This week end, check out Reggae 5 tracks in loving memory of Marcus Garvey for his birthday
A leader and activist of Black Nationalism and Pan African Movements
Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica on August 17th in 1887. He was one of the first black activists, witnessing the ugly sides of racism from the very childhood. His profound interest in black race, study of black people in other countries led him to foundation of Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica in 1914 along with African Communities League.
The goal of these organizations was establishment of “worldwide brotherhood among people of black race, spread of racial pride and love, reestablishment of the greatness of fallen race, spread of Christian values among indigenous African tribes, foundation of universities, colleges and schools for further development of education and cultural level of black children, support of international commercial and industrial relationships.”
He was developing the ideas of pan-African philosophy, which later on became known as “garveyism.” He was a successful businessman and talented orator. He also had a huge impact on people professing Islam.
Steel Pulse pays tribute to Marcus Garvey and relates the marking fact of Black History in the song “Worth His Weight In Gold” featured on their album “True Democracy”, released in 1982. David Hinds sings: “Remember when we used to dress like kings, conquerors of lands, conquerors of sea… I curse the day they made us slave”
His followers, few at the beginning, Marcus Garvey tried to convince that the primary necessity of blacks is foundation of their own nation and called for return of all descendants of blacks back to Africa. According to Garvey, everything black was worthy and everything white unworthy. Alienation from white culture became even stronger when Garvey founded “African orthodox Church”. He claimed that God, Holy Mary and angels were black while calling Devil “white”.
When Ethiopian prince Haile Selassie I was crowned in 1930 and became an emperor, this event was considered as one of the Garvey’s prophecies to become true. His death was not just strange but ironic. He died from an extensive stroke right after he finished reading an obituary that he prepared for himself shortly before.
In 1975, Reggae singer Burning Spear released his third studio album “Marcus Garvey”, named after the Jamaican National Hero and Rastafari movement prophet, on Island Records.
Garvey was considered by some as a prophet of Rastafarian movement. He was brought up in accordance of the ideas of Methodism (one of the Protestant movements), that’s why his own ideas were based on the principles of Jamaican movement. Many believed that he was a reincarnation of John the Baptist.
Even though Marcus Mosiah Garvey is not as well renowned as his peers, he is highly respected amongst the Rastafarian Community and was declared the first National Hero of Jamaica in 1964. He’s gone but he’s not forgotten. This is why, from now and then many are the artists who praise him and pay him tribute in their songs.
“Old Marcus Garvey” performed by Burning Spear on the album “Marcus Garvey”, released in 1975. Burning Spear brings forth the fact that Marcus Garvey is probably the most underrated and overlooked figure who played an important role in Black history.
On heavy Hip Hop flavored Dancehall nyabinghi beat, Capleton delivers “Don’t Dis The Trinity.” In this steady track, he reminds us not to disrespect Marcus Garvey and Selassie I.
Written by Emin Bayramov & Krazy Gyal