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).
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).