Barbara is a fellow blogger and writer, filmmaker, creative and influential woman and wise Rastafarian. She always inspires me! On the centenary of Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) I am happy to share Barbara’s fascinating memories and her thoughts on Mr. Garvey here. Unfortunately, it seems the Jamaican education system will never incorporate Mr. Garvey’s philosophy into the curriculum. He will remain as a historical figure in school books, along with the other National Heroes – nothing much more.
BLACK PHILOSOPHY & IDEASIn 1972, newly returned to Jamaica fleeing 8 years of living with racial prejudice in England, I attended an event at the Sheraton Kingston hotel to hear a speech by Evonne Goolagong, an Australian half-Aboriginee girl who had just won Wimbledon. I did not know that whatever admiration I then had for this girl who had just made Black history, would pale by comparison with the eye-opening shock of hearing a frail, 82-year old woman speak about a true Black Hero whose life and philosophy she demanded that we follow. She was Mrs. Amy Jacques Garvey and the man she spoke of was her husband Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
I had never heard of Mr. Garvey before that day. My education in Black History had begun only a few years earlier in England, where racism made me absorb all the “Black is beautiful” information then being spread…
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