations my favourite are:
Declaration by the BBC of his song One Love as the Song of the Century and Time Magazine declaring his album Exodus as the Album of the Millennium.
This article would not be complete without mention of the DNA of Senator Kamala Harris who the United States Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden has selected as his running mate. Senator Harris’ father, Professor Donald Harris, is from Orange Hill, Brown’s Town and he was influenced by his grandmother Miss Chrishy the shop keeper. He went to what is now Brown’s Town Comprehensive High School, then on to Titchfield High School and then to the University of the West Indies formerly University College of the West Indies. He was an acolyte at St. Mark’s Church in Brown’s Town.
A friend sent to me from social media a proposed menu for the White House 2021 banquet with rice and peas, jerk chicken, curried goat, escoveitched fish and bread pudding for dessert. I objected to that dessert and suggested instead blue drrr… clothes!