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Marcus Garvey – 130th Earth Strong special selection

Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey / Up You Mighty Race - Recollections of Marcus Garvey

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a fallen hero

Loved, and venerated, then despised by his own people, Marcus Garvey is probably one of the most controversial political figure of the 20th century.

Since the 30’s, Marcus Garvey has been a very fascinating character. Various artists have sung about him, his activism, his prophecies, and his trading & shipping company, The Black Star Line. Below you will find a special selection of tunes we’ve made for the celebration of his 130th earth strong.

Jamworld876’s – Marcus Garvey’s playlist

The rise of Marcus Garvey

Despite being the son of a slave, he has been able to overcome social and racial hurdles to become a political leader, an entrepreneur, and an influential figure for religious movements such as the Nation of Islam and Rastafarism.

For the Rasta community, Marcus Garvey was regarded as a prophet. They believe that he predicted the coronation of Haile Selassie (Natty Dread, Issue No. 60, 2010). Besides, he preached repatriation of black people to the motherland Africa, which is one of the pillars of the Rastafari movement (BBC, 2009).

For the black community, in general, Marcus Garvey was a symbol of success. He inspired pride and achievement as the founder of the Black Star Line trading & shipping company. He also highly promoted culture and encouraged self-government amongst the black community (Natty Dread, Issue No. 60, 2010).

And fall…

Everything good thing eventually comes to an end. In 1921, the Black Star Line went bankrupt. His reputation was tarnished after he met with the leader of the KKK in 1922. The same year, Marcus was charged with mail fraud. He was then convicted and served 3 years in a federal prison in Atlanta before being deported to Jamaica (english.illinois.edu).

There, he pursued his political career as the founder and leader of the People’s Political Party. A couple years after losing the election for the Legislative Council against George Seymour-Seymour, —(Robert A. Hill)— and feeling rejected by the Jamaican people, he left the island for England. He died of a heart attack in 1940 .

Yet a National hero

He had fallen from his pedestal, and people were not ready yet for his radical yet progressive ideas in the 30’s. About three decades after his death, despite all odds due, he was named the first National Hero of Jamaica by former Prime Minister, Norman Washington Manley (jis.gov.jm).

Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey / Up You Mighty Race - Recollections of Marcus Garveymore
Jimmy Tucker - One God, One Aim, One Destinymore
Model of the Black Star Linermore
Black Star Line company recordmore

If you’d like to hear more music about him, you can check out our previous article about Marcus Garvey. Do not hesitate to leave a comment below, and share the post on social networks.