Letters to the Editor

Garvey's message

Wednesday, August 22, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

There is a tendency when we speak of Marcus Garvey to rattle off the facts of his life without clearly stating his beliefs and his message to his people. His message was: (i) race first, (ii) self-reliance, (iii) black theology and (iv)black nationalism.

Race first means pride in one's race and self-love instead of self-hate.That would come through self-knowledge. Self-reliance means mutual economic support and cooperation, a principle the Black Muslims used to create a billion-dollar business empire. It created also a National Negro Business League in the USA.

Black theology meant rejecting the race discrimination that was practised in the established church and the presentation of sacred images in the likeness of black people. Garvey organised the African Orthodox Church. Black nationalism meant black people taking control of state power and Africa being ruled by Africans.

For those who saw no future in Jamaica, he advocated the creation of a Jamaican state in Africa in the same way the Jews created Israel in Palestine. His social and political messages have inspired our country's progress; it is in the economic area that we need to move forward. This time let us not just take the narrative, let us also understand the message.

Orville Brown

New York, USA




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