Jamaica pays tribute to Garvey on 130th birthday anniversary

Thursday, August 17, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Government and people of Jamaica today honoured the life and legacy of the country's first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, with a floral tribute at National Heroes Park in Kingston.

The function, which included the laying of floral arrangements at Garvey's shrine, was to commemorate the 130th anniversary of his birth.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, who represented Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, hailed Garvey as a champion for social justice and education.

She said that for Garvey, education was a “powerful weapon” in improving the condition of people of African descent throughout the world.

“He taught us that the way to achieve black power and black prosperity was through education and not bullets,” she pointed out.

Grange noted that Garvey hosted educational programmes at Liberty Hall in Kingston for scores of people who later influenced national life.

The two-storey building, acquired in 1923 to serve as the centre of activities for the Kingston division of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), was the first meeting hall in Jamaica that was fully owned and operated by blacks.

Grange also lauded the Rastafarian movement for keeping the legacy of Garvey alive.

She said the ceremony served as an opportunity to reflect on the life of a man who made it his life purpose to offer the people of the African Diaspora a direction, hope and vision.

“Marcus Garvey lived a life with a mission. He… inspired black people to set high goals for themselves, and would have been proud to see the achievers of today,” she said.

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