A series of events marking the 125th birthday of Jamaica’s first national hero, the Rt Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, were announced at Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston Friday.
The events are scheduled from August 17-19 and will be attended by the Pan Africanist’s son, Dr Julius Garvey, who is slated to arrive in Jamaica on August 16, his 79th birthday.
Claude Sinclair, organiser of the event, said it was appropriate to have Garvey’s son at the function.
“We’ve been in negotiations for a year. I asked him (Dr Julius Garvey) to be here for his father’s 125th. I said to Dr Garvey, ‘wi going roll out the red carpet for you and make all of Jamaica give you the support that they should have given to your father’,” Sinclair told the gathering.
The celebrations include an official ceremony at Emancipation Park in St Andrew on August 17, Marcus Garvey’s birthday. Julius Garvey is expected to make a courtesy call on Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, as well as attend a floral tribute to his father’s shrine at National Heroes Circle in Kingston.
There will also be a tribute concert by Sinclair’s Big Stone Records in tandem with the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).
“This concert is to really rejuvenate and rekindle the fire of our black history,” Sinclair said.
Among the artistes scheduled to perform include Sizzla Kolonji, Nesbeth, Turbulence, Mackie Conscious, Fredlocks, Aaron Silk, Edi Fitzroy, Fabian Marley, Paul Elliot, EQ, Bongo Herman and the Warrior Love Band.
Born in St Ann, Garvey was a political leader, publisher, journalist and entrepreneur. He was a passionate believer in black repatriation to Africa.
His work has inspired groups such as the Nation of Islam and Rastafari and influenced artistes including Burning Spear, Culture and Bob Marley.
Garvey died in England on June 10, 1940. He was 52.