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Greetings On-Line Family

Today, August 17th is the birth date of Marcus "Messiah" Garvey and all around the globe many are celebrating Mr. Garvey's birthday, with celebrations filled with lectures, poetry and music.  It's funny that many of us are unfamiliar with Mr. Garvey and his works, therefore I have briefly described some important facts about Mr. Garvey and about his works.  Further, you will find below a nice piece written by U-Shaka, Inc. - www.ushaka.com, about Garvey that also describes his works. 

 

 Marcus Garvey was born in St. Ann's Bay, St. Ann, Jamaica in 1887, and he was known as a black Prophet, Philosopher and an extremely influential speaker.  His vision, which he was determined to carry out was the liberation of his people.  Many believed he was a Messiah, a true Prophet, giving the prophesy of the coming of the redeemer who was going to "deliver the black man from bondage, and who had come to save a people who for centuries had been exploited by another race".  He promoted faith in the Almighty Creator of Africa and the Black race, "who created his Black sons and daughters in his own image and likeness".  

As I learned more about Garvey, it was clear to see he gave millions of Caribbean people a sense of pride and so enabling them to take their place in the world, Garvey stated "Never allow anyone to convince you of inferiority as a man.  Rise in your dignity to justify all that is noble in your manhood/womanhood as a race".  

Garvey dignified African beauty and promoted a "Back to Africa" campaign with a plan for resettlement in Liberia.  He was truly a powerful speaker and when he spoke it was electrifying, he was known to have a "silver tongue", and with this tongue and the words that came from his lips he inspired 11 million people to come into his Association -  The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and African Communities League (ACL).  Garvey organized the UNIA-ACL to promote a spirit of race, Love and Pride; to administer to and assist the needy; to reclaim the fallen of the race; to establish universities, colleges and secondary schools for the further education and culture of the boys and girls of the race; and to conduct a worldwide commercial and industrial intercourse (to fund a strong Negro nation.)  The motto for the UNIA- ACL was/is "One God!  One Aim!  One Destiny", the association sought to unite "all the people of African ancestry of the world into one great body to establish a county and Government absolutely their own."  He promoted a steamship company "The Black Star Steamship, Co."  that would provide transportation for blacks to return to Africa.  

Garvey traveled everywhere observing the working conditions and the living conditions of blacks throughout the region.  He visited Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Columbia,  Venezuela, London, and especially all across the West Indies; and clearly these poor conditions saddened him and made him more determined to obtain his goals.  He also witnessed in the West Indies the petty divisions that divided the islands, which he spoke about in his lectures and speeches "...You all know how the different West Indians despise each other, how the Jamaican despise the Barbadian and the Barbadian despise the Jamaican, and all the other islands hate each other.  The UNIA was founded in 1914 after my experience of travel in South America, in Central America, in all the West Indian Islands and in Europe seeing the need for greater unity amongst the black people of the World."  "Therefore, the American Negroes and the West Indian Negroes are one, and they are relics of the great African race which was brought into the Western World and kept here for 400 years".

Marcus Garvey through his plight to accomplish his goals endeavored lots of difficulties, as with every prophet throughout time.  Undoubtedly, it seemed he was loathed, criticized,  persecuted, maligned, scorned, and was even convicted (which his sentence was commuted by President Coolidge), and deported, but he stayed strong, held on to his celestial work with courage, resoluteness and strength, which enabled him to rise continually from whatever misfortunes he suffered.  He successfully built and consolidated the UNIA into an international organization, and because of his efforts by 1920 the association boasted over 1,100 branches in more than 40 countries (many located in the US which had become a base for the UNIA), he also had several branches in Central America and in the Caribbean countries.) 

Marcus Garvey was truly a good man, that gave hope to a lot of black people and the black race on a whole.  He is considered in Jamaica a hero and was proclaimed by Jamaica as its First National Hero.  After his death in 1940, he was laid to rest in London due to travel conditions during World War II, however his remains which was exhumed and taken back to Jamaica  now lies at a shrine in National Heroes Park in Jamaica.   I close my piece on Marcus Garvey with one of his famous proclamation "Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God's grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for liberty, Freedom and Life."

  For more details on Mr. Garvey check out his official site www.marcusgarvey.com or www.unia-acl.org

Marcus Garvey - Written by: U-Shaka, Inc. - www.ushaka.com 

The African (African-America, African-Caribbean, African-Brazilian, African British, etc.) struggle for justice, freedom and equality in the western world, like all struggles of oppressed peoples everywhere, has produced leaders of exceptional ability and unswerving dedication to a cause. The single focus of purpose, the breadth of vision, the belief in the righteousness of his work, the boldness born of conviction, these characteristics made Marcus “Messiah” Garvey both the most loved and the most feared and hated Black man of his time. Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887, he came to New York in 1917 where he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Negro World, a weekly paper that was the vehicle for his views. Garvey envisioned and struggled for a free Africa to which Negroes/Africa-American, African- Caribbean, African-Brazilian might emigrate. He also founded the Negro Factories Corporation and the Black Star Steamship Line. Outlined below is a brief demonstration which expresses Marcus political and philosophy thought regarding the plight of the Africans and Africans throughout the Diaspora.

Marcus Garvey had such an acute understanding of the dynamics of Black people during his time that he realized that it was extremely important for him to make an appeal to their conscience, first, for them to see themselves and subsequently, change their condition (economical, socially, psychologically and spiritually). He wanted Black people to see themselves as a group, but more important, to employ the principles of organization. Initially, Marcus believed that it was a difficult task in organizing and keeping together large numbers of the Negro race for the common good. He pointed out that “many have tried to congregate us, but have failed”, citing that the reason relates to our unique characteristics (resulting from slavery) which keep us more apart than together.

Marcus observed that it was “the evil of internal division (our mental mind set of seeing ourselves as inferior) which is wrecking our existence as a people, and if we do not seriously and quickly move in the direction of a readjustment (changing our mental mind set) simply means that our doom becomes imminently conclusive.” He believed “that the whole world was turned against the Negro and the difficulty of our generation is to extricate ourselves from the prejudice that hides itself beneath, as well as above the action of the international environment”. There are many reasons that produce the condition of prejudice, however, according to Marcus, “the Negro supplies consciously and/or unconsciously all the reasons by which the world seems to ignore and avoid the Negro”. He further asserts that it is because “the Negro keeps himself in a poor state, helpless and undemonstrative, it is natural also that no one wants to identify with him.”

After such observation, Marcus noted that it was the responsibility of the Universal Negro Improvement Association to teach our race self-help and self-reliance, not only in one essential, but in all those things that contribute to human happiness and well-being. Marcus strongly believed that it is because we (the Negro) depends upon the other races for their kindness and sympathetic consideration to fulfill our needs, without making an effort to do for ourselves. For this reason, Marcus see that this behavior result in a degrading and disgraceful position in the world. Therefore, it is critical, said Marcus, “that the race aggressively focus on material achievement, and by our own effort and energy present to the world those forces by which the progress of man is judged”.

Eventually, Marcus’s thought evolved to a position of wanted to see the Negro develop his own nation and country. “The Negro needs a nation and a country of his own, where he can best show evidence of his own ability in the art of human progress. Marcus asserted that no Negro, whether he is African American, African British, African Caribbean or African, shall be truly respected until the race as a whole has emancipated itself, through self-achievement and progress, from universal prejudice. The Negro will have to build his own government, industry, art, science, literature and culture, before the world will stop to consider him as a full human being.

Remember, Marcus made these comments and observations in 1923. Do you think they are still relevant and if they are, what are you doing to unite the African race?

This is what Marcus had to say about Race Assimilation:

“Some Negro leaders have advanced the belief that in another few years the white people will make up their minds to assimilate their black populations; thereby sinking all racial prejudice in the welcoming of the black race into the social companionship of the white. Such leaders further believe that by the amalgamation of black and white, a new type will spring up, and that type will become the American and West Indian of the future.” This belief is preposterous stated Marcus, “I believe that white men should be white, yellow men should be yellow, and black men should be black in the great panorama of races, until each and every race by its own initiative lifts itself up to the common standard of humanity, as to compel the respect and appreciation of all, and so make it possible for each one to stretch out the hand of welcome without being able to be prejudiced against the other because of any inferior and unfortunate condition.

Marcus asserts that the white man of America will not, to any organized extent, assimilate the Negro, because in doing so, he feels that he will be committing racial suicide. He further states that “it is true {the white man} has illegitimately carries on a system of assimilation; but such assimilation, as practiced, is one that he is not prepared to support because he becomes prejudiced against his own offspring is the product of black and white; hence, to the white man the question of racial differences is eternal. So long as Negroes occupy an inferior position among the races and nations of the world, just so long will others be prejudiced against them, because it will be profitable for them to keep up their system of superiority. In his inspiring manner, Marcus noted that the Negro by “his own initiative lifts himself from his low state to the highest human standard he will be in a position to stop begging and praying, and demand a place that no individual, race or nation will be able to deny him. – 1922.

 

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Trinidad and Tobago will be celebrating its 45th independence on August 31, 2007, and beginning this week until the end of the month there are celebrations schedule to take place around independence.  Please scroll down to our "Featured Events" to learn about all that is taking place in our area, and  check our "Events" Page.  

Additionally, there is a special program taking place on WPFW 89.3 FM this Saturday concerning the Abolition of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade (2007 marks the 200th year), so tune in via the radio or the website to listen www.wpfw.org.  For more details on the program and panelists scroll down to our "Featured Events" to read a note on the program from Ms. Luzette King (host/panelist).

  

slide0001_image003.jpg (737092 bytes)  Read Across Jamaica Foundation, Inc. still need you to support their Literacy Project.  As you know their goal is to have 1000 books purchased for their Children's Book Drive, which ends on September 8th (International Literacy Day).  Please support this very important project.  For additional details log on to their site at www.readacrossja.com or you can reach Ms. Wisdom at readacrossja@aol.com.  Log on to our "Events" Page to view more about Read Across Jamaica's Children's book drive and to purchase/donate a book.  See their wish list there as well!!

Talking about Jamaica, to our surprise we learned this week that lots of folks in our area are talking and having serious discussions about the issue which arose last week regarding Disc Jockeys (DJs) of Jamaican Decent not being hired to perform their services at the Jamaican Independence celebrations in and around the Washington DC area, as well as Reggae Bands or bands that primarily play reggae music not being hired as well.  For us (since we always see things from the business point of view) it was clear that since people were paying quite a bit of money to attend the balls and galas that it was important for the groups who organized the celebrations to hire a DJ who plays a nice mix of music, so of course you would hire the most "all-round" DJ, even if he/she is not of Jamaican decent.  However, for the FREE all day outdoor celebration which took place to close out the independence festivities, and which was held at the OAS  back yard, lots of DJs of Jamaican decent and many people in the community felt it was absurd not to have hired a Jamaican DJ or a band that plays primarily Reggae Music, after all it was Jamaica's independence, and the least one could have done was include/hire folks of Jamaican decent for this free event.  

Well, this has become a big issue and an interesting topic of conversation in our area.  Actually, we were approached about mentioning it on our e-blast last week, with lots of discussions and "reasonings" by many from our community.  So, please tell us how you feel, share with us your thoughts on this important issue. 

Before we close we want to say to Ms. Bev that the news you shared with us regarding your son Colin this past weekend was wonderful.  We thank God that Colin is doing good,  and recovering quite nicely.  We knew God has had Colin in his arms and we were convinced that he would guide him back to us safely.  This is truly a miracle and we thank God for it!!!!  Also, Congratulations to you for all the good things that have been taking place in your life.

To all of you our on-line family, thanks for reading and for always supporting us.  As you may know without you there would be no us.  So thanks very much for your support.  Enjoy this weekend and the upcoming week!

 

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Check out our Featured Events listed below and please support!!

Washington DC

Saturday - 18th August 2007  

  Book Signing of the new Bible of Calypso & Soca

"THE FINALISTS: A Graphical Look Back at Trinidad & Tobago’s Calypso and Soca Monarch Finals "

  Author John E. H. Barry introduces his new book to the Washington DC area  

     jb addressing his audience    

At

Crown Caribbean Style Bakery

5329 Georgia Ave., NW Washington DC 20011

Starting at 2:00pm

For the first time anywhere!!! Every finalist, the songs, the placing, the tents and much more All in one publication!!!

 

 

A Note from Luzette King  for A WPFW 89.3 FM Special Program

 www.wpfw.org 

2007 Marks 200 years since the abolition of the trans Atlantic Slave Trade.  Join me Luzette King and guest panelists at WPFW at 10:00 p.m. till midnight, this Saturday, August 18, 2007, as we recall pioneers who are not normally mentioned such as Mary Prince of Bermuda, Sarah Ann Gill and Bussa of Barbados, Run Away Slaves of Dominica, Joseph Chatoyer of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Nanny of Jamaica.  The panelists will highlight a much more complex and disruptive struggle that led to the first major rebellion on the island of Hispaniola now known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the lasting legacy of this struggle for freedom.

If you are out of town, log on to www.wpfw.org to listen!!!!

 

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AUGUST 19-25, 2007

THE CARIBBEAN AMERICAN INTERCULTURAL ORGANIZATION

FORTY NINTH YEAR

INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

AUGUST 19-25, 2007

THEME:  The Struggle for independence, freedom and justice

SUNDAY - August 19, 2007: Church Service

                     9:30 a.m. - Church of  the Holy Comforter, 701 Oglethorpe Street, NW, Washington, DC

WEDNESDAY - August 22, 2007: Symposium-Contributors to the Development of the Caribbean.  6:30p.m. – 8:30p.m. Montgomery College- Takoma Park Resource Center Rm. 204, 7600 Takoma Avenue, Takoma Park Maryland, 20910 - Panelist:  Acklyn Lynch, Ph.D.; Ransford Palmer, Ph.D.; Sandra Jowers, Ph.D - Moderator: Wilfred David, Ph.D.

SUNDAY-August 25, 2007: Awards Luncheon

                   1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  - Hilton Silver Spring, 8727 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, Md., 20910 - Free parking available

For Information Contact: Suzanne Williams, (301) 839-2572 or  Carmen Edwards (301) 949-4249

 

Trinidad & Tobago Embassy of Washington DC

Presents for T & T Independence Week

Friday, August 24, 2007

Screening of the Feature-Length Documentary Calypso Dreams

Produced & Directed by Geoffrey Francis Dunn, Ph.D.

@

The Blackburn Center Auditorium-Howard University, 2397 6th Street, N.W., Washington

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

RBTT Redemption Sound Setters Steel Orchestra In Concert @ The National Aquarium- Inner Harbor, Baltimore Maryland @ 3:00 pm

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