Rallying round Marcus Garvey

Rallying round Marcus Garvey

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer writer

Sunday, July 21, 2013

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THE son of South African anti-Apartheid icon Steve Biko is among the guests for a two-day festival marking the 116th anniversary of Pan-African giant Marcus Garvey.

Nkosinathi Biko will attend the event, scheduled for Rio Nuevo Village in St Mary, starting August 17, Garvey's birthday.

It concludes the following day with a tribute concert featuring several top dancehall/reggae acts.

Big Stone Records are main promoters of the event which will also have Garvey's son Dr Julius Garvey and Pastor Ray Hagins as guest speakers. Claude Sinclair of Big Stone Records spoke to the Sunday Observer about Biko's attendance.

"Marcus Garvey is the father of black consciousness, and we see it fit to invite the son of Steve Biko who was a scholar of Marcus Garvey," he said. "We want to do this every year, bringing the different people who were motivated by Marcus Garvey, to show the people that Garvey is not just a national hero in Jamaica, but an international hero."

Steve Biko is a martyr of the anti-Apartheid movement. He was a vocal opponent of the South African government's policy of racial discrimination and division, a stance that cost him his life.

He died in police custody in 1977.

The St Ann-born Garvey was a mainstay of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City during the 1920s. Imprisoned by the United States government for mail fraud in 1923, he was deported to Jamaica four years later.

In 1935, he moved to London where he died from a stroke in 1940.

The Jamaican government brought his body back to Jamaica in 1964. He was named the country's first national hero that year.

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