Treasures of Jamaican Heritage
Bamileke Chief's Stool
Among the interesting artefacts in - .
the African collection at the Mico
Museum is this intricately designed
wooden stool which belonged to a
chief of the Bamileke tribe,
Cameroon, West Africa.
Of particular interest are the carvings "
- three leopards and three men
arranged alternately which form
the legs on which the seat rests. The
leopards represent the qualities of
physical force, speed, cunning,
patience and an instinct for survival ..
and symbolise the strength and .-
power inherent in the chief. Carved
in the wood above each leopard is a
pelican which symbolises the
Bamileke belief in an afterlife, as il
is this bird which transports the
spirit to the other world after physical
death. The men represent tribesmen ,.
bearing gifts to the chief.
The stool was part of Dr Aston
Taylor's INAFCA Collection of
Indian, African and Caribbean
artefacts which he bequeathed to
The Mico Museum which is located I
at Marescaux Road in Kingston will
be opened to the public shortly.
Courtesy Mtco Museum
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Vol. 20 No. 3 Copyright @ 1987
by Institute of Jamaica Publications
Limited. Cover or contents may not
be reproduced in whole or in part
without written permission.
Vol. 20 No. 3
August October 1987
to mark the Marcus Garvey Centenary
2 The Spirit of Garvey: Lessons of the Legacy
V by Rex Nettleford
10 International Aspects of the Garvey Movement
-1 21 by Tony Martin
21 Marcus Garvey: Cultural Activist
by Beverly Hamilton
The two Mrs Garveys
by Tony Martin
, 32 Amy Ashwood G"r"y: Wife No. 1
.u..c. n or 39 Amy Jacques Garvey
by Rupert Lewis and Maureen Warner-Lewis
ilyNigyN ts 56 Garvey's Significance in Jamaica's Historical Evolution
,,..-E TIEfIE by Rupert Lewis
'TiS S.-d' y Nigl; 66 Marcus Garvey and the Politicisation of some Afro-
AL 7.00O. Jamaicans in the 1920s and 1930s
"- by Erna Brodber
on. Mar Garvey 73 Isaac Rose: Garvey's Boyhood Friend
wmi aspek. as told to Wenty Bowen
77 Sister Samad: Living the Garvey Life
interviewed by Maxine McDonnough
93 A Bibliography of material on Garvey at the National
Library of Jamaica
lElHK "01111 .., by Stephney Ferguson; references by June Vernon
COVER: Artistic representation of the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah
Garvey by Heather Sutherland-Wade. Our entire issue is devoted to an
examination of aspects of the Garvey life, legend and the heritage he be-
queathed us. (To obtain a copy of our cover picture, see p. 9).
44 Art: Garvey and the Jamaican Art Movement:
Three Disparate Perspectives
by Gloria Escoffery
85 Music: On Reggae and Rastafarianism and a Garvey
by Pamela O'Gorman
89 Books and Writers
Reviews Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion
by Everton Pryce
88 Notes on Contributors
QUARTERLY OF THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
The Spirit of Garvey
Lessons of the Legacy
By Rex Nettleford
A hundred years after his birth and nearly
fifty years after his death, the spirit of Marcus
Mosiah Garvey, visionary, freedom fighter and one
of Jamaica's greatest thinkers, lives on. It is signifi-
cant that of all the heroes iconised by a politically
insecure people grateful for their independence out
of some three centuries of struggle, Marcus Garvey
remains the most popular among the mass of the
population. No surprise, really, since the issues he
addressed persist with a vengeance, calling a dispos-
sessed and groping people, if not to armed struggle,
to exercise of imagination and intellect as the route
to freedom and self-determination.
Among the heirs of Garvey are the popular poets
of utterance the Bob Marleys, Jimmy Cliffs, Peter
Toshes and Mutabarukas thrown up by a gen-
eration of Jamaicans who find in the tangible em-
blems of political sovereignty no real solution to
their people's continuing degradation which is the
result of Western civilisation's unrelenting efforts to
humiliate Africa and all that spring therefrom.
Garvey's redemptive vision of a tolerable future
where people of African ancestry will enjoy full
recognition, status, and self-direction, remains one
of the sturdiest challenges to a world that would
keep large hordes of humanity in some kind of
Babylonian captivity with poverty, self-negation,
and powerlessness as their daily medicine.
If the mental grasp of such disabilities is the first
step towards liberation, then the ongoing and in-
escapable trek to final freedom must be through
action. Garvey did not himself rule out armed strug-
gle if, as in the Irish situation, such was necessary.
But with the fullest understanding of the arenas of
combat Central America, the United States and
his own little Jamaica he turned to methods of
self-reliance rooted in confraternity, mass mobili-
sation and unity, as well as efforts at self-improve-
ment by embarking on economic ventures that
would generate resources for further development.
Nothing that we now invoke -from Bob Marley's
call to emancipate oneself from mental slavery to
the PNP's call for self-reliance and the JLP's stress
on private initiative in economic development -
escaped Garvey's insightful gaze on the realities of
a poor, depressed state of existence which is the
legacy of slavery and colonialism. He is a genuine
founder of modern Jamaica, a true anti-colonial
advocate for all of black Africa where he was well-
known among those who eventually fought for In-
dependence, and a creative intellect who offered to
the entire process of liberation-struggle some of the
tersest arguments and a way of looking at a world
that would celebrate man's inhumanity to man over
and above one man's obligation to another on the
basis of mutual respect and mutual understanding.
The Rastafarians, on their own admission, owe a
lasting debt to the man. Their repeated invocation
of his wisdom and foresight is among their greatest
assets, giving them a kind of credibility and rele-
vance to an ongoing quest for universal brother-
hood, democracy and freedom though not at the
expense of the black man.
This search for space by people of African ances-
try on the planet Earth is so fundamental in their
day-to-day battle for survival, that its elemental
nature is likely to be dismissed as metaphysical
nonsense by the 'scientific' scholars, as an impon-
derable by the economists or as unimportant by
the technocratic planners. Happily, the ordinary
folk understand the force and vigour of the hope-
in-despair it engenders in the breast of all who feel
(and know). Sylvia Wynter, the Jamaican woman of
letters, has long understood the meaning of Garvey
in these terms as part of a cultural process that has
sustained the African in exile, variously designated
'proletarian', 'sufferer', 'member of the masses' or
any other name that the going ideology will satisfy.
She wrote in JAMAICA JOURNAL back in 1970
What Cesaire was in the intellectual and cultural field,
Marcus Garvey of Jamaica was in the political agita-
tional field. His great organisation based in the
United States and the massive plan for a physical
return to Africa comprised the corollary of the
spiritual and intellectual return of the Negritude
movement. While the movement failed it has shaken
up the fantasy and stirred the imagination of millions
of black 'folk' in the United States and the Carib-
bean. His movement awakened an awareness of
Africa, a revaluation of Africa, and a sense of pride
in the past, whose myth had been used to keep black
people in servitude and self-contempt. This started
the process which has led in a direct line to the
present Black Power movement ....
The above correctly places Garvey as part of a
process to which he gave much original impetus, a
process that is now global in its application and uni-
versal in what it sets out to do. For the revaluation
and renaissance of black culture (which is central to
Negritude and the later Black Power movement) is a
vain object without the consciousness of racial pride
and the application of energy in practical schemes
of self-improvement which Garvey and Garveyism
T he scholarly contributions to a fuller under-
standing of the life and work of Garvey, following
on the efforts by the late Amy Jacques Garvey to
preserve her husband's work, are in their own way
responding to the reality of a world which the mass
of the population have long understood, if only
because they continue to be the woof and warp of
Robert Hill's extensive and impressive docu-
mentation, John Henrik Clarke's history and tex-
tual analyses of the man's work, Tony Martin's
driving pursuit of Garveyite caverns yet to be ex-
plored, Rupert Lewis's long-awaited examination
of Garvey as anti- colonial champion, and Rupert
Lewis and Maureen Warner-Lewis's recent col-
lection of essays on Garvey1 all attempt to bring up-
to-date the voluminous store of information left to
posterity by Garvey and those who helped to give
the Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA) the tremendous significance it was to have
for millions all over the Western world in the decades
of the twenties and thirties.
These scholars are beginning to confront us with
the full significance of the giant of a thinker-cum-
activist that Garvey was. The substance of his philo-
sophy and opinions as well as his dreams and pro-
grammes of action, his errors and achievements, his
successes and failures, retain an awesome relevance
to us almost eighty years after his entry into public
life that is if we are to date that 'life' from the
fateful and historic printers' strike of 1908 in which
he was involved.
For the realities with which Garvey wrestled, and
which are alive with us today, are indeed those
elements of human interaction which many a social
scientist would conveniently relegate to the dustbin
of 'imponderables', but which real-life experience
knows are often the deep social forces on which
may depend the production, distribution, and ex-
change of a bushel of corn, a truckload of yams, a
bunch of bananas, so many crate loads of ganja,
a tonne of bauxite-alumina,or even a latter-day con-
tainer of high-tech winter vegetables. No doubt
there are those who share with Garvey the view that
internalised notions of racial (or class) inferiority'
are self-limiting and do not a producer of goods and
services make! This is not to turn Marx on his head
though either way it would still be Karl Marx. The
balkanisation of consciousness is after all the great-
est enemy of social change in any ideological dis-
No one knew better than the self-educated but
exceptionally discerning Garvey that the organic
and dynamic interplay between material conditions
and ideas emerging from those conditions, between
material base and ideational superstructure, is the
stuff of human existence in praxis. And what he in
turn has bequeathed to us, as a result of his long and
sustained engagement with such phenomena, has
proven to be quite capable of Explanation and
Theory (the dream of the 'scientific' investigator)
even while providing mythic inspiration for Black
Power activists and race-conscious visionaries.
There remains a rich storehouse of knowledge
yet to be tapped and organised into palatable shape.
And the quest continues for some conceptual order
in the current confusion of shifting paradigms
beckoning us all to appropriate structural frame-,
works not only to support our public policies but
also to hone our methodological explorations in
dealing with the unruly and chaotic phenomena that
are the reality of contemporary Jamaican and Carib-
bean life. There is room for everyone empiricists,
humanists, positivists, and even mystics in this
Marcus Garvey understood the problematique
very well. The 'earthly existence' he grappled with
was not a simple, uncluttered, and 'one-way-street'
affair. Garvey in fact responded directly to the con-
tradictions, diversity and chaos of his colonial,
plantation-American, economically lopsided and
racially bigoted world with the vigour and the sensi-
tivity demanded by the criss-cross complexity of
human life anywhere. In fact it is precisely be-
cause a group of imperial overlords refused to ac-
cord to a subjugated majority that fact of texture,
diversity and complexity that he was forced not
merely to interpret the world into which he was
NATIONHOOD is the only
means by which modern civili-
zation can completely protect itself.
Independence of nationality, in-
dependence of government, is the
means of protecting not only the
individual, but the group.
Nationhood is the highest ideal of all peoples.
MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY
Eagle Merchant Bank
Contributing Towards the Development of the Jamaican Nation
Eagle Merchant Bank.
of Jamaica Limited
24-26 Grenada Crescent, Kingston 5, Jamaica,
Tel: 92-65335, 92-63157, 92-93017-8, 92-93930,1,2,4.
REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE -MONTEGO BAY
BILLY CRAIG INSURANCE LIMITED
17 Dome St., Montego Bay. Tel: 952-5070/1, 952-5265, 952-5335.
born, but to change it.
He sought to establish in practical terms insti-
tutional frameworks on the basis of a philosophy of
life, power and human organisation that was rooted
in the realities of his native Jamaica and the rest of
the black diaspora. It was a worldview which was,
however, no less 'universal' than those claimed by
men (of whatever race, class or cultural background)
fighting for social justice, freedom and human rights.
The inward stretch to race-consciousness as the basis
for that mandatory inner psychological liberation
and his outward reach into territorial borders
beyond Jamaica and to minds beyond the 'black
race', gave to his efforts the force and power it was
to develop and maintain in his lifetime and after.
/The 'universality' is based not only on the geo-
graphical spread of the Garvey Movement. The uni-
versality is based as much on the man's firm grasp
of what up to now is demonstrably a fundamental
human concern among peoples wherever there is in-
justice, calculated efforts to dominate subject
peoples, exploitation of the labouring masses, racial
discrimination and the denial of human dignity per-
ceived in terms of what have been severally called
'inalienable', 'natural', or just plain 'human' rights.
The -persistence of Garveyism remains a source of
energy in liberation struggles and strikes a responsive
chord among the mass of the population in contem-
porary Jamaica as it did in large parts of Africa,
the United States and the rest of the Caribbean
throughout the twenties and thirties, Garvey's
popularity today tells us more about contemporary
Jamaica which still needs to be structurally adjust-
ed out of its congenitally unjust state, and much as
well about South Africa and wherever else people
are treated as less than human.
The internationalism in the sense of territorial
reach as well as the universality of the Garveyite
ideas should not be played down. But neither should
Garveyism be bled of its 'blackness' in order to
make it respectable and parade as part of somebody
else's mainstream. Happily, the books referred to
earlier and the contributions to this issue of JAM-
AICA JOURNAL do nothing of the sort. They suc-
cessfully document the activities of UNIA branches
as far away as California, throughout what was then
the British West Indies, in Africa (West and South),
and through the international encounters with the
League of Nations in the decade between 1921 and
1931. These accounts speak, as well, to the uni-
versality of Garveyism in terms of its ideational
thrust as a worldwide liberation creed but filtered
through the specific and real-life experiences of
black people in the world, just as Plato addressed
the specific problems of the Greek city-states he
knew. Garveyism was to help determine Western
mainstream ideas-systems, whether liberal capitalist,
imperialist, or revolutionary socialist and not mere-
ly to enter tnem. Out of the specificity of the ex-
perience of the Jamaican peasantry and artisan class
in the context of colonial Jamaica reinforced by the
fact of Harlem (the capital of black America) and
the existence of similar denigration of black people
he came upon in his travels in Central America, Gar-
vey was able to formulate a view of the world no
less valid because of the sources) of its origin.
What an excellent lesson for those of us who still
believe that if Marx, Keynes or Friedman did not
say it, it wasn't said; or if it is not on CNN or MTV
it does not existlThe lessons that Garvey has to
teach us are legion.
irst of all, there is from the experience of the
Garvey Movement in the West Indies, the strong re-
minder of underlying unities rooted in the legacy
of enforced African migration to the Americas and
the sequel to that historic event. The Garvey Move-
ment, through the UNIA, might well have served as
rallying point for the commonality of historical and
existential experience. But it came upon another
reality of the region the fractious state of con-
sciousness and the persistence of foreign domin-
ation under which semblances of unity still tend to
show themselves. So the Colonial Office saw us (and
we accepted it ourselves) as the British West Indies,
while today the United States Administration has
conveniently scooped us up into a Basin. Colonial
governors could ban the Negro World and deport
troublesome Garveyites from island shores. Today
the battle for the region's minds via satellites, thea-
trical evangelism, and scholarships to U.S. places of
learning, is joined.
Indigenous efforts to capture the underlying uni-
ties of which the region's artists and the historians
speak all the time are usually of brief duration -
the very University of the West Indies, symbol of
this unity, is in danger of disintegrating. Then, if we
were nationalist in the sixties and socialist in the
seventies we are now decidedly Reaganite in the
eighties. In the thirties when we were 'British' not
even the UNIA stood a chance, but try it did. We
must now depend for some sort of unity on cricket,
calypso, reggae and Rastafarianism which in a way
provide continuity for what the UNIA started. Gar-
vey would have found kindred spirits among these
agents of regional unity. They are, not surprisingly,
for the most part black, which is the aspect of unity
Garvey would wish to focus on.
The influence of the UNIA and the Garvey
Movement on an entire generation of West Indians
who helped to bring shape and meaning to the
society we have now inherited is very evident in the
history of the movement as outlined in recent
works. When I was working on what became the
1960 Report of the Rastafari Movement [Smith,
Augier, Nettleford 1960] I was told by Dr. Arthur
Lewis, who was the UCWI Principal then, that 'we
are all Rastas'. I discovered that he had been brought
up in a home where the doctrines of Marcus Garvey
were taken very seriously.
Appreciating our environment
E wenty-five years of Independence have made
us a people conscious of the need and respon-
sibility to protect and preserve our national
heritage. This heritage spans our range of
ideas, traditions, art and environment. En-
capsulated in the philosophy of Marcus
Garvey, one of our national heroes, is the powerful call to
Jamaicans to conserve what is essentially ours for the good
of every Jamaican.
Standing tall and proud in the Negril Morass is a unique
part of our natural heritage, the elegant royal palm, Roystonea
princeps. This particular palm is found only in western Jamaica
and is the dominant species of a diverse and interesting stand
of trees, shrubs and climbers which make up the royal palm
forest. Up to only thirty years ago, this unique forest covered
nearly two hundred acres in the southern section of the morass.
Today, though still the largest remaining stand of this forest to
be found anywhere in the world, it has been reduced in size to
a mere 50 acres due to shortsighted and thoughtless action. If
we are to value what is truly ours, there can be no acceptance
of the destruction of such a uniquely Jamaican feature of the
environment. Protection of this forest and all other aspects of
our natural heritage must be the responsibility of everyone.
But conservation implies more than mere protection or pre-
servation. Conservation in its fullest sense is management for
wise use, not just for the few but for everyone. Therefore as a
first step, we must come to understand the values inherent in
our natural environment, such as the comfort it affords us and
the opportunities it provides for resource development and
utilization. Secondly, we must vigorously pursue ways in
which the environment may best serve our needs. In the case
of the Negril royal palm forest, besides its obvious use as a con-
servation model for Jamaica, there are tremendous opportu-
nities for visitor attraction, recreation and education. These
uses, while being consistent with sound ecological principles,
may also provide a means of income for maintaining the forest
and for developing its resources.
The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica is committed to
wise management of the Negril wetlands of which the royal
palm forest is an integral part. Since March, 1986, it has been
developing this forest as a nature reserve. When completed in
1988, the reserve will provide a unique educational and re-
creational experience for residents and visitors to appreciate
and enjoy. The first of its kind in Jamaica, the Negril Royal
Palm Forest Reserve represents a milestone in national growth
and development. It symbolizes a growing national conscious-
ness for conservation of our natural heritage for the good of
Shaping the future today
in everything we do
36 TRAFALGAR ROAD,
BOX 579, KINGSTON 10, JAMAICA.
I received similar acknowledgement from Aziki-
we, one of the founders of independent Nigeria,
only a few months after in Lagos, highlighting yet
another lesson of Garveyism in its confrontation
with imperialism. Many African anti-imperialists -
from Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana to Nyerere of Tan-
zania were in fact influenced by the teachings of
Garvey. Garvey scholar Rupert Lewis has also made
this point forcefully in his book Marcus Garvey:
Anti-Colonial Champion [see review, this volume]
and elsewhere [Lewis 1986]. The lesson is that we
in the Caribbean and the wider neocolonial world
ignore the anti-colonial struggle at our peril. It is no
accident that Garvey's detractors equated his move-
ment with that of 'Bolshevism' then under the
direction of the Russian visionary and revolutionary,
Lenin, whom Garvey, according to all accounts, ad-
mired immensely. The fact that Garvey's name spelt
danger to all of the European imperial powers in
the twenties and thirties testifies to the anti-imperial-
ist image and thrust of his movement and beliefs.
The way out of colonial subjugation was not
simply by rhetoric, however. Garvey's business
schemes were practical efforts which sought to build
a secure material base for his people as a means of
escape out of crippling dependency. The schemes
came to nought. But the courage, and bold deter-
mined steps taken by a man without the benefit of
'territory' is something that deserves the respect of
those who, with all our control of territory, are
hardly doing better. This does not of course rule out
critical evaluation of and even scepticism about his
naivete, lack of business sense and idealism. When
he returned to his native country, he however
demonstrated tremendous foresight and understand-
ing of what is needed for a self-reliant, civilised
society populated by a black majority. His party
manifesto of 1929 for the 1930 Legislative Council
election which he contested and lost, is a milestone
in the decolonisation process of the Caribbean and
other parts of the old British Empire. These far-
reaching 'demands' by Garvey, turned on economic
progress and reflected 'the intensity of the class
struggle', legal and penal reform, and social and cul-
tural development. These were of course to be re-
cycled into the aims and objectives and plans of
action of the region's first effective self-government
party, the PNP of Jamaica. This makes Garvey a
true founder of the modern and independent Com-
monwealth Caribbean, a fact which gets lost either
in our historical amnesia or in the perennial and
counter-productive efforts to prove Garvey wrong in
the debate as to whether the problems of the black
man turned on the issue of race or on the issue of
T he split between the Garvey Movement and
the organised Left in the United States was probably
foreseeable but not totally unavoidable. And the
lesson is one that should be seriously heeded by the
progressive forces (so-called) in our own society
today. Such progressive forces presumably include
many a creative artist and student of the humani-
ties who, as Garvey himself so well understood, are
never afraid to allow the arts of the imagination
to inform intellectual activity. That the
political leader and the serious creative artist cross
and criss-cross is evident in the inclusion of the pro-
ducts of artistic culture in Garvey's political activi-
ties something echoed by Norman Manley two de-
cades later in his own plans of action and vision for
a self-governing Jamaica.
But back to the race-class controversy which
showed up Garvey as a highly astute debater and a
creative thinker. He emphasised the necessity of
the denigrated African in exile, the New World
Negro, to find his own vocabulary to describe him-
self and his situation, to discover his own institution-
al and operational frameworks as tools for redemp-
tion, and to work out his own destiny on his own
terms. Being a proletarian was not simply the same
thing as being a member of the black underclass in
the Americas. The exploited worker and the deni-
grated African in exile presented the liberator of
black peoples with serious perceptual and con-
ceptual problems that had to be solved and on the
black man's terms. Calling a spade a spade he no
doubt found to be a mandatory obligation. The un-
folding literature on Garvey gives clear insights into
the sophistication of the man's intellect and the
deceptively simple turn of mind he possessed -
tactical adjustments from time to time, notwith-
standing. He was, after all, a warrior in the trenches
His ideas on the subject of the race or class issue
were well formed from as early as 1916 [see Vin-
cent 1986]. He told an impending visitor from
the Tuskegee Institute in that year that in Jamaica
'the black people . form the economic asset', the
labourers; while the coloured and whites were the
upper classes. According to Garvey, one could
'quickly distinguish the exploited from the privi-
leged; the dark-skinned being the former, the light-
skinned being the latter'. Contemporary readers will
quickly say that things have changed radically and
that Garvey's world no longer exists. The verdict is
naturally the reader's.
Garvey has also been quoted as saying that the
Jamaican black had adopted 'his master's ideals, and
up to today you will find the Jamaican negro un-
able to think apart from the customs and ideals of
the old time slave masters' [Vincent 1986]. He was
of course speaking about those blacks who con-
sciously lived and had their beings according to the
white man's agenda rather than creating their own.
There are 'roast breadfruits' a-plenty among us still
for that Garveyite observation to prick the con-
temporary conscience. And the 'functional white'
and 'functional brown', having nothing to do with
epidermal realities, are now a part of the social
/Theodore Vincent's explanation of Garvey's
seeming race-determinist categories is worthy of
consideration. He feels that Garvey was convin-
ced that exploitation was best understood in Jam-
aica in racial rather than class terms owing to the
persistence of black/poor and white/privilege cor-
relations. According to Vincent, Garvey felt it 'use-
ful to interpolate the factor of race consciousness for
class consciousness'. [1986 p.173]. With the ad-
vantage of hindsight one could supposedly take re-
fuge in the theory of correspondences. So while
to Garvey an upwardly mobile black would be seen
as taking on 'an Aryan identity', a Marxist would
describe the same process as the adoption of 'bour-
geois ideology' by the socially mobile 'worker'. To
Garvey such a person was a 'traitor to his race';
to a Marxist his working class counterpart would be
a 'traitor to his class'. Where the black and the
worker are the same person, it is double jeopardy.
Conscious of how we spend time fighting our
battles with other people's AKs and M-16s, figur-
atively speaking, I made bold to suggest a few years
ago that for the serious socialists in the region 'race
and ethnicity must be worked into the Marxian
dialectic to meet the realities of Caribbean exist-
ence'. Otherwise 'yet another theory from Europe
will have failed to deliver the goods simply because
we would have ignored Marx's own injunctions, by
not relating our efforts sufficiently to the specificity
of Caribbean history and realities'. [Nettleford
I was therefore happy to discover in the recently
published Garvey, Africa, Europe, the Americas
 the following passage that actually ends the
In the long run the biggest loser in the historic black
nationalist/communist-socialist split has been the
labouring black man the world over. The black
man will not win the freedom without nationalism;
and nationalism will not liberate the black unless he
is thoroughly socialistic.
What a timely lesson for us in our present state of
1. For details on these works see pp. 93-99, this volume.
NETTLEFORD, Rex, Caribbean Cultural Identity, The
Case of Jamaica, Institute of Jamaica, 1979.
SMITH, M.G., AUGIER, Roy, NETTLEFORD, Rex, The
Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica, Mona:
University of the West Indies, 1960.
VINCENT, Theodore, "Evolution of the Split between the
Garvey Movement and the Organized Left in the
United States 1917-1933", in Lewis. Rupert and
Warner-Lewis, Maureen, Garvey, Africa, Europe,
the Americas, Mona: Institute of Social and Eco-
nomic Research, University of the West Indies,
A Centenary Souvenir
A limited number of offprints of the portrait on our cover are
available from our office for J$5 each (U.S. $1.50 or U.K.1
postpaid). In full colour on art paper suitable for framing. Same
size as cover, with all lettering removed except 'Marcus Garvey
Centenary: 1887-1987' (see above).
. . . . .
It e ki
UNIA mcmbers hi Ironi ol thc otfb c hi Harlem, Aciv Ye)rk,
6* 0 6 *
Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro
Improvement Association was
an international movement of
massive proportions. At its height in the
1920s it contained over twelve hun-
dred branches in over forty countries.
Its membership spread to almost every
nook and cranny of the world where
African people lived in appreciable num-
bers. In many areas where there were no
organized units of the association, in-
dividuals could still be found who con-
sidered themselves members in spirit
and who subscribed to Garvey's
The UN IA is clearly without equal as
a Pan-African mass organization. In
several individual countries where it
existed it was, in addition, the largest
mass political organization locally. In
Dominica, for example, there were about
800 members in the early 1920s. It is
unlikely that any other political organi-
zation in the island would have exceed-
ed this figure. The UNIA's newspaper,
the Negro World, also had a larger local
circulation than all of Dominica's papers
In Trinidad and Tobago at about the
same time, there were over thirty
branches, spread all over the country.
The nearest thing in the country to a
political party, the Trinidad Working-
men's Association, contained only four-
teen branches. Nor were the UNIA
branches necessarily small. Several
had memberships of over a hundred
and the headquarters division in Port-
of-Spain once recruited over a thou-
sand new members in a one-month
In the United States, where there
were over 700 branches, it is univer-
sally conceded that the UNIA was the
largest mass movement in Afro-American
history. The New York local alone boast-
ed a membership of 40,000.
Had Garvey succeeded in his attempt
to transfer his headquarters from Har-
lem to Liberia, his followers would, at
one fell swoop, have exceeded the total
Liberian electorate. For it was Garvey's
intention to take with him several thou-
sand Afro-American and West Indian
families, far more than the less than
5,000 persons allowed to vote in Liberia
at that time.
When viewed from the perspective
of broad geographical regions, the inter-
national scope of the UNIA is also high-
ly impressive. In the Caribbean area the
UNIA accomplished a feat that has
hardly ever been attempted by any other
political organization, let alone equalled.
The UNIA built a truly Pan-Caribbean
movement cutting across political and
linguistic boundaries, something very
unusual in the history of this region.
From Spanish-speaking independent
Cuba with its fifty-odd branches (second
only to the United States), to the Dutch
colony of Suriname, the Garvey Move-
ment swept through French, Dutch,
English and Spanish speaking territories,
quite oblivious of differences in politi-
It is unlikely whether any other
political organization in Central America
cut across borders the way the UNIA
did, as it blazed a course from Mexico
to Panama. On the African continent
too, the organization provided a com-
mon thread running through South and
Central Africa and encompassing also
countries in West and East Africa. The
Belgian Congo (Zaire), French Senegal,
British Nigeria, the dominion of South
Africa, ex-German Namibia and the
Portuguese possessions were but some
of the countries reporting UNIA activity
whether in the form of organized
branches, individual adherents or groups
of interested persons.
With a branch in far away Australia,
the UNIA could if it so wished, have
boasted along with the British Empire
that it was an organization on which the
sun never set.
Despite Garvey's unprecedented suc-
cess, the UNIA did not represent any-
thing new in the history of scattered
Africa. It belonged, rather, to an ancient
tradition of Pan-African enterprise that
went back at least as far as the late
eighteenth century. In Afro-America,
Europe and thp West Indies, pioneer
voluntary associations among freed
Africans had long looked towards re-
establishing links among Africa's dis-
persed peoples. Free Afro-Americans in
Rhode Island had investigated the
possibility of an African return in the
late eighteenth century. Free Africans
from England had returned to Sierra
Leone at about the same time, West
Indian missionaries from Codrington
College, Barbados had established them-
selves at the Rio Pongo in what is now
Guinea in the 1850s.
In the late 1850s, the Jamaican
Robert Campbell and the Afro-American
Martin Delany journeyed to Abeokuta
in modern day Nigeria in an effort to
settle New World Africans there. Camp-
bell later became a leading citizen of
Lagos. A few hundred Barbadians emi-
grated to Liberia in the 1860s. One of
them, Arthur Barclay, would eventually
become president of the republic. The
St. Thomas born scholar, Edward Wil-
mot Blyden, emigrated to West Africa
in the 1850s and became in due course
one of the African world's most rever-
ed scholars and an influence on the
young Marcus Garvey. The Ghanaian,
Chief Sam, travelled to the United
States, built a Pan-African organi-
zation and, a mere two years before
Garvey arrived in that country, trans-
ported a boatload of New World Afri-
cans to the homeland.
One of the most ambitious attempts
at international African cooperation be-
fore the UNIA was provided by the
English-based Trinidad barrister Henry
Sylvester Williams. In 1900 Williams
convened the world's first Pan-African
Conference. It took place in London
and was attended by over thirty dele-
gates from Afro-America, Canada,
Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. They
discussed the state of the race, estab-
lished a journal and founded a Pan-
These were but a few of the precur-
sors of Garvey and the UNIA. Garvey
was aware of this history and was able
to stand on the shoulders of the men
and women who had struggled before
The international aspect of the UNIA
was firmly entrenched in the four years
preceding the establishment of the
organization in 1914. During this period
Garvey travelled extensively in Latin
America, the Caribbean and Europe. He
involved himself in the struggles of Afri-
can people in several countries. In Eng-
land he worked for the world's leading
Pan-African journal, the Africa Times
and Orient Review, edited by an African,
Duse Mohamed Ali. Though he did not
visit Africa, this journal kept him abreast
of African history and current affairs
and brought him
contact with in-
Garvey founded the UNIA in King-
ston a few days after his return home
from England in the summer of 1914.
He had been spurred into this venture
by the international degradation of the
race, observed during his years of travel.
The international dimension was given
prominence from the very start, with a
constitution divided into local (Jamaican)
and general (international) objects. The
very first of the international objects
was the establishment of a 'universal
Confraternity among the race'. During
the year and a half he spent in Jamaica
before leaving for the United States in
March 1916 he began, in a preliminary
way, to reach out to an international
audience. A report on the new organi-
zation appeared in the Christian Science
Monitor, published in Boston, Massa-
chusetts, and enquiries came in from
Antigua and the Canal Zone, Panama.
By 1918, after a period of preliminary
organizing in the United States, the
UNIA was poised to radiate rapidly
around the globe. New York City,
where the movement was now head-
quartered, contained a polyglot Afri-
can community, of whom about twenty
per cent were West Indian. There was
also a sprinkling of persons from Africa
itself and other parts of the African dis-
persion. Such persons, whether they
joined the UNIA or not, would have
helped spread word of the movement to
their home territories.
Garvey's earlier contacts from his
travels now came in handy as well. As
word of the new movement spread he
was instantly recognized and remember-
ed in places like Costa Rica, Panama and
England. In Panama the Universal Loyal
Negroes, who had worked with Garvey,
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BIG MASS MEETING
A CALL TO THE
To Hear the Great West Indian Negro Leader
HON. MARCUS GARVEY
President of the Univerol Negro Improvement Asociation
of Jamaica, West Indies.
Big Bethel A. M. E. Church
Corner Auburn Avenue and Butler Street
SUNDAY AFTERNOON, AT 3 O'CLOCK
MARCH 25, 1917
He brings a message of inspiration to the
12,000,000 of our people in this country.
"The Negroes of the West Indies, after
78 years of Emancipation." With a
general talk on the world position of
*A u o r I h 11 i d .lr io n il h u ro l xd r .- l I .a r, c h a s i p, ,) k e 'n
h p. uked auilnarlcs c.. I ng.l.,, I N. 'iak. lIiAt..n. H nlialgtolin.
Philadrlphi.a. I hi.ia,,. M ai.iukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland,
Cincnnii. Idi.ifl.J.li.lh I lusville, Nuashville and oilither cilic. iHe
has Irjle'lltl I0 iln p1f11iip..l countries of 1-'ioipL. .nd was the
first Nce:nt 1, ~p..'Ik n,. tlI \Veterans' Club o. I i di-l.,n, EnI'la.d
'[I1 is. i I i1 .* i i.in-i,. to hear a great nian who hi l.aken'
1t., m1ir.n.ae irf,..r tIe lrId (COMF OUT I-4RI.V TO
SE '(' Rt %S uV iN. 1I ., li ll. l .1i%. I iH0 I ilnkL. Il hear.r
All Invited. Rev. R. H. Singleton, D.D., Pastor.
NO(TE: Ihi. HIndbill datedi March 25, 1917 51 yeart aut-, ih
-,irn rie.ince li sme uork. He foctms the Wel Indies and
.I1 pr.hl .lt, t ..Iil ki seu, .enud sympatlhtic a'ruainy,
-Amy sAqtwes Gurvey. 1968
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Thaml should be no trouble about making up yoar mind Io help your race to rie to a
position in the mariti wor that will challenge the aentn and coamnand the ad-
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tained by pirtuom p d rnn vroolution.
Money waiting an advtageou Ivestment diould go to purchasing hares in the
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clee:|ueaJp eoaatUUMl ltu115u.Suc Nhe'I' U,- Ph.,m Heri.m 2Blrl
Th Bluch S LIl. 1. laM rcewlt el c Hef.l.aceian iMc n de. patI l Hj Ms.ca Cam', world
tweed h ee wmt Jula t14 Ecdens .c rr kewas th UnLercl Naerc Improameni A.a.
nl.n a d Alcu C-a-e La.o a f hh Ilao. P .l d-ec C. .l
Te A.Ci et ase.' m-nb al a.e t..- il prkea e .ta k--ncl-- al bec. 11 M U..nted
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'ME BLACK STAR UNE Ib'
8 W. l. Ite. 115 ea h -A P
(From top): Shirley
Chisholm, T. Albert
Kenyatta, Malcolm X.
Below: Garvey with friends
- -v -.
,-, < --.* -. -." .
Black Cross Nurses (above)
and other UNIA
uniformed groups on
parade in New York in
the 1920s during the
heyday of the
organization. At left,
from the top: The Gar-
vey Militia; Royal African
Guards and African
'.,-, -'' t, u -,' .
joined the UNIA en masse. Paid 'travel-
ling commissioners' and volunteer
workers established and nurtured bran-
ches in many countries. Seamen, too,
now began disseminating his message
to the far corners of the world. Some
were engaged by the UNIA but others
needed no such official sanction. The
Sierra Leone-born seaman, Ernest Marke,
told this author that he never left New
York bound for Africa or the West
Indies without a cache of Garvey's
newspapers. He procured them at his
own expense and passed them around
(From top): Henry Sylvester
Williams, Captain A.A.
Cipriani, St William
wherever he went. He distributed many
copies at Jamaican ports and did not
even know, in the beginning, that Gar-
vey was Jamaican.
The paper that Mr Marke distributed,
the Negro World, itself played no small
role in the internationalization of the
Garvey Movement. Begun in 1918, it had
by the early 1920s become the most
widely circulated African newspaper in
the world. Sections were printed in
Spanish and French in addition to English
and it carried news of UN IA branches and
race matters of interest to people every-
where. It was effectively edited, well-
written and informed and was a superb
educational and propaganda organ. Each
issue carried a front page editorial in
bold type from Garvey and these mes-
sages were read around the world as
gospel. The white press may also have
helped spread the movement by hyster-
ical stories such as one of Garvey pre-
paring to land in Africa at the head of
a large army.
There was another, perhaps less
tangible reason for the rapid spread of
the UNIA. This was the New Negro
spirit of the age. The First World War of
1914-1918 had built up expectations
among oppressed peoples. Statesmen
such as President Woodrow Wilson of
the United States indulged in much
fanciful rhetoric about self-determin-
ation for subject peoples. What the Afri-
can world got instead were vain sacri-
fices from its much-discriminated-against
soldiers and intensified racism at the
war's end. Black people around the
world were angry and fought back
bitterly. In 1919 alone there were hun-
dreds of race riots in the United States,
similar race riots in Britain and strikes
and disturbances in Trinidad and Tobago,
British Honduras (Belize) and Sierra
Leone, among other places. In all of
these places Africans fought back with a
grim resolve. Militancy was the order of
the day and the African world was
ready for a militant ideology, such as
that espoused by Marcus Garvey.
Garvey preached an ideology of Afri-
can nationalism. With this message he
was able to strike at a common deno-
minator among African peoples the
world over. Whatever their regional and
local differences, African people were
receptive to his basic nationalist philo-
sophy of race first, self-reliance and
Race first meant that African peoples
should put their self-interest first. They
should see physical beauty in themselves,
write their own literature and history,
decide for themselves who their heroes
were and who their villains should be
and generally interpret their own real-
ity. Self-reliance addressed the need for
an oppressed people to be about help-
ing themselves. Garvey feared and
despised the dulling of initiative that
came in the wake of perpetual depen-
dence on charity. His Black Star Line
Steamship Corporation, a spectacular
effort at self-reliance, may well have at-
tracted more people to the UNIA than
any other single project spawned by the
association. In the early 1920s the
Marcus Garvey in 1922
in his uniform as president-
general of the UNIA
(left) and reviewing a
UNIA parade (top).
At centre is a section
of the parade.
Not everyone knows that
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That's because Alcan
diligently restores mined land,
and uses it for agricultural
operations. In fact, most of
Alcan's 30,000 acres are under
agriculture, employing over three
In 1986, besides producing
over 4 million quarts of milk,
Alcan also supplied a large
percentage of Jamaica's beef,
as well as making a significant
contribution to the horticultural
and agricultural output.
Alcan provides Jamaica with
more than just alumina. Alcan
.* \ commodities
Alcan Jamaica Company ,illl,,
A DIVISION OFALUMINIUM COMPANYOF CANADA LTD. ALCAN
Quiely Achieving Imporlant Goals
7 W1W op-- iWSW
Member of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica
UNIA's business enterprises were em-
ploying over a thousand people in and
around Harlem, the African section of
New York City, where Garvey had his
In nationhood Garvey sought to en-
courage the quest for political empower-
ment among African communities. He
felt that Africa had a special role to play
here. Still prostrate and smarting under
the heel of a rampaging European im-
perialism, Africa's regeneration was cru-
cial to the well-being of her far flung
sons and daughters. 'A strong man is
strong everywhere', Garvey said, and a
strong African continent would lend
psychological and material succour to
African peoples wherever they might
be. He saw a need for skilled and ener-
getic Afro-Americans, West Indians and
others domiciled outside the homeland.
to contribute towards Africa's resurgence.
This ideology was echoed by Garvey's
followers around the globe and helps
explain his impact on politically con-
scious elements on several continents.
Many of the major political figures of
the African world of the last few de-
cades were directly or indirectly influ-
enced by Garvey. Some remained stead-
fast to his ideas. Others became more
conservative as the years progressed.
All of them found in Garvey a signi-
ficant source of inspiration in their for-
mative years. Kwame Nkrumah, first
leader of independent Ghana, testified
in his autobiography to the overwhelm-
ing impact of Garvey's Philosophy and
Opinions on his political development.
As a young man in New York he at-
tended meetings of the UNIA and West
Indian nationalist organizations. Jomo
Kenyatta of Kenya considered himself
a Garveyite as early as the 1920s, when
he was a member of Harry Thuku's
Kenya African Union. As a student in
London Kenyatta later lived in a house
rented by Garvey for African students.
Nnamdi Azikiwe, first governor-general
of independent Nigeria, recalled in his
autobiography his first copy of the
Negro World. He was still a youth at the
time but this chance encounter with
Garveyism had a lasting effect on his
political development. In South Africa
in the 1920s much of the top leadership
of the African National Congress (ANC)
and the Industrial and Commercial
Workers' Union (ICU) belonged to the
In Afro-America, Elijah Muhammad
patterned his Nation of Islam (the so-
called Black Muslims) to a large extent
after the UNIA, of which he was a mem-
ber. The Nation of Islam, begun in the
1930s, had by the 1960s become Afro-
America's most cohesive and financially
powerful mass organization. Muham-
mad's most famous disciple, Malcolm
X, was the son of a UNIA organizer and
attended UNIA meetings as a child.
Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the
first Afro-American to seek the presi-
dential nomination in a major party, at-
tended UNIA meetings as a child in
Brooklyn, New York, where her Bar-
badian father was a fervent Garveyite.
In the West Indies, St. William Grant,
who helped provide an entree for
Alexander Bustamante into Jamaican
politics, had previously been leader of a
UNIA division in Brooklyn. T. Albert
Marryshow, the grand old man of
Grenadian politics and affectionately
known as the father of West Indian
federation, visited Garvey in the early
1920s. He also contributed a poem to
the Negro World. The fathers of Errol
Barrow and James Cameron Tudor,
sometime prime minister and deputy
prime minister of Barbados respective-
ly, were both members of Garvey's
From his secure racial base Garvey
could reach out in solidarity with pro-
gressive people of other races. He sup-
ported the Riffs in their struggle against
the Spanish in Morocco and the Irish in
their campaigns against the British. He
eulogized Lenin on the death of the
Soviet leader and he praised Gandhi in
India. Garveyites scrutinized the rise of
Japan to world prominence to see what
lessons they could learn therefrom.
Garvey corresponded with Captain A.A.
Cipriani, the liberal white trade union
and political leader in Trinidad. Ho Chi
Minh, leader of the Vietnamese struggle
against the United States, actually at-
tended UNIA meetings in Harlem and
contributed financially to the asso-
ciation. This was during a stay in New
York as a young seaman. International
solidarity for Garvey, however, was
never at the expense of surrendering his
base of power within his own community
If Garvey's influence and inter-
national contacts were far flung, then so
was the opposition to his movement. As
an African nationalist he incurred the
hostility of both right and left forces.
The imperialist governments considered
him a threat to the stability of their
colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and
elsewhere. They banned his publications,
jailed and deported his emissaries and
passed special laws aimed at the UNIA.
In the United States Garvey and the
organization were subjected to hostile
surveillance by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) and other agencies,
both public and private. On the left, the
Moscow-based Communist International
waged a protracted campaign against
Garvey, from New York to South Africa.
They were opposed to African organi-
zations, organized on the principle of
Though this opposition eventually
took its toll, none of it could prevent
Garvey from building the most massive
and successful Pan-African organization
of all time. His international influence
even spread beyond politics to the field
of literature and the arts. The 'Poetry
for the People' page of the Negro World
in particular, weekly carried the work
of poets unknown and famous, good
and bad, from around scattered Africa.
Over all of this worldwide outreach
presided a UNIA leadership that was al-
most as international as its membership.
The high echelons of the organization at
various times encompassed men and
women from Liberia, Sierra Leone,
Guatemala, Panama, Jamaica, Antigua,
Trinidad, Grenada, Haiti and the United
States, among other places. In the Inter-
national Conventions of the Negro
Peoples of the World the Garvey Move-
ment had an international parliament,
where delegates came from far and wide
to deliberate on issues affecting the race.
The international impact of Marcus
Garvey and his movement are reflected
to some extent in the celebrations under-
way to mark his hundredth year. The
widespread celebrations, both official
and unofficial, being held in many coun-
tries remind us of the extraordinary
influence of the man, in his time and in
I have documented these assertions in a variety
of places, principally:
(1) Race First; the Ideological and Organi-
zational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and
the Universal Negro Improvement Asso-
ciation (Dover, Ma: The Majority Press,
1986, first pub. 1976).
(2) The Pan-African Connection (Dover, Ma:
The Majority Press, 1984, first pub.
(3) Literary Garveyism: Garvey Black Arts
and the Harlem Renaissance (Dover,
Ma: The Majority Press, 1983).
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Although Garvey is reme
primarily for his political
ties and his strident mes
racial pride and upliftment, his
for cultural development was
which ran parallel to political a
for the entire span of his career.
Garvey like many bright rura
drifted to Kingston in search
horizons and immediately
involved in the intellectual life
city. He joined the National Clu
cent political group and work
paper, Our Own, a fortnightly.
edited his own paper, the Wa
thus starting on a lifelong career
He also became interested
cution and debates. The story
that when he first tried to ente
sions taking place in barber sh
park benches, he was rudely
and told, 'Country boy, sh
mouth!' The young Garvey was
this stinging retort and set aboL
ing the art of public speaking.
ed different churches every Sui
get points in platform deportrr
oratory' from the ministers. Alo
room, he practised aloud what
learnt, reciting passages and
with appropriate body gestures.
1963 p.6]. The lessons seemed
paid off early. In 1910 he en
all-island elocution contest, re
ing the parish of St. Ann, ar
third overall. Around the same
began to organize public speak
tests among the youths
The Early UNIA
In 1914 after travels in
America and residence in Eng
nearly two years, Garvey found
Universal Negro Improvemen
Garvey struggled with his
organization for two years in
with limited success. But even
early days, cultural concerns
a part of the activities. Weekl
ings usually included debates:
A debate on 'The Press or
form, which has the greater in
followed a finely read dialogue
Miss A. Ashwood and Mr. A.
titled Sixteen. Mr. Marcus G
embered By Beverly Hamilton convey
l activi- toget
ssage of for the Press supported by Mr. Daily radici
concern and Miss Ashwood, whilst Mr. L. Small for t
thread led for the Platform supported by Mr. dema
SthreadFraser and members of the audience.
Activities When the issue was put to the vote, encoL
Mr. Small's side won with a large sertiv
majority. Next Tuesday (6 Oct.) at
I youths 7:30 the association holds its next DL
)f wider musical and literary evening to which remain
became members and the public are cordially ment
e of the invited. [Daily Gleaner 3 Oct. 1914]. in th
b, a nas- As this report shows, there were a Bar
d on its regular literary and musical activities. Ethio
Later he One early report even stated that 'the them
tchman, object of the association is to improve quart
in jour- the elocutionary and literary tastes of Liber
the youth of the community' [Daily Music
in elo- Gleaner 14 Sept. 1914]. At another Othe
is told meeting a unanimous resolution was chest
r discus- passed calling on the UNIA to establish It is
ops and 'a city band for discoursing free music Rena
rebuked to the people of Kingston, and especial- tent
ut you ly playing in the Victoria Gardens three G
hurt by times a week and at such places as the news
ut learn- citizens of Kingston might request for came
He visit- the benefit of one and all' [Daily ran I
nday 'to Gleaner 8 Oct. 1914]. on li
nent and The early UNIA was asked to sub- plays
ne in his mit names of outstanding black men full
he had in Jamaica for inclusion in the public- whicl
poems ation of historical works by Dr William from
[Garvey Ferris, M.A. of Yale University en- West
to have titled The African Abroad or his evo- launc
tered an lution in western civilization. Among would
epresent- the names selected were those of Dr well
nd came Robert Love to represent literature and 16 Se
time he oratory and Mr B. de C. Reid for music
ing con- [Daily Gleaner 5 Jan. 1915]. The early 1927
of west UNIA also staged fund-raising concerts; U.S.
held regular lectures at meetings -- one UNII
such was given by Mr H.A.L. Simpson arts.
on 'The Abuse of the Jamaican Dialect'; U.S.A
Central held elocution contests (Garvey won ended
land for one of these) and ran a library and read- famo
ended the ing room. period
t Asso- Garvey left Jamaica in 1916 for the poerr
U.S.A. in order to undertake fund- wife
fledgling raising for his young organization. Mrs volur
Jamaica Garvey tells us that he had hoped to re Medi
in those turn to Jamaica to establish a trade Injus
formed centre and black cultural centre. [Gar-
y meet- vey 1963 p.14]. What was planned as
a five-month speaking tour turned into
an eleven-year stay during which time It
the Plat- the UNIA grew into the largest Pan 1927
ifluence?' African movement ever. The UNIA at paid
Daily en- its height had over 1,200 branches in period
arvey led more than forty countries. International in Ja
entions brought thousands of people
her. The UNIA also became more
al ideologically, preaching 'Africa
ie Africans' directly to the masses,
ending an end to colonial rule and
raging blacks to practise an as-
ring this period cultural activities
ned an intrinsic part of the move-
. The UNIA had a musical director
e person of Rabbi Arnold Ford,
badian by birth who composed the
pian Universal Anthem, the an-
of the UNIA. The UNIA head-
ers had a band and an orchestra.'
ty Hall in New York had a choir.
was a part of regular meetings.
r divisions had choirs, bands, or-
ras, drama clubs and literary circles.
low being revealed that the Harlem
issance was influenced to some ex-
by the Garvey Movement.
arvey's most famous and longlasting
paper, Negro World (1918-33) be-
a vehicle for cultural activities. It
ook reviews, short stories, articles
terature, film reviews, reviews on
and for a long time published a
page called 'Poetry for the People'
h used poems sent in by members
all over the world, including the
Indies. Garvey had even tried to
h a Blackman magazine which
d have been devoted to literature as
as political affairs. [Negro World
ept., 14 Oct. 1922].
hen Garvey returned to Jamaica in
(after being deported from the'
k.) he brought with him a whole
k tradition of promotion of the
Even while he was in prison in the
A., Garvey still indulged in artistic
avours. He composed his most
us song, "Keep Cool", during this
d. He also wrote a number of
is which were published by his
Amy Jacques Garvey in two
nes, Selections from the Poetic
stations and The Tragedy of White
Jamaica 1927 -35
was during his stay in Jamaica
-35 that Garvey seems to have
most attention to the arts. This
d represents one of the bright spots
imaica's cultural history when the
headquarters of the UNIA, Edelweis
Park, situated at 67 Slipe Road (now
the offices of Wood's Hardware) became
a major cultural centre, encouraging,
nurturing and exposing some of the best
talent in the island:
Marcus Garvey had been one of the
first people in the 1920s to consider
the public recreation and entertain-
ment of the poorer people in the
Kingston and St. Andrew areas. Edel-
weis, Park was the locale for dances
and the projection of new stage talent
[Baxter 1970, p.296].
And so it was. Dances, dance com-
petitions, elocution contests, recitations,
dramatic productions, vaudeville, variety
concerts, musical programmes of various
sorts, films this was the fare offered
at Edelweis Park for the benefit of
the general public. There were other
attractions that were more purely enter-
tainment fairs, picnics, circuses, dress
promenades, beauty promenades and
sporting events such as boxing. Garvey
himself wrote plays, poetry and songs.
He was an avid collector of art and
could be deemed a librarian of sorts.
His newspapers the Blackman and the
New Jamaican and later his magazine
the Black Man published book reviews,
poems, reviews of plays and concerts and
articles on history. The noted black
historian, J.A. Rogers contributed regu-
lar articles on African history.
The UNIA in itself was not without
its fair share of dramatic and artistic
import. There was pageantry and colour
in the auxiliary groups the Black
Cross Nurses, the African Legion, the
Boy Scouts and Girl Guides (also
called Juveniles); and not least of all
in the attire of the president-general
himself who wore gowns on various
official occasions and special uniforms
with plumed hat on extra special oc-
It was not by accident that culture
played an important part in UNIA acti-
vities. Cultural development was an ac-
cepted fact at the policy making level
by Garvey himself and within the highest
echelons of his organization. It fell
squarely in line with his doctrine of race
pride and self-reliance. For him, culture
was a tool of liberation, particularly of
Garvey encouraged those who used
their talents to boost the morale of the
black man while condemning those who,
though talented, depicted the race in a
demeaning way. He condemned Claude
McKay over his novel Home To Harlem
and accused him of being one of those
guilty of 'prostituting their intelligence
under the direction of the white man to
bring out and show up the worst traits
of our people'. He called the novel 'a
damnable libel against the Negro'.
[Negro World 29 Sept. 1928]. On the
other hand, he stated in the same edi-
torial; 'We must encourage our own
black authors who have character, who
are loyal to their race, who feel proud
to be -black and in every way let them
feel that we appreciate their efforts to
advance our race through healthy and
decent literature'. This review was writ-
ten when Garvey was in Jamaica. He
used to send editorial material to the
Negro World on a regular basis.
Garvey gave strong support to one of
Jamaica's most famous comedians, E.M.
Cupidon. When Cupidon was about to
leave for England for further studies
Garvey wrote in an editorial: 'He is
young and ambitious, he has a fairly
liberal education, he has been trained
to realise his responsibilities. We can
therefore trust him as our Jamaican
student exponent in England of his
line of art'. [Blackman 14 June 1929].
It is also noticeable that Garvey's
manifesto for the 1929 municipal
election which he contested had some
planks dealing with culture. A public
library in the capital of each town, a
national opera house with an academy
of music and art, the beautification and
creation of the Kingston Race Course
into a national park similar to Hyde
Park in London these were some of
the issues he promised to address.
At international conventions, there
were sessions devoted to cultural topics:
the 1934 convention had a session on
art which Garvey himself chaired. He
said that art was 'a very important
subject . . As much as we are trying
to develop ourselves in business, reli-
gion, politics and so on, we have to
build ourselves up in Art'. [Daily Gleaner
18 Aug. 1934].
Sometimes Garvey specifically en-
couraged creativity in national rather
than racial terms when speaking of the
o-night! I -night.
hi', belN IWIte h in Artc rice
dill ing the cli*-s of slavery.
AT EDEL WEIS PARK,
71 'URSN~' 161- 1,All CH
FRhOM -7-o I(0 1: I
MALUTS Is. CHILDREN 6d,
need for the development of a Jamaican
culture. He spoke pointedly on this issue
in a speech given at the Ward Theatre
before the start of a programme of
music and songs written by himself and
Mr B. de C. Reid.
Garvey addressed the crowd thanking
them for their fine turn out that after-
noon to show their appreciation of
local art. As he has said on the two
previous occasions within the last three
weeks, he felt that the time was ripe
when they should bring out what was
in them in poetry and music, things
created by Jamaicans in Jamaica [Daily
Gleaner 26 July 19341.
Three themes stand out in Garvey's
cultural policy that culture is an inte-
gral part of man's activities, that the
black artist needs to have a sense of res-
ponsibility to his race and that the pub-
lic needs to encourage its artists.
The practical implementation of this
policy can be seen in many ways. The
UNIA had a musical director, as men-
tioned before. UNIA meetings had a
regular cultural component. In Jamaica
there was a big meeting at Edelweis
Park every Sunday night. There was a
religious side to these meetings, with
prayers and sacred songs. But there was
another side with recitations, solos, or-
chestral music. By 1932 these meetings
were described as a 'Forum of Edu-
cation, Literature, Music, pictures and
oratory'. Garvey would deliver an in-
spirational lecture and his oratory was
certainly one of the attractions. He
spoke on such topics as "The things that
make people great", "The vision of suc-
cess" or "The heights of great men".
Here is a description of a typical
Sunday night meeting:
The meeting was called to order by Mr.
Simeon E. McKenzie, 1st vice president
and commenced with the singing of the
opening dde From Greenland's Icy
Mountains followed by prayers and the
hymn God of the right our battles fight.
Mr. Bellamy then read a lesson from
the Scriptures, 2nd Corinthians chap. 5
1: 11 after which the band treated the
audience to a selection of Ernauir and
Miss Daisy Greenidge who was next on
the programme for a recitation of
David's Lament for Absalom made a
wonderful impression upon her hearers.
The interpretation was so perfect that
the President General commented on it
in glowing terms and congratulated
Miss Greenidge. Miss L. Hewie who
rendered The Holy City completely
captivated the audience and Mr. and
Mrs. George McCormack followed with
a duet. Mr. Cecil Moore recited a
panegyric on the Hon. Marcus Garvey
and was vociferously applauded. Caval-
leria Rusticana by the band, an anthem
by the choir I was glad was fol-
lowed by another selection. Home
Songs ended the musical programme.
[Blackman 27 April 19291].
The UNIA in Jamaica also sponsored
various cultural events. There were two
groups of Follies (dancing and chorus
girls) at one time, later they seemed to
have become one company; there was a
UNIA band; two choirs; an orchestra
and a jazz band. These were attached to
Edelweis Park. At Liberty Hall, the
home of the Kingston division of the
UNIA, there was also a choir and a
Some of the units fell under the Edel-
weis Amusement Company which was
established in April 1931. It was capital-
ized at 15,000 with shares offered to
the public at 1 each. This company
had the task of managing the units, pro-
viding high class productions and seek-
ing out local talent. At various periods,
regular programmes were held. At one
time the Follies appeared every Monday
night and every Tuesday there was a
public dance. There was a monthly con-
cert of the Follies, orchestra and choir.
Throughout all this there was the regu-
lar Sunday night meeting. There was
also a Kingston Amusement Company
established by the Kingston division
to promote cultural activities.
We will now look in more detail at
some of the art forms that were en-
couraged by Garvey and the UNIA.
Drama is probably the art form
which received the greatest impetus
from the Garvey Movement in Jamaica.
Garvey himself wrote plays which were
performed at Edelweis Park though one
informant says he remembers seeing one
at the Ward Theatre. So far seven have
been identified and these are mainly of
an historical or political nature: Roam-
ing Jamaicans, Slavery from Hut to
Mansion, Coronation of an African
King, Let My People Go, Ethiopia at the
Bar of Justice, A Night in Havana and
Wine Women and Song, a musical.
Roaming Jamaicans depicts the life
of Jamaicans as immigrants living in the
United States, Panama, Costa Rica and
other Central and South American
countries, their life abroad and return to
Jamaica. [Blackman 16 Aug. 1930].
IS THE CENTRI- OF
On Sunday Nights.
This Sunday Night
Hon. Marcus Garv0.
Hon. Marcus Garvey
(37 SLIPE POAD
')NILLO, MA, CUS G~q
1111L CORONATION Of AN AfARIC1 4
NIONDA \~l(l I Nh AUU5'
TL E-lD)-V \IGHl Ith ALc,!1,
S, AVERY FMOM HUT1110 !PNrl
110 InphorOS Peron Lan AS 1! S p1
r,,, S.,.A,,, N... V- -d .,iA,, U-, It.-
This play had six acts and twenty-one
scenes and according to one ad, it had
been dubbed 'the play of plays for Jam-
aicans' [Blackman 5 July 1930] .Slavery
from Hut to Mansions is described in its
blurb as 'a revelation of the horrors of
slavery. It depicts the slave traffic in full
swing, the agitation for freedom and
Emancipation and progress after'.
[Blackman 16 Aug. 1930]. It had a cast
Coronation of an African King was
said to be the dramatization of the work
of the UNIA. It had three acts, with
scenes in New York, Washington, Lon-
don, the West Indies, Dahomey, Sene-
gal and the Sudan. The plot consists of
an attempt by imperialist forces of the
world to stop a worldwide movement
which is gripping black people and
which according to the introduction
'passed to its climax of the coronation of
an African king'. [Blackman 21 June
1930]. Contemporary international
characters such as David Lloyd George
of England, the U.S. secretary of state
and the French premier were involved.
But, as can be imagined, the black organi-
zation won out. One of the highlights of
the play is a great battle scene between
the imperialist forces of France and the
revolutionary forces of the Sudan under
the leadership of African generals. In
classical style, the battle takes place off
stage. [Blackman 21 June 1930].
Let My People Go was set in slavery.
One informant remembers that in the
play some of the slaves felt that they
should be free to go to Africa instead
of remaining in the West Indies. They
eventually succeeded in going back to
Africa. This play also had scenes of
guerrilla warfare as in the Maroon wars.
Besides these plays, Garvey is credited
with writing at least three mock trials -
one a murder trial, another a divorce
case and the third based on his own trial
Garvey not only wrote plays, he
directed them. One informant, Mr Roy
Carson, reported that Garvey 'drilled
you night and day. Sometimes you had
rehearsals twice per day'.
Other persons staged plays at Edel-
weis Park UNIA members and non-
members. Ranny Williams who credited
his early career to the influence of Gar-
vey, was probably the most important
theatre figure to come out of Edelweis
Park. We know of at least five plays
which he wrote and produced there -
She's a Sheba, Blacks Gone Wild, Land-
ing the Landlord (described as a comedy
farce), King Belshazzar and Old Black
Joe. There are references to a number of
other untitled farces and monologues
which he performed. For example, an
ad for a special Easter Monday show
promoted five different farces written
by Ranny Williams, every one present-
ing a different genre comedy, pathos,
tragedy, pantomime and minstrelsy.
[Blackman 22 April 1930]. Among the
persons appearing regularly in his plays
were his brother Roxie, Harold and
Trim, Racca and Sandy, Eldora Myrie
a dancer from the Follies, and Lur-
line Huie, the famous UNIA soprano.
One feature which stands out is that the
I Vhis roilt be a wondoilut ducitluion for
A A .he Pople-.
r 80 CHARA,. ,ERS IN THE PLAY
Steed Unier Personal Direction 01 Tie
I' HON. MARCUS GARVEY
See dhe ile in Colon osoe the things done in
Port Limon and in Harlem-Newv York.
S- Come ant hear the conversation between
Florence Green and Henry Willianu, two
V', typical characters in Colon.
SA A Tr V F, Y Come and we' W\'est Indians arrested in New
MA A 4 York flo Drinking a Botle of J. Wray and
A 13 F H 1 F,.,htw's ROFn _
The C ,r i an Ahicar King ,phew'n Rtt .
and vrir) '-orn Hut to mansion n Come and see a Gardener Boy front Jamaica
and making loIe to his former Mitress
Ar n_ a.
DL El PARK .You cant n. I . i Li I ,. th..t
I 21st July. he ..i. .... l. 0 you.
Vi 21l t u' y Motaaymani uesda Night' ARepetitiom
Siii, .oo of Jamaican, is e d tor-.
.. t..a... ort GENERAL ADMISSION IS.
d an'i c ine. of South
a, i v .i -r:i ,:.ca- an th,,eF r q wanner of
artists functioned at different times as
actors, singers, dancers and musicians.
Ranny Williams himself started out dan-
cing at Edelweis Park. He describes
how he got into drama there:
I was first a hoofer (back line dancer).
Soon I was a frontliner and then a fea-
ture dancer with partners in front of
the front line. A large UNIA confer-
ence was being held and Mr. Garvey
gave me permission to sit in on sessions.
My observations later formed the basis
of successful monologues I performed
imitating some of the more eccentric
and popular delegates.
Ranny also sang and composed songs.
One song he wrote was called "The
Dog-flea Song" which he sang to the
tune of "Bye Bye Blackbird". [Black-
man 10 June 1929].
The great impersonator and co-
median Ernest Cupidon staged at least
one play at Edelweis Park. It was a
mock trial called Uncle Fixam's Trial
(from his conviction on the charge of
practising obeah). The cast was as fol-
Judges of the high court -Councillor
Marcus Garvey, Dr E.C. DaCosta and
The Prisoner Mr E.M. Cupidon
The Attorney Mr. P.N. Blake
Attorney for the Defence Mr Ken
Cupidon appeared regularly at UNIA
concerts, often as the star attraction. He
received tremendous support from Gar-
vey who on several occasions editorial-
ised on his art:
Mr. Cupidon is a comedian and that in
no secondary sense. He has a genuine
COMING! COMING! COMING!
AT Gigantt4c Dranma
"OLD BLACK JOE"
BY RANNY WILLIAMS
eja slipe im-oadi
Monday Night, i 12th Jan.;
l',tr th, lioBishtariid F atrevage oii lim srs Garre;.
A t ltl i -i I-'tl rt l^. i'* ll i!tB |
native faculty for the art. We admire
his ambition and the pride which he
stirs to perfect his art. [Blackman 2
Musical comedies and vaudeville
shows were also staged, with the Follies
as the main presenter involving singing,
dancing and some acting. Some were
written by Gerardo Leon, their director.
Smiles and Kisses, Finding a Wife, Pep
and Ginger, From Smith Village to
Constant Spring, The Girl from Linstead,
Good Gracious Annabella, Fifty thou-
sand Pounds were some of the titles.
Plays were also performed at Liberty
Hall by UNIA members. Mr Sidney
Gray, an officer of the UNIA in Cuba
and later of the Kingston Division wrote
a number of these plays. One was The
Slave Ship which dealt with the Middle
Passage. Mr Gray recalled that during
one of the scenes where slaves were tos-
sed unceremoniously overboard to
lighten the vessel, Madame de Mena, the
international organizer of the UNIA,
fainted and her husband had to take
her home. Of interest is the fact that Mr
Gray was associated with some of the
famous comedy teams, especially Bim
and Bam. He said that he helped Bim to
write A Gun Court Affair in the 1970s,
thus providing a link between Garvey's
work and modern popular theatre.
The UNIA also fostered the art of
dance. There were two companies of
Follies at one time, later known as the
Follies of Edelweis. The Follies did
various kinds of dances, mainly in the
popular vein. They performed at UNIA
concerts, sometimes appeared in scenes
in a play, and also performed outside of
Edelweis Park. They were trained by
Gerardo Leon who had had show business
experience in New York. At a later
time, Arthur 'Sagwa' Bennett also train-
ed this troupe. The Follies were known
popularly by terms such as the 'Black
Follies' and the 'Ziegfield Follies with
the Palm Beach Tan'. These were defin-
itely one of the most popular groups at
Edelweis Park. One of their perform-
ances was 'punctuated with loud ap-
plause throughout in so much that the
actors had to stop countless times in
their parts to allow the vast audience
to laugh to their hearts' content and
show their appreciation'. [New Jamaican
2 August 1932].
There were also dance contests at
Edelweis Park. In 1930 there was a
marathon contest lasting a whole week.
Twenty couples were selected each
night with 100 on the final Saturday
night. Dancers competed in various cate-
gories classical, rustic, tap, apache (in-
cluding the old time gig), quadrille,
waltz, tango, and lindy hop, [Blackman
May 1930]. Among the famous dancers
who performed there was 'Kid Harold'
who up to the time of his death in 1985
was well-known as a tap dancer. He re-
membered regular Saturday night dance
contests with money prizes and the
performance there of a rhumba queen.
Edelweis Park and Liberty Hall also
functioned as the night clubs of their
times. Often there was dancing after
concerts. It was not unusual to see ads
like this: 'Extraordinary vaudeville -
Follies and Musical Programme at Edel-
weis Park 7:30 to midnight Dan-
cing after musical programme'. [Black-
man 22 June 1929].
And dancing could take place quite
spontaneously, as this report of an Easter
Monday carnival (fair) illustrates:
Edelweis Park, the Mecca of Kingston
and St Andrew coloured pleasure seek-
ers bore the aspect of a Venetian Carni-
val when hundreds of gaily attired
men, women and children 'strutted' on
the dancing pavement or paraded free-
ly around, fully imbued with the spirit
of the sportive season.
The strains of jazzy syncopation flung
out by the peppy orchestra seemed to
cast an hypnotic spell over the dance-
mad youths promoting frenzied demon-
strations of the very latest steps.
Mamas and papas gazed on, bedevilled
at the mad careering of sons and daugh-
ters freed from the blank drudgery of
home life and the harsh and depressing
monotony of routine. The spirit of
revelry was rampant, old men and boys,
young moms, dames and maidens dan-
ced with utter abandon. [Blackman
4 April 1929].
Music formed an important part of
UNIA activities. The UNIA had its own
musical director at one time, its own
national anthem, its own songs and its
own hymns. Edelweis had a band which
performed at concerts, Sunday night
meetings, plays, on parades and at enter-
tainment activities such as picnics and
fairs. Edelweis Park also had two or-
chestras a concert orchestra and a jazz
orchestra. There were two choirs a
ONE WEEK OF |
Kid Harold =FPOM=
Monday .To Satur-
day Night, 19th,
20", 21-, 22"', 23"
and 24" MAY,
7.30 TO 12 RACf NIOT."
Jt, === + p=l
concert or sacred choir and a secular
choir making five main musical units
at Edelweis Park alone. Liberty Hall
also had a choir. At special events all
would combine for a performance, as
happened at the spectacular opening of
the 1929 international convention. The
choir at Edelweis Park was directed by
the noted tenor Granville Campbell and
performed weekly at Sunday night
meetings. According to Z. Munroe Scar-
lett who was a member of the sacred
choir, training was rigid. Members had
to attend five practices per week before
being allowed to perform on Sundays.
Practice sessions were held twice daily,
once in the morning and again in the
afternoon, making ten per week. Mem-
bers could select any five to attend. For
each appearance on Sunday they would
be paid two guineas.
The most regular event for the musi-
cians was the Sunday night meeting. At
one meeting the choir sang "From
Greenland's Icy Mountains", "God of
the right our battles fight", "Abide with
Me" and the anthem "Holy is the
Lord"; the band played "Country
Girl", "Cavalleria Rusticana" and
"Down South". In addition there
was a cornet solo.
Some of the UNIA songs were march-
ing songs or rally songs. Z. Munroe
Scarlett summed up their effect: 'Our
songs were to arouse the people to get
out of their condition'. Cyril Stewart,
an old Garveyite, remembers two of the
most popular as "Listen to the voice of
Garvey" and "All around the World"
which were sung by the scouts. Like
most scout groups, the UNIA Juveniles
had a drum corps (at least there was one
at Liberty Hall) which took part in
parades and concerts.
From 1931 a singing contest con-
ducted on an islandwide basis was held
at Edelweis Park and was open to
sopranos, contraltos, tenors and basses.
In the 1932 competition, Miss Myrtle
Bennett came first in the soprano class,
retaining her title (she still sings with
the Diocesan Choir); second was Blanche
Savage (who still performs) and third
was Miss 0. Fletcher. In the baritone
section, first was George Bowen, who
repeated his feat from the previous year;
second was M.U. Porter and third was
Garvey himself wrote songs, the most
famous being "Keep Cool" which was
regularly sung at Edelweis Park meet-
ings, especially by soloist Lurline Huie.
Garvey received the endorsement of
one of the best known musicians at the
time Astley Clerk [see JAMAICA
JOURNAL 18:4]. One promotional
piece in his newspaper had this to say:
Mr. Astley Clerk is one of Kingston's
most humane and respectable char-
acters when he says anything it is
worthwhile listening to if it concerns
music. Mr. Clerk says the words of the
song "Keep Cool" by Marcus Garvey is
inspiring and the music is superb. This
is a tribute. He has got down several
copies at 1/- each. I hope members of
the UNIA will buy them all today.
[Blackman 18 May 19291.
Here are the words:
Suns have set and suns will rise
Upon many gloomy lives:
Those who sit around and say:
"Nothing good comes down our way".
Some say: "What's the use to try
Life is awful hard and dry"
If they'd bring such news to you
This is what you ought to do
Let no trouble worry you:
Keep cool, keep cool!
Don't get hot like some folk do,
Keep cool, keep cool!
Throw your troubles far away
Smile a little every day
And the sun will start to shine
Making life so true and fine
Do not let a little care
Fill your life with grief and fear
Just be calm, be brave and true
Keep your head and you 'll get
Let no trouble worry you:
Keep cool, keep cool!
just be brave and ever true:
Keep cool, keep cool!
If they'd put you in a flame,
Though you should not bear the
Do not start to raising cane
Keep cool, keep cool.
Garvey also published in 1934 his
Universal Negro Improvement Asso-
ciation Convention Hymns which
Z. Munroe Scarlett
included hymns written by Garvey and
Arnold J. Ford as well as some tradi-
tional numbers. One of them was
"Jubilee", written no doubt as a tribute
to the centenary of the abolition of
Come what may I'm free to dwell
Where the sun and stars do shine;
Never more can slavers sell
This triumphant soul of mine.
There are five other verses.
We have already mentioned a concert
of songs written by Garvey with music
by Mr B de C. Reid, at one time director
of the Jamaica Military Band which was
held at the Ward Theatre.
From time to time, articles on music
would appear in the Blackman and the
Perhaps the art form which Garvey
loved most was that of elocution and
debate. It certainly was the one he prac-
tised the most as he was the principal
speaker at weekly UNIA meetings where-
ever he lived. His oratory was world
famous and he was once described as
'the Demosthenes of the Negro people'
by an old Garveyite who himself is a
skilled orator. Even his enemies gave
him credit for this art.
As was mentioned before, Garvey
at an early age practised the art of elo-
cution. When he founded the UNIA,
elocution and debate were incorporated
into regular programmes and continued
as part of UNIA activities in the United
States. By the time Garvey returned to
Jamaica, he was a seasoned orator of
international fame. And he used his in-
fluence to foster this talent. Elocution
contests were held at Edelweis Park for
UNIA members as well as for thegeneral
public; some blossomed into all-island
affairs with parish champions vying for
The Blackman gives this report of the
Mr. E.M. Cupidon was able to retain
his championship which he won for
himself last year in a graphic present-
ation of The Blacksmith's Story and
certainly deserves the place given him
by the judges. Mr. H.O.B. Harriott
who recited Mark Anthony's Oration
was awarded second place whilst Mr.
A.J. Greenidge, St. Catherine repre-
sentative who presented Chatham on
the American War was awarded third
Mr. Archie Lindo was heard to great
advantage in his wonderful rendition of
The Shooting of Dan McGrew. His
delivery was of a very high standard,
and it might be said that he painted the
whole picture in his enunciation and
excellent dramatising. He was given
The Impeachment of Warren Hastings
was recited by Mr. P.N. Blake who
represented St. Andrew and this won
for him the fifth position.
Elocution formed an important part
of regular UNIA concerts and Sunday
night meetings at Edelweis Park. Cupi-
don made regular appearances at both
these activities. Henrietta Vinton Davis,
the fourth assistant president-general of
the UNIA who had gained fame as an
elocutionist before joining the organi-
zation, was another star attraction from
time to time. Iris Lucille Patterson re-
cited her own poems and was often
commended by Garvey himself. From
within the UNIA there was Daisy Green-
idge, S. C. Lee, George Bowen and
sometimes Gerardo Leon.
In the area of literature, Garvey func-
tioned as poet, critic and promoter to
some extent. He himself wrote poems.
The topics were varied religious,
praise to the black women, African
redemption, the race problem, death
and what can be called inspirational -
encouraging the readers to take hold of
their lives and have confidence in the
future. Garvey's poems are for the most
part clumsy and pedestrian, harking
back to a nineteenth century style; but
they reveal some of his concerns.They
could criticize narrow-minded people,
as in "The Little Minds":
The little minds that're in the world
Are makers of most troubles that
So small in vision they will ever sow
Confusion over land and foreign sea:
They could express personal grief:
Goodbye, my friend, in death we
to meet in realms more glorious:
A void I feel deep in my heart,
For much there was of love in us:
Henrietta Vinton Davis
To see you go is awful pain,
For thou hast been a world to me,
But we shall meet for good again,
To see the light that hallows thee.
Or he could exhort his reader to "Find
To conscience go in quiet mood,
And find yourself each morn
Feed thou upon the psychic food
That makes the gods in mortal hue:
This is the way that men are great -
A II those who smile with Nature's
So then, why brood and curse your
Brace up and strike against your
Garvey printed some of his poems
in the Blackman, sometimes in his
column "The world as it is or some-
times as front page editorials, sometimes
on the regular pages. The Blackman
published poems written by others al-
though this practice could never com-
pare with what happened in Negro
World which at one time had a full page
of poems from readers, "Poetry for the
Garvey was a strong supporter of the
development of Jamaican literature and
the editorials of his newspapers some-
times were in the form of book reviews.
For instance, there was a review of the
anthology Voices From Summerland
which was edited by J.E. Clare Mc-
Farlane in the issue of the Blackman of
3 May 1930.
Another editorial entitled "Jamaican
Literature" dealt with a number of
issues relating to literature. It encourages
readers to purchase a copy of Jamaica's
Jubilee by five authors which had been
published originally in 1888. The book
chronicles the progress of ex-slaves in
that fifty-year period. The editorial
then encourages the purchase of the
latest book by J.E. Clare McFarlane.
If Tennyson is poet then Clare McFar-
lane is; the difference is only in degree.
Every Negro should possess and read
Mr. McFarlane's little book of poems.
It will be necessary to read and re-
read the book in order to fully assimi-
late the thought and meaning.
The editorial also praises the work of
Arthur and Eva Nicholas for their lyrical
quality; Tom Redcam whom it says 'has
produced many poems of high literary
merit'; Claude McKay whose 'efforts in
verse are a worthy contribution in dia-
lect to Jamaican literature'; Una Marson
whose poetry is described as being
'Meritorious and she makes a like claim
in the matter of prose' and Constance
Hollar. Finally, the editorial praises the
work of the Jamaica Poetry League for
'inspiring a love for poetic literature'.
The League's task in compiling an
anthology of verse was highly com-
The Blackman at one stage carried a
column "Chats on Literature" written
by L. V. Henry which included among
other things, a survey of English liter-
ature, a commentary of Elizabethan
literature and a discourse on the work
of Edmund Spenser.
Associated with this love of literature
was a love for reading. It is reported
that Garvey kept an extensive library.
Roy Carson who used to visit Garvey's
home weekly to work in the library
gives this account:
Every Thursday I used to go to his
house to re-arrange his library. He was
a man who didn't sleep more than
three to four hours. He would read
himself to bed .... Garvey had a com-
plete library. Garvey had his library ar-
ranged according to subject matter.
His books used to come in five or six
shipments in cases . . You had men
like Audley Morais (who was running
the Palace) who used to go there for
research; Abraham Dolphy; some min-
isters also. They would make appoint-
ments through his secretary and his
wife would be informed. He had books
on science, history, African history,
religion, art. Willie Henry used to go to
the library. At that time the only library
was the Institute and one at Church St.
and Water Lane (the Athaneum) -
Garvey used to send me there some-
times. Rev. T. Glasspole, Rev. A.A.
Barclay (a Baptist minister), used to go
there as well.
Garvey was also a lover of the plas-
tic arts painting, sculpture, orna-
ments, ceramic pieces and antiques. He
was known to keep a large collection of
paintings and art work, especially African
art. Mrs Garvey gives us an insight into
this side of Garvey:
He had no recreation, as it was dan-
gerous to go to theatres, so his idea of
relaxation was to go around to antique
shops and buy these old pieces. When
he brought them home he would spend
time and patience placing them in the
right setting, colour scheme and ef-
J.E. Clare McFarlane
fective lighting. Sometimes other ob-
jects had to be removed and new posi-
tions found for them. He enjoyed sit-
ting in an easy chair and contemplating
the beauty of the setting he had crea-
ted, or the exquisite workmanship of
a "Satsuma" from Japan, a "Delph"
vase from Holland or the delicacy of an
egg-shell goblet [Garvey 1963, pp.
It is significant that when he was leaving
Jamaica for London, one of his first
instructions to his wife was to crate two
large paintings, one an oil painting of
'Somali Court' his home on Lady
Musgrave Road had a statue of an African
queen. This raised some suspicion that
Garvey was practising obeah and one
day the statue was stolen, only to be
found days later broken in several pieces.
That was to break Garvey's supposed
occult faculties or practice.
Art was one of the topics down for
discussion at the UNIA 1934 Con-
vention. Garvey himself chaired the
session and said that art was 'a very
important subject but probably not
realized by a large number of people,
particularly of his group because it is a
subject of culture rather than a subject
of everyday occupation. One's civili-
zation is not complete without its Art,
the highest form of expression of
human intelligence. That is my interpre-
tation. Art is the highest form of
genius'. [Daily Gleaner 18 Aug. 1934].
The Blackman carried articles on art
general discussions as well as reviews
of exhibitions. Garvey himself once
used his column in the New Jamaican to
encourage readers to visit an exhibition at
the Jamaica Mutual Assurance Society's
building which had been arranged by
Astley Clerk. The Blackman also car-
ried an article on sculptor Alvin Mar-
riott, praising his art and giving a brief
sketch of his career.
Mr. Marriott who must be termed the
'Michael Angelo' of not only Jamaica
but of the West Indies has been show-
ing his talent as a polished sculptor and
finished artist by his numerous works
of Art that have been gaining the praise
and approbation of even the fiercest
critics. [Blackman 26 Sept. 1929].
Marriott himself was an admirer of
Garvey and had visited his home to do a
sketch. Garvey, he reported had a very
busy schedule and so could not sit for
too long but he managed to get 'a nice
profile of him'. Marriott of course was
later to do more than one bust and
statue of Garvey including the one at
the shrine in Heroes Park and the
life-size statue in St. Ann's Bay. 'Gar-
vey was a cultured man. He had brilliant
ideas. As an artist I am dedicated to
Garvey as I am to no other', he has
A word on Edelweis Park as an
entertainment centre will round off this
discussion. The park did function as an
entertainment centre with fairs, coney
islands, picnics, dress promenades (simi-
lar to fashion shows), beauty displays
(for attractive women and men), games.
Later there were films and the crude
introduction of radio. The latter seemed
to have been no more than the use of an
amplifier and microphone. But concerts
were held behind the microphone and
Garvey at one time even introduced a
news service to broadcast the latest
news. In 1933 there was a major policy
decision to run Edelweis Park along
similar lines as continental amusement
parks with activities every night.
There will be radio programmes, or-
chestral music, popular entertainers,
side-shows, games and dancing. There
will be a variety of stalls, restaurants,
lunch rooms and refreshment parlours.
[New Jamaican 3 Oct. 19321.
The Edelweis Park activities received
endorsement from no less a person than
the director of famous American movie
actress Marlene Dietrich, Mr. Josef von
Sternberg who with a party of Holly-
wood luminaries visited the site shortly
after the inauguration of the Night Life
programme. He was said to be 'loud in
his praise of Edelweis Park.'
Garvey formed an important link in
the cultural development of Jamaica.
He encouraged local talent, he encour-
aged local productions, he set up pro-
fessional cultural groups; his move-
ment helped to train people, and most
of all it gave them a sense of purpose
and direction. This marks one of the un-
known sides of Garvey.
BAXTER, Ivy, Arts of an Island, Metuchen,
N.J., The Scarecrow Press, 1970.
r. tMt**? it. U n Is an i,
_. _________. Ib e l sl~t+ a I X mt .\i ti, ;I, : F.. e p ,- ,._J -
EDELWEIS PARK'S ...' .
oILLev IslaOPEN ( .
%VILL OPEN 0N-
FROM 7 )0 1() 1- ViD\l,H1]
And every Night thereafter.
Music. General Fnt rii,; 5p, Fnir
and Healthy Amusm J. I: ns, .
See them climb the Greasy
Pole and got the Ham.
Th. GenerVoi \ ii.iiun \Il I be
for e%,,rbdyv fv;rr ni~ ht
Comer 'ome Qome !
GARVEY, A.J., Garvey and Garveyism, A.
Jacques Garvey publisher, 1963.
GARVEY, Marcus, Philosophy and Opinions
of Marcus Garvey Vol. Ill: Frank Cass
and Co. Ltd., 1977.
HILL, Robert, The Marcus Garvey and Uni-
versal Negro Improvement Association
Papers, University of California Press,
MARTIN, Tony, Literary Garveyism: Garvey,
Black Arts and the Harlem Renaissance
The Majority Press, 1983.
- (ed.), The Poetical Works of Marcus
Garvey: The Majority Press, 1983.
Marcus Garvey, Hero: A First Bio-
graphy: The Majority Press, 1983.
- Race First: the ideological and organi-
zational struggles of Marcus Garvey
and the UNIA: Greenwood Press, 1976.
MILLS, J.J., His Own Account of his Life and
Times: Collins and Sangster, 1969.
The New Jamaican
The Negro World
Vivian Durham by Beverly Hamilton 1984
Roy Carson by Beverly Hamilton 1984
Iris Patterson by Beverly Hamilton 1985
Z. Munroe Scarlett by Beverly Hamilton (a
series over the period 1977-84)
Z. Munroe Scarlett by Kevin Sinclair 1984
Sidney Gray by Kevin Sinclair and Beverly
Kid Harold by Kevin Sinclair 1984
Keith Blackburn by Beverly Hamilton 1986
Theophilus Brandford by Beverly Hamilton
Notes on Informants
Keith Blackburn was the manager of Black-
burn's Educational Film Library and worked
as a prop manager at Ward Theatre for several
years. Though not a member of the UNIA, he
knew Garvey personally, worked on the reno-
vation of Edelweis Park for the 1929 conven-
tion and attended functions at Liberty Hall.
He died in 1986.
Theophilus Brandford was president of the
Kingston Division of the UNIA in the 1960s-
70s. As a boy he was a member of the UNIA
boy scouts group which was attached to the
Kingston Division. He performed at UNIA
concerts. Later he became the general secre-
tary to Robert Hinds, one of the early Rasta-
Roy Carson worked as a mail clerk for eight
years at Edelweis Park. He also performed
duties at the Garveys' home weekly.
Vivian Durham was associated with the
Kingston Division of the UNIA. He was active
in citizens associations, politics, debating
clubs and journalism. He acted as Garvey's
campaign manager in two elections. He was a
founding member of the BIT.U.
Sidney Gray was an officer of the UNIA both
in Cuba and in Jamaica where he was attached
to the Kingston Division. He was a scoutmaster
for the UNIA and other groups. He wrote
plays for scout concerts, lodges and UNIA
concerts. He died in 1984.
Iris Patterson was a contralto and elocutionist
and poet in the UNIA. She wrote several
poems which were published in the Blackman
and was a regular participant at Sunday night
meetings at Edelweis Park. She still writes
poetry and a collection was published by
Bilongo Press of Montreal in 1978 under the
title Look for Me in the Whirlwind. She wrote
a pamphlet in the 1970s called Marcus Garvey
As I Knew Him, which was published by the
Rasta Movement Association.
Z. Munroe Scarlett was a vice president of the
Kingston Division of the UNIA and was found-
er and executive secretary of the Whitfield
Division. He was a member of the sacred choir
and helped in Garvey's election campaign in
1930. He started in journalism with Garvey's
Blackman and later went on to work at the
Gleaner, Jamaica Times and started two
papers of his own, the Negro Voice and the
Jamaica Advocate. He played a major role in
the 1938 labour uprising at the Kingston
waterfront in securing Bustamante's release
and was involved in early trade union and
political party activities. He is commonly
referred to as one of Jamaica's 'unsung heroes'.
He died in 1984.
Harold Smith, better known by his stage
name of Kid Harold was one of Jamaica's
famous entertainers, known for his tap dan-
cing, an art which he practised right up to the
time of his death in 1985. In the '20s and '30s
he was a part of the comedy team, Harold and
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iN^ r tt t M . t c lr un *t -1 ... F
Amy Ashwood Garvey
r-T" I r r"T
By Tony Martin
he political career of Marcus Garvey is unrivalled in
many ways. In size and international impact his move-
ment is without equal in the history of Pan-African
activity. In the honours heaped upon him since his death and
in the efforts by many to elevate him to the status of pro-
phet he occupies a position rarely equalled by great leaders.
In his private life Garvey proved to be no less unique than in
his public career. For it was his fate to marry two women
with the same name, from the same place, who were best
friends and roommates. As if all of this was not enough, his
second wife, whom he married in 1922, had previously ac-
companied him up the aisle, as it were, as chief bridesmaid at
Wite No. 1
the first wife's wedding. Wife No. 2, in her capacity of pri-
vate secretary to Marcus Garvey, had also gone along on the
honeymoon of Wife No. 1.
Wife No. 1, Amy Ashwood Garvey, was the loser in this
eternal triangle. She nevertheless played a brief but import-
ant part in the history of Garvey's Universal Negro Improve-
ment Association (UNIA) and went on to live an exciting
storybook life of her own.
Amy Ashwood, born in 1897 in Port Antonio, Jamaica, was
a precocious child who grew up into a talented, attractive
woman of expansive horizons and boundless energy. Not
W.E.B. Du Bois
Adam Clayton Powell
Photographs of Amy Ashwood Garvey
against the backdrop of her tomb in Calvary
content with marrying one of history's great leaders, she
lived a romantic and erratic life that brought her into close
contact with important political figures in the Caribbean,
Afro-America, Africa and Britain. A restless figure, she lived
or sojourned in Jamaica, Panama, the United States, England,
Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago and Las Pal-
mas, among other places. Throughout her adult life she never
remained in one country for longer than four years. Hers was
an adventurous life of perpetual motion.
Amy was a mere seventeen years old when she met Gar-
vey in July 1914. Garvey had arrived back home to Jamaica
only a few days earlier. After four years of almost constant
travel in Latin America and Europe, Garvey was on the verge
of founding his organization. He had been impressed on his
travels by the sorry condition of Africans around the globe
and was convinced that only through the power of organi-
zation could the situation be alleviated. Already a veteran
debater and a practised public speaker, Garvey dropped in on
the weekly debate at the East Queen Street Baptist Church
hall in Kingston. There, just an anonymous face in the
crowd, he was immediately captivated by Amy, a principal
speaker for the afternoon's proceedings. The fact that he
was ten years her senior seemed to matter little as he heard
and watched her defend the proposition that "Morality does
not increase with the march of civilization". Forceful in love
as in political activity, Marcus accosted Amy at the tramcar
stop after the debate and lost no time in expressing his ad-
miration. When, a few days later, the UNIA was founded,
Amy Ashwood became, according to her testimony, the first
member apart from Garvey himself.
Amy was already well-educated and worldly wise. She had
lived in Panama and in Jamaica she had attended the West-
wood Training College for Women. Before long she plunged
into the work of the fledgling organization. She helped or-
ganize dinners for the poor of Kingston. She visited the
sick in hospital. She travelled with Garvey on his organi-
zational lectures. She took part in debates sponsored by the
UNIA and recited the poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar at
UNIA meetings. She became secretary of the UNIA's ladies'
Garvey left Jamaica in 1916 for what he thought would
be a short visit to the United States. Instead, he remained
eleven years and became a world figure. Amy, too, left Jam-
aica around this time, but for Panama. Contact between
the two remained at best intermittent for two years, though
Amy says that they had become engaged before departing on
their respective journeys. In Panama Amy established a rela-
tionship with a new paramour, one Allan Cumberbatch.
Cumberbatch, born in Barbados but previously resident in
Trinidad, was a dapper businessman in his thirties, even older
than Garvey. This relationship would later contribute to the
ending of Amy's marriage with Garvey.
Amy in due course appealed to Garvey for financial assist-
ance to leave Panama and joined him in New York in 1918.
By this time the UN IA was well on its way to re-establishment
in North America. Harlem had taken the place of Kingston
as the association's headquarters, some small businesses had
been founded, a newspaper, the Negro World was already ap-
pearing weekly, and Garvey was already attracting thousands
to his regular meetings. Soon, the UNIA would be a massive
Amy picked up where she had left off in Jamaica She
travelled around North America with Garvey and helped in
myriad ways to build the organization. When in 1919 Gar-
vey launched his most spectacular venture, the Black Star
Line Steamship Corporation, Amy became one of its board
of directors. Like Garvey, she was summoned before the dis-
trict attorney investigating Garvey's 'radical' activities. She
may even have helped save his life from the bullets of a
would-be assassin in 1919. Amy and another woman helped
to distract the intruder as he fired at Garvey.
A mere two months after this assassination attempt, Amy
and Garvey were married. The marriage took place on 25
December 1919 at Liberty Hall, the Harlem meeting place
of the UNIA.
The newlyweds left almost immediately for Canada. For
Garvey it was to be a working honeymoon. In Ottawa,
Toronto and Montreal he would make public appearances
and promote the Black Star Line. Under the circumstances
his private secretary, Amy Jacques, came along. Amy Jacques
and Amy -Ashwood'had-.been friends from Jamaica. Ashwood
claimed to have urged her friend Jacques te come to the
United States and to have been responsible for her obtaining
employment in the UNIA.
By February 1920 the marriage of Amy Ashwood and
Garvey was on the rocks, less than three months after its
seemingly auspicious inception. Garvey explained his disen-
chantment by accusing Amy Ashwood of serious improprie-
ties and misdemeanours. She drank frequently, even in pub-
lic, something which in the 1920s was considered scandalous
for a woman with pretentions to respectability. At the Can-
adian border at the beginning of their honeymoon, Garvey
claimed to have received the greatest embarrassment of his
life when a customs officer found a concealed bottle of
liquor in his new wife's luggage. The offending bottle had
been packed without Garvey's knowledge.
Garvey also accused Amy of infidelity. She had continued
to correspond with Allan Cumberbatch in Panama despite,
he said, her promise not to do so. He also accused her of
consorting with one of his own employees, a 'fashion plate'
in the employ of the Black Star Line. He is said, to have
found her in the midst of a tryst with Sam Manning, a
Trinidad calypsonian who in due course became a near-
permanent fixture in Amy Ashwood's life.
Perhaps most damaging of all, Garvey accused his wife of
dishonesty in the handling of money. The record indicates
that she in all probability did misappropriate Black Star Line
funds to purchase a house in Harlem.
Amy for her part claimed that she disagreed with some of
her husband's political ideas and that he was too strongwilled.
Most of all she blamed her friend Amy Jacques for her mis-
fortune. Amy Jacques it was, she suggested, who tipped off
Garvey to the tryst with another man. Amy Jacques, she
said, had been sceptical about the UNIA at first, and had
only converted to Garvey's vision when she saw the fame
and fortune that surrounded Garvey. The fact that Amy
Jacques and her estranged husband became closer friends
after the separation seemed to confirm Amy Ashwood's
Beginning in 1920, Amy Ashwood brought a series of
legal actions for divorce, alimony and the like against Garvey.
The major question of divorce remained unresolved and Amy
Ashwood left the United States, first for Montreal and then
for London. In her absence Garvey established a fictitious
legal residence in the state of Missouri. There he obtained a
divorce and then promptly married Amy Jacques in Balti-
more in 1922. Amy Ashwood never accepted that divorce
and accused Garvey of bigamy for the rest of her life, but to
no avail. She could not undo the damage that had been done
to her legal claims on Garvey. Over the years she would often
accuse Garvey, both in and out of court, of having divorced
In England meanwhile Amy Ashwood began to strike out
in her own independent activity. Much of her activity for the
rest of her life would be similar to the type of work she had
done in the UNIA. Like Garvey, she was by now an ardent
Pan-Africanist and most of her life's work would be directed
to the goal of forging links among African peoples and ad-
vancing their political interests.
In 1924 she helped found a Nigerian Progress Union
(NPU) in London. Members included several prominent
Nigerians, as well as other West Africans. Here, as elsewhere
for the rest of her life, she found her association with Gar-
vey helpful, despite the estrangement. Ladipo Solanke, secre-
tary of the NPU was an admirer of Garvey.
Amy left London in 1924 and returned to the United
States via Jamaica. In New York in 1926 she sued Garvey
once more, this time for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
Garvey was by this time in prison in Atlanta, Georgia, having
been sentenced for a trumped-up charge of mail fraud. His
lawyers nevertheless retaliated swiftly and devastatingly.
They trapped Amy (or so she said) with a male friend in bed
in a compromising situation that admitted of no plausible ex-
planations. Garvey now cross-charged her with adultery and
the suit ended in a stalemate, with no judicial pronounce-
ment, one way or the other, on the validity of Garvey's
The Rev. Roy Campbell, S.J.'who conducted
the 'tomb unveiling ceremony' as it was
called, with Mr Lionel Yard (right) who as a
young man had known Garvey and who
raised funds through the Friends of Amy
Ashwood Garvey Association in the United
States to have the tomb erected.
Participants in the 'unveiling of the tomb-
stone' of Amy Ashwood Garvey at Calvary
Cemetery. Second from left is Mrs Ivy Con-
stable Richards,a member of the local UNIA
and a confidante of the late Mrs Garvey.
Other Garveyites who can be identified in
this picture include Mr David Cooper (third
from left), Mr Vivian Durham and Mr Z.
Munroe Scarlett (fourth and sixth from
left, respectively). The three wreaths were
from the. UNIA, the Jamaica National Trust
Commission and the U.S. branch of Friends
of Amy Ashwood Garvey Association.
1922 marriage to Amy Jacques, Wife No. 2.
Amy, none deterred by this bad experience, picked her-
self up, dusted herself off and proceeded to make a little
niche for herself in the history of Afro-American-produced
musical comedy. She and Sam Manning collaborated on
three shows, Brown Sugar, Hey Hey and Black Magic from
1926. The shows had limited runs at Harlem's Lafayette
Theatre and in other cities. In 1929 Amy and Manning went
on tour with a musical revue. This show visited Bermuda,
Antigua, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere.
Amy's life of wandering was now in full swing. By some
strange coincidence she returned to England in 1935, the
same year that Garvey moved there from Jamaica. Their
paths crossed at least once. They saw each other briefly at
a restaurant near Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park where Gar-
vey liked to harangue the crowds.
With the aid of the ever-present Sam Manning, Amy open-
ed a restaurant in London's West End. This eating place be-
came a favourite haunt for London's Pan-Africanist activists.
Such famous persons as C.L.R. James, George Padmore and
Jomo Kenyatta gathered there, not only to eat the only good
food in London (so said C.L.R. James) but to talk politics and
plan their political campaigns. C.L.R. James has said that his
organization, the International African Friends of Abyssinia,
was founded in Amy's restaurant. Amy was herself an
integral part of all the political happenings swirling around
Late in 1938 Amy returned to the United States for a
short while and 1940 found her once again in Jamaica. Gar-
vey died during this year and Amy seized the opportunity to
take some posthumous pot shots at her erstwhile husband.
She caused considerable upset in UNIA circles, with the
membership ranging for or against her in her ongoing debate,
Front and back covers
of a record produced 'in support of the Marcus
Garvey Benevolent Association' and authorised by the first Mrs Garvey.
now with Garvey's ghost. She also began to pay more atten-
tion to women's concerns. She tried to found a School of
Domestic Science, among other things, to train Jamaican
domestics. Throughout her life Amy's fertile imagination
gave rise to many such schemes, most of them potentially
viable. In most instances, however, she lacked the finances,
the drive, or the staying power to bring them to fruition.
Amy also founded a political party, the J.A.G. Smith Politi-
cal Party, named after a well-known Jamaican political figure.
This seems to have amounted to little.
By 1944 Amy had already remained in Jamaica longer
than she would ever again remain in any one place. And so
she left for New York. The Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) kept her under close surveillance this time around.
They burglarized her house and even searched her luggage,
unknown to her, prior to her departure for England once
more in 1945. The FBI now saw Amy as a possible com-
munist. Some of her circle in London (C.L.R. James and
George Padmore, for instance) were, or had been at some
time, influential members of Marxist organizations. In New
York also, Amy now began to associate with Marxists and
persons such as Paul Robeson who were also under heavy
FBI surveillance. Robeson, in fact, would eventually have his
passport taken away and be banned from travelling over-
seas for his alleged communist sympathies.
Amy's outstanding activity in this period was her active
participation in the election campaign of New York's first
Afro-American congressman, Adam Clayton Powell. Yet,
most probably because of the FBI's fears of her suspected
communist sympathies, Amy in New York seemed always
to hover on the brink of deportation by the immigration
authorities. Perhaps for this reason, she decided to leave the
United States in 1945, while she could still do so under her
Once again Amy arrived at a destination just in time to
do something significant for the cause of Pan-Africanism.
Having been in on the founding of the largest Pan-African
movement in history, she now found herself playing an
important ceremonial role at the beginning of the famous
Fifth Pan-African Congress held in Manchester, England in
1945. The Pan-African Congresses came out of a movement
initiated by Trinidad lawyer Henry Sylvester Williams in
1900 and revived by Afro-American scholar W.E.B. DuBois
in 1919. The 1945 meeting was planned by some of the
veterans of Amy's 1930s restaurant, in particular George Pad-
more. Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah were the mainorganizers.
Nkrumah later became prime minister of independent Ghana
in 1957. Padmore became his adviser on African affairs. Amy
co-chaired the opening session of this epochal congress, to-
gether with W.E.B. DuBois.
Up to this point Amy was, like Garvey before her, a Pan-
Africanist who had not succeeded in setting foot on the
mother continent of Africa. She had by now worked for
Africa for many years and had met and befriended many
Africans. Several of them would become influential poli-
tical figures in the era of African independence. Yet Africa
continued to elude her.
Amy rectified this in 1946 when she sailed from England
to Liberia. Liberia had had a long attraction for Pan-African-
ists in general and Garveyites in particular. Begun as a refuge
for Afro-American ex-slaves in 1820, it had attracted thou-
sands of Afro-American and Caribbean immigrants over the
years. Garvey in the 1920s had attempted unsuccessfully to
remove his headquarters from Harlem to Liberia.
The more that Amy Ashwood tried to forge her indepen-
dent career the more she seemed to become entrapped in
Garvey's shadow. She herself was never loath to exploit her
Garveyite connection and she used the name Mrs Garvey to
full advantage. In Liberia, as elsewhere in West Africa, the
name Garvey still guaranteed its holder adulation and atten-
tion and Amy basked in the glory reflected by her late hus-
band. She was feted by politicians and ordinary people, and
established a close, apparently amorous relationship with
President William V.S. Tubman. She claimed to have con-
sidered marrying him and he, in turn, remained a devoted
friend to the end of her life. The possibility of Garvey's
first wife marrying the president of the country that had
figured so prominently in his organizational schemes was
fraught with ironies of all description.
Amy's trip to Liberia was in fact the base of a three-
year sojourn in West Africa. In addition to Liberia, she spent
varying periods in Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast
(Ghana), Nigeria and the Cameroons. By this time Amy's
interests had turned strongly towards women's concerns.
To this end she did extensive fieldwork into the status of
women in West Africa. She met important women, joined a
female secret society, travelled for days up-country to meet a
powerful woman chief and collected voluminous notes on
such subjects as the family, women's societies, polygamy and
women's voluntary associations. She lectured extensively
to women's groups everywhere. Poorer women particularly
occupied her attention. She grieved at the material
conditions of their existence, but defended the institution of
polygamy in its West African context.
The outstanding event of this, Amy's first West African
journey, was the tracing of her ancestral roots back to
Ashanti in Ghana. Armed with the childhood reminiscences
of her African-born great-grandmother, she was able to piece
together the story of the old lady's family, the wars that
resulted in her capture and her enslavement in Jamaica.
Amy's family, it turned out, were rulers of a local area in
Ashanti and she was able to meet with long-lost relatives. The
Asantehene (king of Ashanti) himself investigated the evi-
dence. He convened a formal hearing and listened to the
testimony of Amy and local historians before officially wel-
coming Amy back as a long lost daughter of Ashanti. This
was one of the most moving moments of Amy's life. Her
quest for her African roots had persisted since hearing her
great-grandmother's story as a little girl. Over the years she
had quizzed her West African friends in an effort to identify
the place names mentioned by her great-grandmother. Now,
at the successful culmination of four decades of effort she
was overwhelmed at the result and sobbed uncontrollably as
she listened to the Asantehene's judgement.
After three years in West Africa Amy returned to England
in 1949, just in time for the postwar influx of West Indians
which was to change the racial face of Britain. She spent
some time in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, an area
destined to become a major focus of West Indian settlement.
Here, and later in London, she became one of England's
pioneer social workers among the new West Indian popu-
lation. She visited schools trying to defuse racial problems
and warned that England was headed towards a United States
style racist society. In London's Ladbroke Grove she opened
a community centre which served also as restaurant and small
In 1953. she interrupted her English work with an exten
sive tour of the West Indies. Here her emphasis was on the
women's movement. In Barbados, Aruba, Trinidad and
Tobago, Suriname and elsewhere she lectured to women's
organizations and met with those engaged in child welfare
work. In Barbados especially her stay was very productive.
She was able to persuade several women's groups to come
together into a Barbados Women's Alliance. Her hosts here
were a group of young men who were already preparing the
groundwork for what would soon become the Democratic
Labour Party, led by Errol Barrow. One of her lectures in
Barbados was delivered to a large crowd under the steel shed
at Queen's Park, where Garvey himself had addressed thou
sands in 1937. Some of Amy's Barbadian hosts in 1953 had
actually hosted Garvey in 1937.
For the next ten years Amy divided her time between
England and West Africa. She never could settle anywhere
for long, but wherever she went she seemed to act as a
catalyst galvanizing those around her into action. She was an
effective organizer, in the manner of the itinerant UNIA or-
ganizers of old. What she never regained, after the break with
Garvey, was the stable organization into which she could
feed her mobilizing initiatives. The organizations she found
ed tended to be short-lived. One such, established in London
in 1958, bore the unlikely name of the Association for the
Advancement of Coloured People. In name at least, this was
almost identical with the association which had been a major
adversary of the UNIA in the United States. Like its United
States namesake, Amy's new organization was integrationist
in outlook, signalling a longstanding drift away from Garvey's
Amy's community organizing skills were taxed to the
limit in 1958 when the Notting Hill riots erupted in the very
neighbourhood where her community centre was located.
These were England's worst racial riots since 1919, when an
earlier generation of white hooligans had attacked an out-
numbered black population. Amy was active on committees
attempting to contain the violence and trying to obtain
bail for black men jailed in the aftermath of the fighting.
In 1957 and again in the early 1960s she spent time in
Ghana, Liberia and Las Palmas. This time around she ran into
financial difficulties as various business ventures failed. These
included a concession to a diamond mine in Liberia, given
her by President Tubman.
Tired and weary, Amy arrived back in London in 1964
just in time, yet again, to make history. The Jamaican govern-
ment was attempting to have Marcus Garvey's body return-
ed home to the land of his birth. An earlier attempt by Amy
Jacques, Wife No. 2, had been thwarted by Amy Ashwood in
the 1940s. On that occasion Ashwood had obtained a court
order preventing Jacques from removing the body from
England. She still contended, even at that late stage, that
Amy Jacques was not the lawful wife of Marcus Garvey.
Now, in 1964, Ashwood consented to the body's release and
even signed the necessary papers as next of kin. The Jamaican
government rewarded her with official recognition at cere-
monies in London marking the event. She also received VIP
treatment on her return home to Jamaica in December 1964.
From this point on, Amy's life would centre on the
Caribbean. She lived in relatively straightened circumstances
while trying various abortive schemes to earn a livelihood.
In 1966 and 1967 she spent nine months in Trinidad under
the care of a chiropractic friend. In 1967 she made her final
visit to the United States. There, with Marcus Garvey riding
high in the midst of the Black Power revolution, she was
once again able to turn her surname into celebrity status.
Amy Ashwood returned to Jamaica for the last time in
1968. She died in relative poverty in 1969, after checking
herself out of hospital, against her doctor's wishes. She con-
fided in one of her last letters that she knew there was
nothing her doctors could do, so she saw no point in remain-
Her funeral was attended by a small group of stalwart
friends, among them Mrs Ivy Constable Richards, a neigh
bour who had befriended her in her last months and had pro
vided comfort to the very end. President Tubman made fran.
tic efforts to cable her money in her last days but Amy was
not to receive it. The telegrams were in cipher and no one
could be found to decode them.
Amy died as she had lived, strongwilled. independent,
peripatetic and making plans faster than she could realize
them. There was something of the loner in her, though she
was usually surrounded by acquaintances. Her itinerant life
weaves like a thread connecting an amazing array of major
personalities and events in the history of the African world
of the twentieth century. From Marcus Garvey to Sam
Manning the calypsonian, to C.L.R. James and George Pad-
more, to Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta, to President
Tubman and Prime Minister Errol Barrow, to Adam Clayton
Powell and Paul Robeson, from the Barbados Women's
Alliance to a female secret society in West Africa, from the
Notting Hill riots to Black Power in Harlem, from the first
meetings of the UNIA in Jamaica in 1914 to the Fifth Pan
African Congress of 1945, Amy's life was, in many ways,
Pan-Africanism made manifest.
Th;5 article i. bued on my forthcoming book. Amy Ashwood
Garvey : Pan-Africanist, Feminist and Wife No. 1 (Dover. M.a The
Majority Pre's. expected 1988). It is based overwhelmingly on pri.
mary sources, most of which are not generally yet available to re
searchers These include private co-lleclions of Amy AshwooO Gar
vev's Paper nhela in London. N-ew York and Kingston and re
siricted court record; pertaining to her matrimonial suiii against
Marcus Garvey in New York.
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Garvey's 100th anniversary coincides with the 90th
birthday of his second wife,Amy Jacques Garvey. It
is indeed fitting to pay tribute to her for he relied
heavily on her politically, organizationally and emotionally.
She brought up their two children virtually by herself and for
thirty-three years after his death was the principal source of
information about the Garvey Movement. She deserves a sub-
stantial study in her own right for she was a leader of the
Garvey Movement and she put her administrative, speaking
and literary talents at the disposal of the Universal Negro
Improvement Association and African Communities League.
Amy Jacques was born on 31 December 1896 in Kingston,
the first of the seven children born to George Samuel Jacques
and his wife, Charlotte. She began school at St. Patrick's on
Windward Road, Kingston. She left there for Deaconess High
School (now St. Hugh's High School) and Wolmer's Girls'
School. She was from childhood reserved, disciplined, and
given to the intellectual and 'edifying'. She spent less time at
play or conviviality than at reading about serious subjects
and expertly rendering the classics on the piano. Her musical
skills were nurtured by Mrs Dad, her private tutor.
Her father had planned to have her articled to his solicitor,
Mr T.R. Macmillan of Kingston, after she left school. But his
death stymied this plan and instead, Mr Macmillan invited
her to work as a legal secretary in his chambers. When later
she was weakened by recurrent bouts of malaria, she was
medically advised to live for a while in a cooler climate. She
thought of going to England but the war prevented this. In-
stead, she left for New York in 1918 to stay with a paternal
cousin. It was there that she became enthused by the UNIA
and developed a racial pride that nothing in her upbringing
had taught her. Learning of the organization's need for ex-
perienced clerks, she introduced herself to Garvey following
one of his addresses at the New York Liberty Hall one Sun-
day night. He invited her to work for the UNIA and she soon
became secretary of the Negro Factories Corporation and
When Garvey's marriage to Amy Ashwood collapsed early
in 1920, Amy Jacques replaced Amy Ashwood as Garvey's
private secretary. She retained this post until her own marriage
to him in July 1922. By this time he was on trial and facing a
prison sentence. But loyalty was one of the hallmarks of her
conduct and in the precepts and work of Garveyism she had
discovered her mission in life. Garvey recognized this abiding
loyalty and reciprocated with love and confidence. He dis-
cussed his ideas with her over his favourite snack home-
made ice cream. Sometimes they spoke until the wee hours
of the morning while she took shorthand notes and contend-
ed his views. His voice, fiery on the public platform, rose
scarcely above a whisper at home.
A large top-floor apartment on 129th Street, Harlem,
was home for the Garvey couple, Marcus's sister Indiana
Peart and her husband, and Amy's sister Ida, who worked
as secretary to Mr Hamilton, a Jamaican, who managed the
laundry belonging to the Negro Factories Corporation.
Amy's life during the UNIA's heyday was hectic with organ-
Amy Jacques Garvey
By Rupert Lewis and Maureen Warner-Lewis
". ,'2 "'
- A"*. ~4~''~5~'i* 'E.
izational activities, meetings, court cases, and lengthy train
tours. Furthermore, when Garvey was imprisoned in 1925
she would travel from New York by overnight train, once a
month, alone and armed with a gun, to visit him in Atlanta.
This heady and tension-wracked life meant that she was un-
able to conceive, and it was only after the Garveys' enforced
return to the relative tranquility of Kingston that she gave
birth to two sons. Even with Garvey's deportation in 1927,
the burden of selling off and packing up fell to her and she
arrived back in Jamaica some months after his landing here.
It was the political and cultural upsurge that bred the
'New Negro' which had provided a congenial climate for the
relationship between Amy Jacques and Marcus Garvey to
flourish. It was to lead to a lifetime union that was extra-
ordinarily political. Yet the partnership would not in all likeli-
hood have materialised in Kingston. Whereas Garvey's back-
ground was rural and peasant/artisan, Amy Jacques was from
a fairly well-off urban family. Her father's forebears seem to
have come from Haiti to Kingston, and her great-grandfather
had become Kingston's first mayor. George Jacques himself
was therefore of that class and generation of men who took
Sunday dinner in a coat. His starched round collars and a
cigar were hallmarks of his appearance. A staunch member of
the Duke Street Scots Kirk, he worked for years as manager
of the La Paloma Cigar Factory on upper King Street owned
by a Mr Burke. Jacques was also a modest property owner.
Early in his marriage he bought seven acres on Long Moun-
tain Avenue (now Mountain View Avenue) where he estab-
lished the family home. He also acquired five properties in
Kingston, the rents from which were to provide his family
with an income after he died.
Amy recalled that, as a young girl, she had been ashamed
of her father coming to her school because of his black
colour. However, she attributed her political awareness to his
influence. In earlier years he had lived and worked in Cuba
and Baltimore and so he followed the development of local
and overseas politics with avid interest. He would hold long
discussions with her over current affairs including World War
I dispatches in the journals he brought home. He had wanted
his first child to be male and he therefore socialized Amy
into the surrogate role and interests of a first son.
Amy's mother, on the other hand, was soft-natured and
housewifely. She was the fair-skinned daughter of an English
farmer from St. Elizabeth, Frank South, and his black wife,
Jane. Amy's plunge into public life in the United States and
her espousal of an unconventional cause surprised her retiring
mother, her brothers and sister. However, 'Miss Amy' retain-
ed the respect, love and devotion of her family. She had as-
sumed management of the Long Mountain household follow-
ing the death of her father and even after marriage she con-
tinued to organize for the schooling and professional train-
ing of her brothers and sister.
This loyalty was to be repaid in later years when Amy
settled permanently in Jamaica. The Garveys' finances were
at an ebb. On account of rheumatic fever which was crip-
pling the kneebones of her eldest child, Amy followed medi-
cal advice and returned Marcus Jnr. to the warm climate of
Jamaica from England where they had been living. The cost
of this was physical separation from Marcus Snr. who saw no
prospect in re-establishing a life in Jamaica.
Amy's reintegration into Jamaican life was a domestic
not a political matter. Her family rallied to her support. In
Mrs Garvey and her sons Julius (left) and Marcus Jnr. at the reinter-
ment of Marcus Garvey at George VI Park (now National Heroes
Park) August 1964..
time, the larger portion of the family land was sold off and
houses were built on adjoining lots for each of George
Jacques's surviving children. Amy's property at 51c Moun-
tain View Avenue together with the guidance of her brother,
Cleveland, in real estate matters provided the base from
which she would begin a financial recovery. Through judicious
management, she was able to repeat her father's achievement
of clearing her properties of financial encumbrance by the
time of her death on 25 July 1973.
On her return to Jamaica in 1938 she lived modestly and
quietly. For reasons of the unusual path her life had taken,
she now had little in common with her former schoolmates
and had virtually no social life. One of her overriding con-
cerns now was the care and education of her two children.
Under the monthly supervision of Dr McFarlane at the
Kingston Public Hospital, Marcus Jnr. was eventually able to
discard his leg plaster and crutches. After a stint at St. Johns'
College on Laws Street run by Mr Clarke, he won a scholar-
ship to Calabar High School. Julius subsequently won a half-
scholarship to Wolmer's Boys'. Blessings. For these were
financially stringent years for Amy Jacques Garvey. But she
knew how to make do on little.
Never given to housekeeping pursuits, she relegated the
heavier domestic duties to a faithful once-weekly help. This
support was supplemented by the visits of her sister Ida
who would bring her tasty cooked meat dishes. Amy mean-
while was wedded to her typewriter, formulating articles in
defence of Garveyism. For her other overriding concern was
the rehabilitation of Marcus Garvey's name.
The most widely known collection of writings by Marcus
Garvey are the Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey,
Volumes I and II, compiled by Amy Jacques. Volume I
was published in 1923 when Amy Jacques Garvey was just
twenty-six years old. In the preface she states that her reason
for compiling it was not originally for publication 'but rather
as a personal record of the opinions and sayings of my hus-
band during his career as the leader of that portion of the
human family known as the Negro race'. Volume II, the
more substantial collection, was done while Garvey was in
prison in Atlanta and formed part of the campaign for his
release. His appeal to the Supreme Court had failed and he
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THE GAR VEY FAMILY: A composite picture (top). Mrs
Garvey and her sons Marcus Jnr and Julius were photo-
graphed in New York City in 1946. Centre, left and right:
Amy Jacques Garvey as a young woman; below, right: the
gateway with the word 'Somali' still visible on the gate-
post all that remains of 'Somali Court' the Garveys'for-
mer home in Kingston. The present house replaced the
one they lived in. Garvey's desk (now the property of the
Jamaica National Heritage Trust) is shown above. The let-
ter (centre) from Garvey to his second wife and her com-
ments below it reflect the trust and mutual respect
between them (reproduced from the book The Philosophy
and Opinions of Marcus Garvey which she edited).
--v- '.y'"^ <-,,/,
was trying for executive clemency. Garvey's letter to her
written in May 1925 is worth quoting at length:
To you have I entrusted the accompanying manuscripts and
other documents, articles and speeches, requesting that you
publish same in book form for the information of the Negro
race and those concerned, so that the public may be able to
judge, impartially, the issues involved.
I request you to do this because of my implicit confidence in
you, and my firm belief that you will not alter, change or dis-
tort anything that I have said contained therein.
With this belief in you, I commit my thoughts, opinions and
the facts and circumstances surrounding my trial and per-
secution to your hands, feeling that you will, on these instruc-
tions publish them letter for letter and word for word .
[Jacques Garvey, Vol. 11 frontispiece].
Five months later, by October 1925, Amy Jacques had edit-
ed, proof-read and published over 400 pages of Garvey's
writings. This was a truly marathon effort. She was later to
I thought I had done almost the impossible, when I was able to
rush a first copy of Vol. II to him, but he callously said. 'Now I
want you to send free copies to Senators, Congressmen and
prominent men who might become interested in my case, as I
want to make another application for a pardon.' When I com-
pleted this task I weighed 98 lbs., had low blood pressure and
one eye was badly strained.
In addition she was fulfilling speaking engagements, writing
for the Negro World and overseeing administrative matters.
Garvey's tributes to her in poetry and prose point to the es-
teem in which he held her.
In 1927 she published Garvey's long poem "The Tragedy
of White Injustice" and "Selections from the Poetic Medi-
tations of Marcus Garvey".
When Rupert got to know her in 1967 she was already
seventy. But it did not appear so because of her mental and
physical strength, her capacity for work, her methodical ap-
proach in answering dozens of letters every week, in prepar-
ing articles, public talks and in caring for her sons and grand-
children. Her interviews to journalists, scholars, students and
other visitors who made the pilgrimage to 12 Mona Road
made her relive extremely difficult years when her life was in
danger and she had had to carry a gun in the American South;
the vendettas against Garvey mounted by other blacks and
the slander and misunderstandings he suffered. When she
spoke she gave of herself. It was as if this would be the last
time she would speak. She would pause only to sip cherry
juice. She never charged for these interviews because she had
a moral mission.
Sometimes she would take her visitors to Burnt Ground
(the bus terminus before Cross Roads) where Garvey used to
hold forth, Edelweis Park on Slipe Pen Road, Coke Church,
Ward Theatre, Liberty Hall at 76 King Street, the old
Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation building, and the
Somali Court residence on Lady Musgrave Road. When she
was finished she would be exhausted physically and emotion-
ally. She usually did this type of work in the afternoons. She
would then have her evening meal, relax on the porch and
recover before putting back the bundles of letters, docu-
ments and old scrap-books she had taken out during the
Rupert lived as a nominal tenant at her home from 1971
until her death in1973, but more in the capacity of a kind of
research assistant, digging up materials at the InstituteofJam-
aica and answering writers to the Gleaner who maligned
Garvey. At the same time he was engaged in writing a post-
graduate thesis emphasising the Jamaican aspects of Garvey's
work. Their relationship was however far from thesis-oriented.
It was very political and personal. Since 1967 he had discover-
ed in her an extraordinary personality and to have had the
opportunity to be so close to her was to see and understand
a history that is yet largely untold, to daily witness the
actions of a woman who was firmly rooted, and who could
not be fooled or bribed. She was absolutely incorruptible and
strong. She was then in her seventies. Garvey had the honour of
marrying her in her twenties. The confidence Garvey had in-
vested in her from her twenties had been over-fulfilled. For
if the historical record is now being set right, credit for this
is due in large measure to her own perseverance. There is no
significant researcher or writer on Garveyism who is not in-
debted to her.
It was in the 1960s and 70s, with the development of the
Black Power and civil rights movements in the United States
and the growth of the liberation movements in Africa, that
publishers and scholars once again expressed interest in
Garvey's writings. Number 12 Mona Road became a publish-
ing house and a research and documentation centre.
In 1963 she self-published her well-known book, Garvey
and Garveyism, which she rewrote five times. The comple-
tion of the book was no doubt inspired by hervisitto Nigeria
in November 1960 as guest of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe who was
being installed as the country's first governor-general. Later
on she went to visit Dr Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana. The re-
gard in which Garvey was held was encouraging and the de-
colonisation of Africa was the realisation of a vision which
many had felt to be unrealistic. To store copies of her book,
she added a back room on to her home. And once a week she
would go down to the general post office on King Street and
mail copies to libraries, bookstores and individuals abroad.
She gave away so many of the first edition that she probably
never made a profit. She usually wrapped these packages on a
Thursday afternoon and took them by bus to be mailed
along with the letters she had written during the week. She
sometimes had unpleasant encounters on the public trans-
port. But she did not drive, did not own a car.and could not
afford to pay a chauffeur. Garvey and Garveyism was later
re-published by Collier-Macmillan in the United States in
In 1968 she published a collection of articles entitled
Black Power in America. The articles were: "The Source
and Course of Black Power in America" which looked at
Garvey as a forerunner of Martin Luther King and Malcolm
X. The second was "Marcus Garvey's Impact on Jamaica" and
the third, a documentary piece, "The Impact of Marcus
Garvey on Africa as told by Africans". Finally there was "The
Power of the Human Spirit" which is a philosophical reflec-
tion and a testimony to her faith. This pamphlet was later
incorporated into the American edition of Garvey and
She undertook a third volume of Philosophy and Opinions.
This included materials on Jamaica and the Caribbean that
had been published in the Blackman newspaper, the Black
Man magazine and the New Jamaican material that Rupert
had used in his research. Of this source material, only a small
portion of Garvey's extensive writings and speeches about
Jamaica and the Caribbean was eventually included. This
volume was published posthumously in 1977 with the
Nigerian scholar, Professor Essien-Udom as co-editor. But he
points out in his preface to More Philosophy and Opinions:
'the volume is the work of Mrs Garvey'.
Apart from her own writing and editing, she helped shape
a number of other books on Garvey. Of note is John Henrik
Clarke's collection, Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa
which came out the year following her death.
As for her journalism, that covered fifty years. In 1923
she became a regular contributor to the weekly Negro
World and later started to edit a page entitled "Our Women
and What They Think". This she did for three years. On this
page she wrote political commentary, in particular inter-
preting international events from the standpoint of black
people. A few of her articles from the 1920s were reprinted
in the book, Voices of a Black Nation: Political Journalism
in the Harlem Renaissance edited by Theodore Vincent. The
page also offered personal advice to women; there was a
column on Black Cross Nurses and reports on the activities
of women. She also contributed to many of Garvey's pub-
lications and after his death wrote for many magazines and
newspapers in the Caribbean, the United States and Africa.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s a number of her articles
appeared in radical publications such as Abeng and Bongo-
man. In addition, she purchased dozens of these publications
for mailing abroad.
Amy Jacques Garvey wrote thousands of letters and she
may very well be remembered for this in addition to her
editorial work. Her papers at Fisk University in the United
States represent an invaluable source of material about her-
self and the Garvey Movement. She did not often speak
about herself, about her private life. Generally speaking,
she submerged herself in the public image but occasionally
in correspondence she would say something revealing about
Garvey as a man and about herself as a woman.
Her letter written on 28 March 1955 to E.David Cronon
on receipt of his Black Moses shows this greater concern with
public and scholarly issues rather than with subjective matter.
Yet private trauma erupts in the first paragraph:
When it arrived ten days ago, and I started to read same, the
abuse and jeers of his contemporaries brought back so vividly
to my mind the horrors of the past years that I seem to live
them over again I talked to myself in imaginary defence of
M.G. ... I was fitfully awakened many nights, when a suspended
scene reached its climax in my dreams .... From December
I have been under-going financial difficulty, and to read again
the concerted efforts to destroy Garvey, while I suffer the
stark reality of his years of giving all, and getting nothing, is
like probing the old wounds, and putting a caustic on them,
which I cannot throw back in the faces of the givers ....
The eleven-page typescript goes on to give a sharp critique
of the book to which she had contributed a great deal of
material. As a stickler for accuracy, she obviously felt the
author should have assessed the nature and bias of the sources
he had consulted. But Cronon was writing in the still strong-
ly racist ambience of the United States in the 1950s, and his
image of Garvey as an escapist Black Moses was to dominate
scholarship well into the 1970s.
There were other correspondents like C.L.R. James,
George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, W.E.B. DuBois and W.A.
Domingo. Two excerpts from letters indicate the political
content of these exchanges. On 20 April 1954 Domingo
Quite a formidable list of publications have (Sic.) been oannea
from entry into Jamaica. I approve of excluding the books on
magic and other superstitions, but in banning books on poli-
tics .. the government simply reveals its fears. Colonial peoples
have a double problem. They have to fight their own re-
actionaries as well as the naturally reactionary government of
the controlling power. The situation is worse when the two
elements fuse and work against the masses, one openly as the
agent of an alien over-lord and the other concealed as the
friends of the people of whom they are a part.
By 5 September 1956 Domingo again wrote:
Jamaica has no particular attraction for me any more. I dream
of a free country, but that dream is now a nightmare.
George Padmore in a letter dated 3 October 1950 cautioned:
It is typical of West Indian mentality to make a big show of
erecting public statues to men, who in their lifetime were
ignored. It seems that the money would be better spent in en-
dowing a scholarship or building a school for the benefit of
future generations. Such an institution could bear the name
These are letters from men who had been Garvey's opponents
in the United States in the 1920s, criticizing him from social-
ist and Marxist perspectives, but who later came to re-evaluate
Then there are the letters to and from W.E.B. DuBois
which deal with their joint Pan-African efforts. Her solidarity
with the working-class movement was acknowledged in 1945
after a general strike led by the Trade Union Congress of
Nigeria. Nearer home, Norman Manley's letters in November
1944 ask her to campaign for him and set out the speaking
itinerary in his rural St. Andrew constituency. There are also
her letters with Bustamante, and with subsequent Jamaican
prime ministers. She criticised Prime Minister Hugh Shearer
on his government's failure to consult her on the posthumous
award given to Martin Luther King in her husband's name,
for its ban on Walter Rodney and the prohibition of works
by Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and others. In like man-
ner was her final publication. This took the form of a letter
to then Prime Minister Michael Manley entitled "Why Mrs.
Garvey Refused the $6800 Pension". The Cabinet had taken a
decision to grant a tax-free pension to the widows of national
heroes. In her letter she stated:
I have lived with deprivation through the years, the ridicule
from the misinformed, the sneers of those whose horizons stop
with the shores of the country of their domicile, and above all
the harassments of governmental administrators, whose lust
for political power and personal aggrandisement see in me an
implacable enemy, because I am against their manipulation of
the economic interests of the black masses by an alien economic
Amy Jacques Garvey was a vigorous upholder of a self-
respecting nationalism. But this tradition had been shrouded
in lies, ridicule and silence, or had been attacked at all levels
of the educational system. As such, she was made to feel
marginalised. Those who knew her, however, recognized
that she was one of the finest embodiments of the black
radical tradition in the twentieth century.
Biographical details in this article derive from (a) an interview with
Mrs Garvey's sister, Mrs Ida Jacques Repole, conducted by Rupert
Lewis and Maureen Warner-Lewis, 7 March 1987, (b) reminiscences
of Rupert Lewis, (c) information provided in Mrs Garvey's Garvey
Garvey and the Jamaican Art Movement
Three disparate perspectives
By Gloria Escoffery
T here are few artists alive in Jam-
aica today who are old enough
to have known Marcus Garvey in
person, or to have been aware of the
sensation created by his return to Jam-
aica in 1927 after imprisonment and
deportation from the United States. I
was only six years old at the time when
Garvey was campaigning for election to
the Legislative Council but I do have a
vivid memory which imprinted the
name of Garvey on my imagination. As
a little girl up from the country and stay-
ing overnight with family friends who
lived on Brentford Road, in the Cross
Roads area, I heard the boom of the
oratorial voice and the rounds of ap-
plause that drifted across the gully from
Edelweis Park, evoking an explanation
from my mother of what was going on.
What my childish antennae picked up at
close range was the tone of the adult
reaction to Garvey, an ambivalence
which encompassed mockery, respect
and a hint of foreboding. Was this
phenomenon of the black man 'from
nowhere' who was challenging the ac-
cepted social order 'for real' or simply a
nine-day-wonder which would be quick-
ly erased from the memory of the im-
pressionable masses? As history has re-
corded, Garvey lost the election and left
his homeland to live and die obscurely
in England However, his defeat in this
particular battle did not mean, as we all
know, the end of the war.
At that time sculptor Alvin Marriott
was already a young man of twenty-
seven, about to undertake the first in a
series of essays in Garvey portraiture
which would reach its climax in the full-
length statue of the National Hero in-
stalled in St. Ann's Bay, his birthplace.
The idea occurred to me that in this
year of the centenary of Garvey's birth,
it would be appropriate to obtain first
hand impressions of Garvey from Mr
Marriott. By way of contrast it would
be interesting to find out from a couple
of younger artists what Garvey and Gar-
veyism meant to them. Two prime can-
didates for interviewing conveniently
presented themselves, brought to notice
because they were currently exhibiting
works of interest which bore dramatic
witness to the living presence in our
midst of 'black consciousness'. David
J LT Statue by Alvin
of the Rt.
which stands in
his native parish
of St Ann in front
of the parish
Boxer and Robert Cookhorne, showing
along with Eric Cadien at the Mutual
Life Gallery all three artists in fact -
projected an image of self-confidence,
maturity and virtuosity that clinched
their reputations as leading artistic
visionaries of the 1980s.1
In the works of Boxer and Cook-
horne the vision takes completely dif-
ferent forms, Boxer being a surrealist
whose collages, paintings and assem-
blages read like personal footnotes to his-
tory, while Cookhorne is a satirical ex-
pressionist who presents in single focus,
commanding images which hit the view-
er between the eyes. This is primarily a
matter of temperament, but there are
other factors involved in the moulding
of their individual views of the world.
The narrow margin of fourteen years
difference in age2 worked subtle changes
in the environment of thought and ex-
pectation in which Cookhorne grew up.
Moreover their disparate social origins
provided quite different bases from
which to commence that vital journey
David Boxer, born just on the outer
edge of the time frame which would
place him among a rising generation of
under-forties, is, besides being an artist,
a trained art historian (and of course
director/curator of the National Gallery
and inthat capacity a dedicated promoter
and preserver of African 'retentions'
in Jamaican intuitive art). History,
as he interprets it, is a re-living of the
effects of colonization in the Caribbean,
including the ravages wreaked on the
black man in slavery, and further back
in time the effective genocide of the
Arawaks. But there is also a strong under-
tow of what may almost be termed nos-
talgia though somewhat more forward-
looking for the positives of Western
or 'white' civilization; this is symbolised
by Beethoven and Ingres in some of his
works. This element distances him from
the Garvey ideal of separate races and
separate cultures, but he pays tribute to
Garvey for his great originality and cul-
tural awareness.3 Garvey's ideas were
appropriate, he thinks, within the con-
text of awakening black people not in
Africa where they already had a sense of
self-worth rooted in their culture, but
in the New World to a pride in their
destiny. However, it was not discovery
of Garveyism that brought Boxer to full
awareness of his own links with the
African heritage but exposure to life in
the United States in the protest era of
the 1960s where of course seeds sown
many decades before by Garvey were
just bearing fruit.4 To break through
the assumptions of his middle-class
Jamaican background, in which he was
categorised as 'white','was a process sub-
jecting the sensitivity of the artist to
what amounted to shock treatment, an
Tears of Sheba,
experience for which he says he is grate-
Robert Cookhorne, known to his
friends as African, a name which in
true Jamaican tradition he uses alter-
natively but not exclusively in signing
his pictures, comes from a background
which underwrites his identification
with grass roots Jamaican culture. As an
artist he is the product of the Jamaica
School of Art where the sculptures of
the foremost 'forerunner' of our art
movement including Negro Aroused5
must have been a strong influence in his
formative years. He has travelled some-
what since graduation and recently
mounted a successful exhibition in
Switzerland, but so far his travel has
mainly been of an intellectual order,
through reading and taking an intelli-
gent interest in media coverage of world
events. Ironically perhaps, he came by
his nickname, African, quite by chance;
it was not as in the case of Kofi Kayiga,
a middle-class gesture of defiance and
symbol of rebirth to African heritage.6
A friend looked at one of his early
drawings and exclaimed that it looked
like 'African ghost'. The name stuck,
and African likes it. For some reason he
says he does not fully understand, he
feels uneasy when he signs his works
with his 'official' name.7
Cookhorne grew up at a time when
Garvey was a legendary figure. While
Garvey's ideas on the potential of the
black man in terms of world class
achievement may be said to have infil-
trated the Jamaican psyche, there were
still social discrepancies stemming from
slavery days. On the world scene, apart-
heid was the running sore, but Cook-
horne became aware that there were a
host of instances of exploitation, not
all of them related to racism, and by no
means were they confined to Third
World countries. This accounts for the
way he took exception to having his
show in Switzerland labelled by one
critic 'Third World Reality'. Black-
ness was an issue, obviously, but there
were other issues such as the threat of
nuclear war which stared out at the
viewer from the horrors on canvas.8
My separate interviews with these
three very different personalities were
long, unstructured, and need I add, fas-
cinating. I found that in writing this
article it was necessary to edit drastic-
ally, sometimes to summarise, and
especially when recording verbatim
what was said to cut my own comments
and interjections to the bone. Boxer was
so articulate in discussing his works I
could hardly bear to miss out a word of
his explanations. Cookhorne was more
interested in discussing social issues. I
scarcely succeeded in drawing him out
on the content of his works. With him I
had a hammer and tongs discussion
which covered a wide range of topics
and current events. Unfortunately this
had to be somewhat abridged.
We had decided beforehand to focus
on certain works as specially relevant to
the project, but found that it was hard-
ly possible to keep within these bounds.
Each artist's total vision is, of course,
stamped on every one of his works. In
Boxer's case we paused for a long time
before one assemblage which, because
of its loose, rather sprawling form, is
difficult to photograph in a way which
would illuminate some of the points dis-
cussed. This is the Violin for Ingres,
in which the relationship between Africa
and the Arawaks with Europe turned
out to be the key theme.
E D l
Now aged eighty-five and in failing
health, Alvin Marriott is a bit forgetful
or indecisive about names and dates.
Not so when he is recalling the strong
emotional impact of Garvey on him as a
young man. He becomes almost too ex-
cited to speak when he recalls the inten-
sity of the struggle not only to do justice
to his first and dominant concept of the
great man but also to make sure that the
monument to Garvey would find its
well deserved place in the minds and
hearts of his countrymen. His memories
go back to days before he saw or spoke
with Garvey in person, when, as a youth,
he heard his elders discussing ideas
mooted by this unique Jamaican bold
enough to take on the world as he cham-
Mr and Mrs
pioned the cause of Negroes everywhere.
Consequently he made sure to be among
the crowd on the docks to greet Garvey
on his return home after he was deport-
ed from the United States. He subse-
quently attended some of Garvey's
meetings, including one attended by
many foreign delegates of the UNIA.
But politics was not young Marriott's
prime interest. What he was after was
imprinting on his mind a picture of Gar-
vey in action. To achieve the objective
of getting the great man to sit for a por-
trait he obtained the privilege of an
interview with him at his King Street
campaign headquarters. Garvey was too
busy to sit, but seeing the sincerity of
his young admirer, and realising that the
portrait would rebound to his credit, he
consented to have his likeness made.
Using a good photograph of Garvey, in
profile, Marriott proceeded on his own
to fashion the head but the work did
not satisfy him. It took many years of
practice, and study of the sculptures in
the May Pen Cemetery, Spanish Town
Cathedral and Kingston Parish Church
before he was ready to try again. He
ultimately was able to undergo pro-
fessional training in London, thanks to
a British Council scholarship. This was
in the late forties, so Marriott was al-
ready a mature artist. At last he could
realise his ambition to execute an ade-
quate portrait of Garvey. On a later oc-
casion in the seventies a full-length statue
of Garvey executed in London, gave
him some moments of real anxiety. First
there was the struggle to get the sculp-
ture completed. After months of pre-
paratory work he suddenly found that
he had to move out of the studio where
he was working. Then, having put in
nine months of labour, he entered the
room one morning to find that, because
the clay was too heavy for the armature,
the sculpture had collapsed and was
lying in pieces on the floor. Still he per-
severed. He solved the technical prob-
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lem and brought the work to fruition,
even surprising himself by the achieve-
ment. After that, many important
visitors from Jamaica and elsewhere
flocked to his studio to view the por-
trait and were astonished because it was
so lifelike. On an earlier occasion in the
late forties in London Marriott had re-
ceived a letter from the Kingston and
St. Andrew Corporation expressing the
wish to acquire a Garvey head as a pub-
lic monument. Mayor Ken Hill opened
a fund with a personal contribution of
10. Marriott had undertaken the work
originally as a labour of love. Indeed,
financial gain has never been foremost
in his mind, as one may well imagine,
considering his circumstances today.
Still, he returned to Jamaica with the
expectation that he would be adequate-
ly paid for his labour. Alas, on his re-
turn he found that the fund had not
grown as healthily as might have been
expected, barely reaching about 200.
Indignant at the lack of public aware-
ness, Marriott prepared to take the work
directly to the people, by showing it on
the streets; he actually wrote a letter
to the police requesting permission to
do this. The work was shown private-
ly instead, to a group of eminent art
lovers headed by Mr, later Sir, Philip
Sherlock at the Institute of Jamaica.
Ultimately it was 'Busta' (Sir Alex-
ander Bustamante), who saved the day.
He got up in parliament and made a
speech which committed the nation to
a fee of 700 for the Garvey portrait.
This was a much smaller version than
the full-length figure of the Garvey
monument later placed in St. Ann's
Marriott has sculpted the likeness of
many a national hero, but the ins and
outs of politics have never interested
him. As a committed Jehovah's Witness,
he contemplates life in the light of a
more comprehensive divine plan al-
ready formulated to establish a king-
dom incorporating total order and jus-
tice. Himself a man of fair complexion
who in Jamaica if not in the U.S.A.,
could 'pass for white', Marriott says that
he has never personally experienced
colour discrimination, either in England
or in Jamaica. However, there were
some powerful persons in Jamaica who
put obstacles in his way, regarding him
with suspicion as a radical. Perhaps he
did, indeed, help to subvert the existing
social order. His mission in life was to
create inspiring images which would be-
come a part of national consciousness
from the V,,
African #' ,
Cycle, >f. .
No. 8. ,
Mr Patrick ,
Marriott's work as very definitely realis-
tic, or naturalistic. He regards himself
as something of a symbolist, in that in
each portrait, or monument, he sought
to project an essence beyond appear-
ances. Sometimes, as in creating the
stadium athlete, he worked from
several models to create a synthesis.
In making portraits he looked for the
dominant characteristics or key to
personality. He says he studied hun-i
dreds of photographs of Garvey but
never found in one of them that essen-
tial dynamism of the born orator,
which he sought to capture. This is diffi-
cult to realize in the case of a head, or
bust, but he believes that he achieved its
in the monumental full length Garvey in
St. Ann's Bay. That is why, of all his
works, it is closest to his heart.
Let us move now to the elder of the
two artists who represent today's gener-
ation. David Boxer's imagination in-
habits a world of complex ideas in
which, I think, a man whose childhood
was spent in the early twentieth cen-
tury, as Marriott's was, would be totally
at sea. The basic assumptions about
society, about what art is all about, have
changed completely. And yet . the
thread of Garvey's influence runs through
We were on our way to look at the
two collage series by Boxer obviously
dealing with Africa, when somehow we
were both drawn to the assemblage,
Violin for Ingres; in fact it was impossible
to ignore it as it drew attention away
from the neighboring works set back
on the wall.
At floor level there was a violin case
with some objects in it. From this a
ladder led to further objects of interest
on the wall. A difficult ascent was sug-
gested by some spiny looking black
things on the rungs of the ladder; this
appeared to be a parable of ascent in
creativeness, which became somewhat
easier at the approach to fulfilment -
admittedly a clumsy summary of first
impressions and a simplistic account of
an assemblage in the usual Boxer style
with its accumulation of details.
G.E. Surely this piece isn't African-in-
spired, is it?
D.B. Well, actually this doesn't deal
primarily with Africa. It is dealing with
Jamaica, and with the Arawaks. If you
climb up the steps, you see the words on
the second one are simply, 'There were
one million Arawaks in Jamaica before
Europe came' repeated continuously.
G.E. But there seems to be a feeling
of ambivalence towards Europe, for
surely Ingres is one of your idols.
D.B. Oh yes. I just feel a certain sad-
ness because that cultural epitome, that
height of cultural achievement, the violin
and the line of Ingres, which is one of
the high points of draftmanship in
Western art, had to be achieved through
the destruction of other civilizations such
as the Arawaks. Of one million Arawaks
not one person remained that we can
say is Arawak . only the shards. And
they have been put in a coffin-like con-
tainer which happens to be a violin case;
but the violin case is like a coffin. The
front part of the coffin has a little sec-
tion with some European elements such
as the parts of a musket which was dis-
covered at the same site. There are all
sorts of hidden meanings which aren't
necessary for the overall meaning. This
is the nature of all surrealist art and I
consider myself a true surrealist. I don't
set out to do a work that people under-
stand. I simply set out to release images
from inside myself. The understanding
David Boxer, Tears of Sheba, (detail). Box Assemblage,
Collection: Mr. Ronnie Nasralla
Robert (African) Cookhorne, Head in #0.
Mixed media on paper. Collection: Mrs. T.
Robert (African) Cookhorne, New God.Mixed media
on paper. Collection: Mr. Trevor Clarke.
of the work is something I leave to the
G.E. Who may well have his own private
associations. Did you intend the sea
D.B. You read them as sea eggs? No, but
after I had done them I remembered
sea eggs sticking me on my foot and I
wondered if that was where asso-
ciation came from. I had intentionally
thought of Christ's crown of thorns, and
there you have the two elements, the
notes of music juxtaposed with the
thorns. So there within this little area
you see those two extremes, the beauty
of the music and the pain of the thorns
brought together in an ambiguous state-
ment as you move up [the ladder]. I
think that once the artistic spirit is re-
leased and you know where you are
going it becomes easier. [The 'spines'
are more spaced out allowing easier pas-
sage for the foot as the imagined climb-
er ascends]. The Arawaks were a simple
people but they did leave some beauti-
ful pieces of art those wooden sculp-
tures in the British Museum ...
G.E. And the African experience?
D.B. This is represented by the violin
bow, because somehow or other I
see that bow as significant for those of
us who are still here and can hope to
play that violin. The bow is European
and the chiwara9 you see there in min-
iature is African; which is for me the
only way I can exist, drawing elements
from these two sources of myself. The
chiwara has become for me a symbol of
my African roots. You may remember
the work down at the Gallery now,
where there is a nineteenth century
painting of a Christ with the chiwara.
Next we turned our attention to the
African Cycle, consisting of six related
collage compositions selected from a
'suite' of twelve. In each of these a piece
of African sculpture is shown in relation-
ship to an elegant European architectural
frame; another recurring motif is the
playful musical notes. The design is
strictly controlled and stylishly aus-
tere; this effect is achieved partly by the
severity of black and gold, relieved by
subtle pastel tints.
D.B. All of these settings are European,
baroque, and they happen to be fire-
places. Somewhere, subconsciously,
there is a feeling that when Africa came
here its culture was intentionally des-
troyed. The sculptures were thrown into
the fireplaces, and there is a resentment
about that. One of the things that as an
art historian has always upset me is that
so little, in fact nothing, remains of that
whole period, seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, right up until 1922,10 that we
can say this is something created by the
black Jamaican. And yet we know that
carvers must have come over, carvings
must have come over, but where are
they? People like Phillippo describe the
carvings that were placed on graves.
G.E. In this one the figure is holding a
D.B. It is a mother and child. To me this
is almost becoming a pieta, a lament
using the strings of the violin again.
G.E. And your use of gold is completely
within the tradition of European reli-
D.B. Yes, I think what I am doing here
is trying to create a sort of surreal icon
with the juxtaposition of those two ele-
ments that are within Europe and Africa.
Those tear lines are something I have
actually observed in Arawak sculptures.
Art historians to describe them actually
call them tear ducts or lines. But a lot of
the similar lines you see in African
sculptures are actually scarification
marks, not tears. I pick up the acci-
dental resemblance to tears. This whole
series with the fireplaces grew out of an
earlier series in which African masks
invaded the palaces of Europeans.
We turned next to the Memories of
Colonization series, which featured
rather stiff and correct looking figures,
all of black persons, being bandaged
or treated or tortured in some obscure
D.B. These are surreal depictions of
what I would simply call atrocities, us-
ing medical illustrations; just taking
accidental illustrations in which black
subjects were being bandaged or sub-
jected to various things by white doc-
tors and juxtaposing them with ana-
tomical details like this foot, which
sparked in me a feeling of horror at the
inhuman treatment of slaves.
G.E. But surely there is also some sug-
gestion of healing and care, even if the
blacks, have been brutalised?
G.E. And this recumbent figure with the
holes and strings at its solar plexus
somehow suggests a musical instrument?
D.B. These are my embellishments. What
has happened in a lot of my works re-
cently is that the motif of the musical
instrument adds an element of pleasure,
beauty and pleasure, as it does here, sug-
gesting that these elements are always
We broke off then to talk in more
general terms of Boxer's American
G.E. Was it when you first saw African
art in the museums that you became
aware of your African heritage?
D.B. No, not when I saw African art.
It was the different treatment that one
received as a black person. All at once I
became a 'Negro'. For as you know you
are called a Negro even if you have only
a trace of black ancestry. You know it is
very interesting if you look at the laws
of the state of Virginia. I think it was
up to about 1910 that you were con-
sidered a Negro if you had one-quarter
Negro ancestry. By the thirties they had
changed the laws so you were a Negro if
you had one-sixteenth .. and later they
kept changing it so you were a Negro if
you had the slightest trace of African. I
was at Cornell University when there
was the first armed takeover, right there,
of a student union building by black
students . . All the forms I had to fill
out when making application for ad-
mission asked what race you were. Even
in the seventies when tokenism was
in, and there was also some genuine
attempt to reverse the situation, when I
applied to Johns Hopkins after gradua-
ting from Cornell I got back a letter say-
ing. 'Will you please let us know wheth-
er you are a black person for if you are
you might be eligible for the Horizon
Fellowship'. I wrote them back, 'I
would like to be judged not on my race
but on my abilities. I have enclosed a
copy of my transcript from Cornell
University'. I was awarded a Gillman
Fellowship, which was an open award,
not specially for blacks. You move from
this society to one in which you are
forced to think differently. Suddenlyyou
become very conscious of your African
heritage and you start to investigate it.
As an undergraduate I investigated it
largely through two means I imme-
diately registered for a course in African
art and became very excited about it;
and in a very cursory way through the
music of one particular African per-
former, Miriam Makeba. I attended her
performances and bought every record
that came out. And I did a whole series
of paintings based on Makeba's music in
the sixties. A prizewinning painting in
the 1969 festival was one of these -
Liwa Wechi. I had been doing abstract
paintings that were all in blues and
whites, inspired by Bach's fugues and
so on; suddenly it became necessary
to balance these with more vibrant
colours, a much stronger rhythmic
separation of form, and Makeba was the
alcohol that released that series. It was
during that period that the image of the
lion cropped up, and that lion has be-
come for me the Lion of Soweto. I
did a protest painting with that title.
In the seventies the lion became a domi-
nant motif, sometimes recumbent,
sometimes angry. In fact in The Tearsof
Sheba there is a lion at the top which I
have thought about as the lion of Sow-
eto. The lion is important too because
of its significance in Rastafarian art, as
the Lion of Judah. But then always in
my art, images are constantly moving
and changing into something else ... .I
am a great believer in the poetic possi-
bilities of ambiguity.
We next discussed The Tears of Sheba,
a more compact work than the Violin
for Ingres because the components are
neatly and almost symmetrically com-
partmentalised within a 'box', or show-
case. Boxer pointed out many details I
had not observed, such as the subtle
shifts away from the symmetrical.
D.B. Sudden shifts take place as in the
frames of a movie. Tutu is looking in
one direction here and another way in
the other panel. The flowers are fading
here and brighter there. The bow of the
violin here becomes the bow of a bow
and arrow. It is a protest work, one of
the few works in which I knew what I
was doing from when I started. I said
this woman is crying. She is crying for
what is going on in Africa, in South
Africa, and once that realisation hit me
the rest of the work developed. Things
happened while I was doing it; the hands
of the watches became like spears.
Parts of watches have become weap-
ons, almost as if the time is running
out and the world must do something
about it now. The glass balls are tears
which have grown to enormous pro-
portions; because I think the whole
world is now feeling with South Africa
and country after country is finding a
way of registering its protest, though
I don't think things are happening fast
enough. I had to use glass because of
the fragility. There is so much going on,
[in the assemblage] but of course while
you are doing it you are not fully aware.
The little balls are tears and you are
pouring them on and you get caught up.
I came across a beautiful, beautiful
postcard from Sothebys which was
actually advertising a sale of antique
dolls; there were probably eighteen
dolls' heads all lined up, all white ex-
cept one. These had to be the children
of the future from Botha's point of
view . .The assemblage light isn't
switched on now, but when it is you see
it lit from below and the tears seem to
I started out with Cookhorne by try-
ing to find out what Marcus Garvey
meant to him. When did he first hear of
Marcus Garvey. Was Garvey a hero to
him when he was a child?
R.C. I didn't know about Garvey when I
was a child. I knew about Jesus and
Columbus, and those kinds of hero. It
was later, growing up, and with other
students, in high school, I started hear-
ing about Garvey and Selassie and people
like those. And with the growing Ras-
tafarian movement it was all around me
at that time.
G.E. Are you a Rastafarian?
R.C. No. Not exactly. But it was a
reality which was necessary for me at
that time, earlier on in my life. It was
a source to me of confidence.
G.E. Have you ever felt, in Jamaica, that
there was any disadvantage to being
R.C. Sometimes. sometimes. When you
look at the social ladder. Maybe because
it is a mobile society and you can ac-
quire certain things and move up. You
get accepted. But on certain other levels
you think there is a disadvantage . ..
It's almost inevitable that you have to
start out at a lower level.
I then asked him what he thought of
Garvey's idea of all Africans going back
G.E. As far as I know when some
Jamaicans did get the chance to go back
to Africa they really weren't too happy
when they got there?
R.C. I think the whole thing was under-
mined but not overthrown through our
political changes and things. Some people
think it's a state of mind, but some
think it's a reality, and I still believe
people should think it's a reality . .
Like you believe Christ is .... Some of
us have learnt to accept that the Carib-
bean is our home ....
G.E. You don't feel this is your home?
R.C. Yes, because we have learnt differ-
ent things here, and we have a new cul-
G.E. Would you like to go back and live
in Africa if you were given the chance?
R.C. I have nothing against that, per-
sonally; just as how I would like to go
to the United States. I would go to the
United States just as happily. But I'd
probably feel more comfortable in
G.E. What do you want out of life?
R.C. My greatest concern right now is
about other people. I would like to see
racism abolished and justice [establish-
ed] whether Africa to the Africans,
Asia to the Asians, whatever. Not so
much what I personally would like to
G.E. How does this affect your work?
surely Backyardism is the epitome of
Marcus Garvey's message? Why should
the black man live in a backyard?
R.C. Right. And why should everyone
make him their backyard? You see the
teaching of Garvey is so entrenched in
the early years it must come out.
G.E. But you were talking just now of
youth all over the world?
R.C. Because I was political, I was kind
of Marxist oriented one time. The whole
thing, the whole struggle is not so much
racial. It is not saying that black people
alone should be free.
G.E. Would you say that you are still
R.C. I have changed a bit. I used to think
that the Soviet Union or some other
communist country had the ideal sys-
tem, but you read more, you listen
more, you analyse; and then you come
to consider is not so. And then again
they are so similar when you see what
happen there just like in Western coun-
tries. I am not a communist.
G.E. So what is the drawback there?
Not equality or opportunity? Could
it be that human beings really aren't
created equal, so that some get ahead
from the word go?
R.C. Sometimes I question the whole
thing. Sometimes I think man can
learn equality and sometimes I think
we are born equal, and sometimes I
think the whole thing is ironical. Some
people, given a chance, just become dog,
maybe because when people get rich
they turn like dogs that's what I call
racists. And also when things get hard
people turn into dogs . . When things
are easy it mightn't be so obvious. It
might be a little bit subdued the dog
side of somebody.
We then discussed what it takes to
enable people to survive as immigrants
and make good, in particular the Jewish
immigrants in America.
G.E. The black people came as slaves.
What is it they had that enabled them to
R.C. Maybe that's where the whole
identity crisis lies. Maybe we need to
find out. But I know that black people
always try to survive. They always do ...
even when the whole society is struc-
tured and systematised so it hardly
allows them to survive. You wonder...
Next we talked about Marcus Garvey's
life and efforts in the United States, the
marches and uniforms, and how he was
elected, or nominated president of all
Africa. Was this idea naive, given the
existing political divisions?
R.C. To me it is as naive as saying that
God made man out of clay.
G.E. Do you believe that?
R.C. No, I don't believe that.
G.E. What do you believe?
R.C. (laughing) I don't know, but
what I am saying is that at that time
black people only believed what people
forced them to believe. And Marcus
Garvey was asserting something of
relevance to his people. Something they
could look forward to and know that
that was their image; and to control a
people image is to control a people. And
once we have our own image we must
can feel whether superficially or deep
down inside some sense of worth, or
hope or belongingness.
I asked Cookhorne what he thought
of Garvey's ideal of racial purity and
R.C. I think we should try to get rid of
all things that annihilate the whole
human being. First of all we get rid of
all racial barriers, or first of all get rid of
the diseases that are there to destroy the
whole human race; then we move it
down so we can abolish all the barriers
by which we can differentiate one man
from another by virtue of colour.
G.E. Do you think this is possible?
R.C. Well I feel it is possible, and not
only me but scholars.
Here he referred to Wilson Harris.'s
description of a new architecture and a
new world order of peace and justice.
G.E. Did he tell you how to get there?
R.C. We shouldn't give up trying.
G.E. You were telling me thatNew Gods
is about people looking for new solutions.
In your work there is so much black.
Black heads, surrounded by black ...
You said South Africa was very much on
your mind when you were working on
that one. Tell me how you feel about
Jamaica in relation to South Africa.
R.C. I think we are not doing enough -
not only Jamaica but the Caribbean ...
I heard that Oliver Tambo is going to
pay us a visit soon. That is one way of
acquiring first-hand knowledge. When
Bishop Tutu came here I felt a bit let
down. It was just a social occasion . .
I was looking for a forum where people
would sit down and discuss solutions
for change. That didn't happen.
We got on to the subject of violence
all over the world and I suggested that
we weren't doing that badly in Jamaica
compared with some other countries.
Cookhorne was more pessimistic and in-
sisted that there was a lot of unrecorded
R.C. When I was a child I used to think
that people only die when they get old
and sick . violence in my pictures is
shown by not putting features, maybe
We discussed the problem of lack of
communication in words not being
articulate because of lack of education.
R.C. People are very violent in Jamaica.
But there is so much love in that kind of
violence. If you see how people greet
each other POW! and that make it
sound like gunshot. And the music, and
the way people dance with each other.
It is so violent.
We discussed the way men made
women suffer and women accepted it.
Cookhorne explained this as part of the
G.E. That picture of yours about nu-
clear fallout (Head in # 0) it is really
terrifying. Do you think the end of civi-
lization is inevitable?
R.C. I'm saying at one side yes and the
other side says no. I listen to Bob Mar-
ley's "Redemption Song" and I get a
secure feeling from that.
G.E. Have you ever done a picture that
came directly out of inspiration from
R.C. Yes, Black Uhuru. The central
figure was the Statue of Liberty, in the
image of a Negro, and the torch was the
colour Marcus Garvey spoke about, red,
green and black, and behind him was a
whole lot of Negro images almost look-
ing like pieces of sculpture and they
were massed together in a choir singing
the Negro anthem 'Lift every voice and
1. Eric Cadien was excluded from this
project because his works did not deal
with this particular theme.
2. Alvin Marriott was born in 1902, David
Boxer in 1946, Robert Cookhorne in
3. Among the fourteen points in his poli-
tical platform Garvey proposed to build
an opera house in Jamaica and turn the
Race Course into a park with beautiful
gardens. See Beverly Hamilton's article,
4. Compare the experience of Christopher
Gonzalez (JAMAICA JOURNAL 20: 2)
Also Garvey's own account of how
he became aware of colour prejudice in
Jamaica for the first time when the little
white girl who had been an early play-
mate was sent to school in Edinburgh
and forbidden to communicate with
him. Current History magazine, pub-
lished in the U.S.A. in 1916.
5. Cookhorne pays tribute to Edna
Manley and mentions the influence
on him of Negro Aroused in an inter-
view with Sonia Jones published in the
Mutual Life Gallery catalogue. If he
had been just a little older he would
surely have known her personally.
6. See Kofi Kayiga review, JAMAICA
7. Interview with Sonia Jones referred to
9. The Chiwara is a ceremonial antelope
headdress used by a Nigerian tribe.
10. The year 1922 was when Edna Manley's
first Jamaican work, The Beadseller,
Gloria Escoffery, O.D., artist, poet,
journalist, teacher is our regular art
note cards and
J$10 per pack
From our office
Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited
PUBLISHERS OF JAMAICA JOURNAL
2A Suthermere Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, Telephone: 92-94785/6
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Set of four Producedby
Marcus Garvey's significance for
us is integrally connected to his
relationship with Jamaica. This
article seeks to examine both that re-
lationship and its meaning.
In considering Garvey's Jamaican im-
age, one is aware of the mythical/
prophetic figure that has been so power-
fully created in the folk imagination.
This mythic perception has been carried
on through Rastafari since the 1940s
and into the 1960s at the same time
that a new wave of Jamaicans were climb-
ing up the social ladder into the middle
class through educational achievements,
the political parties, the trade union
movement, and the church, in fact tak-
ing up positions in the state system that
the British left behind. But middle-class
blacks faced resistance in the public and
private sectors, the latter being the area
of greatest resistance. These middle-
class blacks were therefore ambivalent
in their social and political attitudes,
and Garvey provided them with a dilem-
ma. For while they were the beneficiaries
of his work and of the mass labour up-
heavals of the 1930s, if they acknow-
ledged his precept and example, they
were likely to be rejected by those who
supervised the apprenticeship process
which preceded independence. The
marginalization in Jamaican life of Gar-
vey's wife and co-worker Amy Jacques
Garvey during these years, reflects the
ambivalence of middle-class black and
brown people towards the Garvey
What brought Garvey back into pro-
minence in Jamaica in the 1950s and
1960s were the independence movements
taking place in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria
whose leaders (Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame
Nkrumah and Nnamdi Azikiwe respect-
ively) all paid homage to Garvey as an
inspiration. This acknowledgement,
together with Rastafari protest activity,
prompted national recognition. The
Black Power and civil rights movements
in the United States and the awareness
of Garvey's work by Martin Luther
King and Malcom X, whose father was
a Garveyite also contributed to renewed
recognition. Middle-class Jamaica then
Garve) with supporters in the United States prior to his embarKlng on the ship that wo,
him back to Jamaica, 1927.
began to realise that it was safe and
trendy to proclaim he was born here.
Thus the impetus for recognizing and
understanding ourselves through Garvey
has come from outside. This is not to
deny the impact of Garvey on the folk
imagination but to recognize that this
adulation does not determine how Gar-
vey is handled by the Establishment.
This 'handling' has become so problem-
atic because he was and is a troublesome
and subversive fellow. During his life-
time, a campaign against him was care-
fully orchestrated by the American,
French and British colonial govern-
ments. This has now been meticulously
documented. It is therefore not coinci-
dental that an editorial in the Gleaner
once heralded Garvey's return by de-
claring Trouble Coming'.1
On the other hand, one of the worst
things that could be done to Garvey is
to sanctify him, to remove him from the
real world, to set him up as a saint and
therefore to entomb him. Garvey was
neither a prophet nor a saint. Not every-
thing he said or did is relevant. He made
mistakes, his opinions shifted, his ideas
changed. He was taken in by a number
of hustlers. He saw race clearly but
often erred on the impact of the class
and social position of blacks. The mass
By Rupert Lewis
Garvev delivering farewell address before
deportation from the United States in 1927.
This month Mr. Marcts Garvey was
expected in Jamaica. It had been
given out that he wquld be hbre
on a visit, though it was known by
some persons that he $as awaiting
in New York the decision of the Cir-
cuit Court of Appeals on his endea-
your to get versed the sentence
passed upon li.ia for using the United
States. mails for fraudulent purposes.
Garvey himself had announced this
visit, which suggests that he had
hopes of winning free; on Monday.
however, instead of Mr. Marcus Gar-
vey, there came to this island news
that his sentence had been con-
firmed, and it is stated that this de-
cision practically closes all avenues
of escape to him. He has again
been arrested and Is now probably
behind strong walls: but efforts may
still be made to secure his release:
Indeed such efforts are already indi-
cated. It they do not succeed and
he serves the term of imprison-
ment to which he has been con-
demned by the American Court,
he will on release be deported to
Jamaica and then we may have a
problem on our hands unless we act
with firmness and determination.
VWe suppose that it he did manage
to escape from America Just now
Gleaner editorial headed 'Trouble Coming?'
A CLASSIC MOMENT
.... .. ... .
041,Jr. Fl. F
ot X.) j4
Am R L'iV%
Garveyism in a sense was both racial and non-racial
movement he led was a multi-class move-
ment, with different trends and aspir-
Garvey did not expect his writings to
be read in a biblical manner but more as
a springboard for 'racial uplift' and
emancipation from colonialism. He
wanted to be understood, discussed,
analysed and taken seriously, for he was
an intellectual. But the intelligentsia in
the Caribbean, particularly in the post-
independence years, have yet to read
Garvey and therefore are not in a posi-
tion to see what he has to offer to the
intellectual paradigms which are being
developed. Fortunately, Garvey recog-
nised the importance of what he was
saying. And so did his followers as well
as his enemies. Therefore, although re-
cording technology was still primitive,
shorthand writers took down verbatim
his speeches on a wide range of issues.
Moreover, as a journalist he wrote many
articles in the newspapers and period-
icals that he founded. So there is a
UNIA members, Kingston.
Garvey spent a number of years a-
broad in Central America and Europe
before World War I (1910-14). This dis-
tance enabled him to see himself in rela-
tion to the colonial world of which
Jamaica was only a small and insignificant
British dependency. On the other hand,
in pre-World War I Europe, Garvey
gained an understanding of the signi-
ficance of Africa and the African
diaspora in the New World. The latter
became in Garvey's thinking significant
in the process of what he called 'African
Redemption' a concept which was
rich in nuances for his followers, given
its biblical connotations. So while dis-
tance enabled Garvey to see Jamaica ob-
jectively, the fact is that he was formed
here and was to return and actively in-
volve himself in local politics before and
after he became a household name.
Too frequently in assessments of
Marcus Garvey, a contradiction is set
up between his international work and
his Jamaican activities. The intercon-
nection is frequently missed because it
is not seen that the colonial system was
not a local but an international one and
that the system, in turn, was an integral
part of the development of capitalism.
The superstructure of racism was there-
fore international or global. The colonial
system, to which Garvey was so op-
posed, affected not only people of Afri-
can descent, but Asians, Arabs as well as
Europeans. Central to Garvey's thought
was his recognition of this intercon-
nection and hence his solidarity with
Mahatma Gandhi. His praise for the
Russian revolutionaries was also based
on their endorsement of the principle
of the right to self-determination for the
non-Russian nationalities; hence also his
solidarity with the Irish.
Garveyism in a sense was therefore
both racial and non-racial. It was racial
because it had to deal with the poison
of racial denigration which formed part
of the system of colonial power relations.
It was non-racial because Garveyism
based itself on the idea of the inherent
equality of human beings regardless of
race. Hence Garveyism was linked to the
ideas of humanism and rationalism
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rebellion and leaves the reader in no doubt why Sam Sharpe is a
Jamaican and Caribbean Hero.
GARVEY, AFRICA, EUROPE,
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Psychological liberation trying to rid oneself of the slave
mentality is central to an understanding of Garveyism
characteristic of the Enlightenment in
Europe which preceded the French
However, for the Garvey Movement
to grow it had to be rooted in the speci-
fic circumstances in which he was organ-
ising. What he agitated for in Cuba,
Panama, Jamaica, the United States and
South Africa could not therefore be
only based on global issues but on the
concrete dilemmas facing people of
African descent. Hence one can say that
Garvey had a Jamaican agenda con-
nected to his international one. This is
borne out in the first programme of the
Universal Negro Improvement Asso-
ciation devised in 1914 which was divi-
ded into international and local object-
These dual objectives underlie his
determination to internationalise the
questions of colonial subjugation, the
ideology of racism and the systems of
apartheid that were revived after the
abolition of physical slavery during the
nineteenth century in the United States,
the Caribbean and Latin America. He
achieved this objective by the early
1920s in the United States. Garvey's
early U.S. experience had a profound
effect in radicalising him. In his early
years in the U.S. he made a transition
from the self-help/white paternalist
ideology of Booker T. Washington to a
much larger political agenda that was
embodied in the historic 1920 Declar-
ation of Rights of the Negro Peoples of
Garvey was integrally linked with the
turn-of-the-century progressive currents
in Jamaica. He was active in the Nation-
al Club which was a nationalist politi-
cal organisation during the first decade
of this century which called for self-
government. Garvey was also involved
with the short-lived Printers Union
(1907-9). But before he left for the
U.S.A. in 1916 he was an evangelist who
was in search of a programme appro-
priate to the mission that he set out to
establish. He had not yet really arrived
at the range of internationalist perspec-
tives that marked his later works, al-
though the elements were there.
Garvey initially adopted the tradi-
tional approach of social-reform char-
acteristic of many 'uplift' movements.
He paid his respects to his majesty the
king and appealed to the colonial gover-
nor and other well-placed people in the
society for patronage and sponsorship
and even said that:
Rich men are the props of all com-
munities, and if were not for the rich
men of Jamaica the country would
be no fit place to live in, for then vil-
lainy and vice and all kinds of evil
would be more rampant. It is the rich
men who provide work for us and help
us to live for we have been unable to
do anything for ourselves. Admire your
rich men and respect your superiors
.... [Hill 1983p.1351.
This was Garvey's interpretation of what
Booker T. Washington's programme
meant for Jamaica. It may also have
represented a tactical manoeuvre on his
part (though I think not). This was the
period of World War I (1914-18) when
colonial governments had as their main
goal the mobilisation of their subjects to
support the war effort and in this
atmosphere Garvey is likely to have per-
ceived himself as 'a true son of the Em-
pire'. [Hill 1983 p.163]. Moreover, he
was desperately trying to gain accept-
ance as a reformer. But Garvey's writ-
ings and activities prior to 1915 indi-
cate that he had said and done things
contrary to the essence and implications
of the statement above which represents
a vital pivot of ruling class ideology.
Jamaica's political ideology from slavery
to the post-independence years has al-
ways had this component. It is only in
the brief historical moments of popular
activity from the time of slave revolts
to the twentieth-century labour move-
ments, popular urban and rural pro-
tests, or the middle-class-led movements
for constitutional reform that challenges
have been made to this view.
At the same time, Garvey's emphasis
on mental emancipation represents an
effort to rid himself of ideas that rein-
forced social, political, economic and
racial subjugation. Hence psychological
liberation trying to rid oneself of the
slave-mentality becomes central to
an understanding of Garveyism. So while
the course of uplift reformism character-
istic of Garvey in this period was com-
patible with colonialism, Garveyism
later became an ideology in essence in-
compatible with the colonial system.
There are, for instance, a number of
references in Garvey's writings to the
1865 Morant Bay revolt. In an article
written in 1913 Garvey enthused about
George William Gordon and Paul Bogle:
They sounded the call of unmolested
liberty, but owing to the suppression
of telegraphic communication, they
were handicapped and suppressed,
otherwise Jamaica would be as free to-
day as Hayti, which threw off the
French yoke under the leadership of
the famous Negro General, Toussaint
L'Ouverture. [Clarke 1974 p.80].
Garvey's speeches and writings fre-
quently mentioned Toussaint L'Ouver-
ture. So operating in his mind during
his early Jamaican years is the tradi-
tion of revolt and black assertion. In a
speech in 1914 he calls upon blacks to:
take on the toga of race pride, and
throw off the brand of ignominy which
has kept you back for so many cen-
turies. Dash asunder the petty pre-
judices within your fold; set at defiance
the scornful designation of "nigger"
uttered even by yourselves, and be a
Negro in the light of the Pharoahs of
Egypt, Simons of Cyrene, Hannibals of
Carthage, L'Ouvertures and Dessalines
of Haiti, Blydens, Barclays and John-
sons of Liberia, Lewises of Sierra Leone,
and Douglass's and DuBois's of America
who have made, and are making history
for the race, though depreciated and
in many cases- unwritten. (Clarke
In an editorial of the Blackman news-
paper in 1929 entitled "Politics" he re-
turns to the theme of 1865. [Garvey
and Essien-Udom 1977 p.169]. These
all show that during both his initial
and advanced career, 1865 functioned
as an important reference point or land-
mark in Garvey's sense of history and
that he located his work in that tradi-
tion of resistance.
All the same, Garvey's 1915 corres-
pondence with Major Moton, Booker T.
Washington's successor as principal of
Tuskegee Institute, is of significance in
understanding his early thinking. It
confirms that he looked to the 'cultured
white people of the country', to help pro-
mote and legitimise his efforts to set up
an industrial farm and institute. But he
I have many large schemes on my mind
for the advancement of my people that
I cannot expose at the present to the
public as in such a case my hope of
immediate success would be defeated,
as my enemies are so many and they
are ever anxious to misrepresent me.
[Hill 1983 p.178].
He argues that in Jamaica:
We have no open race prejudice here,
and we do not openly antagonize one
another. The extremes are not between
white and black, hence we have never
had a case of lynching or anything so
desperate. [Hill 1983 p.179].
Garvey points out that blacks here are
in a majority and are the economic
asset of the country. But, he continues,
since emancipation, Jamaican blacks:
have never produced a leader of their
own hence they have never been led to
think racially but in common with the
destinies of the other people with
whom they mix as fellow citizens.
On the social question he said:
The black man naturally is kept down
at the foot of the ladder and is tram-
pled on by all the shades above. In a
small minority he pushes himself up
among the others,:BuT 7When he 'gets
there' he too believes himself other
than black and he starts out to think
from a white and coloured mind much
to the detriment of his own people
whom he should have turned back to
lead out of the surrounding darkness.
[Hill 1983 p.180].
He therefore recognized that black intel-
lectuals frequently turn against their
own people, becoming effective dis-
seminators of colonial ideology. For
that is the rationale for their acceptance
as 'intellectuals'. All the same, Garvey
was conscious of the psychological atti-
tudes which were the unfortunate re-
sult of this dispossession in the face of
people's natural desire for advancement.
Himself a man with an international
standing, he was very mindful of the
'envy and malice' of many Jamaicans,
particularly those on the painfully slow
climb up the social ladder. In a letter he
Very few Jamaicans can appreciate the
success of one of their own. Jamaicans
are like crabs; no one must climb out
of the basket, or out of the barrel. All
will unite to pull him back as he
climbs ...[Hill 1984 p.2661.
These responses show an analytical grasp
of the sociology of Jamaican race rela-
tions. This relationship between race
and class is evident in several of Gar-
vey's writings on Jamaica.
The Back to Africa Ideology
Garvey also understood very well the
nature of power in the modern world,
which is why he was so sensitive to the
powerlessness of his own ethnic group.
Garvey's vision is geared towards en-
suring that Africans will take their place
alongside other peoples as free men.
He places a great deal of emphasis on
the emancipation of Africa because he
sees the continent developing as Europe
and the United States have. Whilst al-
ways supporting the efforts of those in
the Caribbean or the United States to-
wards greater rights and freedoms, he
is strongly of the view that these achieve-
ments will fall short of the mark until
Africa is free. This did not mean, as has
so often been stated, that Garvey want-
ed all Africans to go back to Africa. In
1932 he wrote:
It does not mean that all Negroes must
leave America and the West Indies, and
go to Africa to establish a government.
It did not take all the white people of
Europe to come over to America to lay
the foundation of the great republic;
therefore, those who write disparagingly
of the grand programme of Africa for
the Africans are doing so without pay-
ing any attention to history. [Garvey
and Essien-Udom 1977 p.141].
Excerpts from his 1921 speeches
when on a visit to Jamaica indicate that
he was trying to awaken Afro-Jamaicans
to what had been happening in the post-
World War I years. He set out to shock.
He described Jamaica as the most back-
ward country in the western hemisphere.
He decried the self-debasing values of
blacks in Jamaica, instructing them that
they had the right to take their place in
the modern world. He appealed:
Negroes, you want men, you want
leaders to point you the way to des-
tiny. The way is long, the road is rocky,
it calls for not so much prayers as sac-
rifice. You Negroes in Jamaica pray too
much! (laughter and cheers) With all
your prayers you have hurricanes,
earthquakes, droughts and everything!
You know why! Because God is not
satisfied with prayers alone. God says
you must work and pray! And you
people seem to give up the world to
the white man and take Jesus! Don't
you know the white man has a right to
Jesus, too? Jesus belongs to everybody
so you are foolish to give up the world
and take Jesus only. You must take
part of the world and part of Jesus,
tool [Hill 1984 p. 282].
Here, he gets to the heart of how the
Christian religion was being used as a
diversion from tackling the relations of
domination. In fact, he anticipates here
what was later to become known as
Garvey also spoke on the topic "Jam-
aica, her needs and the Negro problem"
in Kingston, Morant Bay, Montego
Bay and Port Antonio. In his Montego
Bay speech he said:
I am not here with any sympathy for
the old spirit of Jamaica. I am here to
give you if I can a new spirit of man-
hood. Not the spirit to bow and cringe,
to apologize, but the spirit to strike
forward for the rights of the Negro
people of the world. [Garvey and
Essien-Udom 1977 p.93].
The Garvey/Price Controversy
A hostile response to Garvey came
from the Reverend Ernest Price in an
open letter to the people of Jamaica.
This letter is as important for what
it said as for who wrote it. Price, in
commenting on Garvey's speeches,
noted that they were heard by large
numbers of people. He links Garvey to
Bedward who was then active in both
his evangelical capacity and in socio-
political protest. Garvey was seen as a
'political Bedward' by Price. The rever-
end gentleman then defends the British
Garvey understood very well the nature of power in the modern
world, which is why he was so sensitive to the powerlessness
of his own ethnic group.
missionary activity, the tradition he rep-
resents and which local parsons are pur-
suing. Mr Price says that no one in Africa
knows Garvey and that he is a failure.
He tries to ridicule his efforts but does
not succeed. It is clear that Price regards
Garvey as a serious danger. If Garvey
had continued with the Tuskegee idea
he would probably have had Price's sup-
port. He would certainly have had it if
he had continued seeking the legitimacy
from the island's white elite as he had
been doing prior to 1916. "
The British missionary was an inter-
mediary for colonialism, preoccupied .
with the process of alienating Afro- i
Jamaica from its cultural and spiritual _
roots and through this mission, saving
souls for the Empire. For this Price was
well-suited as he was the foremost repre- -
sentative of the Baptist Mission and ...
founder of Calabar High School. He
functicned both in the pulpit and the
Price's letter was therefore part of
an anti-Garvey wave among the colonial
ruling circles. Garvey's swift response
must be seen in relation to the impact
SScenes from theMassheld at Holy Trinity Cthedraland theburialof theNationalHero in George
VI Park (renamed National Heroes Park) following the return of Garvey's remains from London.
," Above.: UNIA members marching to their seats,; top: uniformed officers of the UNIA at the
service; at left: the Hon. R.J. Njoku of Nigeria laying a wreath at the grave.
such an open letter by Price would have
had. Price's views would have been com-
mented on in devotion in teacher-train-
ing colleges, would have been repeated
by preachers in many churches, and
would have formed the main topic of
conversation on many verandahs. Garvey
was therefore not battling with Price
alone. He was battling with Price as
coloniser for the minds of the local
intelligentsia. Hence the tone and con-
tent of Garvey's reply published in the
Gleaner, 5 April 1921. He assumes an
air of distance from the paternalism and
racism that Price represents and ex-
poses his hypocrisy:
In starting his tirade against me, he
addresses the Negro people in Jamaica
as 'Brothers'. This man well knows that
he uses this salutation as a camouflage.
I hate hypocrisy and in this case I can-
not but characterize the writer of such
salutation, being himself a white Eng-
lishman, as anything else, but an arch
hypocrite ... ( Hill 1984 p.332].
Furthermore, Price had presented him-
self as a missionary connected to the
abolitionist tradition and invoked that
tradition as his credential. Garvey res-
I take it for granted that the Reverend
Gentleman means that his predecessors
worked for the abolition of slavery in
Jamaica, speaking of fellows like Wil-
berforce, and Buxton. If he knew any-
thing of history claiming to be a B.A.
as he is, he would have known that
Negroes did not bring themselves into
slavery, that slavery was imposed upon
them by his own predecessors, there-
fore if the said predecessors liberated
the said Negroes from slavery they
were but performing a duty that would
have to be done at some time or the
other, to save their own skins. With
what happened in Hayti and the threat-
ening attitude of the Jamaican Negro
slaves at that time, Wilberforce and
Buxton and the rest, saw the hand-
writing on the wall, and knew well if
they had not done something to bring
about the emancipation, the people
whom their brothers kept in slavery,
would have ultimately emancipated
themselves, to the loss of certain people
not only in cash, but in something
more dear to them [Hill 1984 p.333].
So Garvey exposes Price's 'liberalism'
and that school of interpretation regard-
ing the abolition of slavery which was
*, .*. ., .
Captain Thornhill of Harlem, one-time bodyguard of Garvey at Garvey's birthday celebrations
held in St Ann's Bay in 1971.
paternalist, anticipating the 'new' his-
toriography of slave emancipation.
On a personal note, Garvey speaks
confidently about his achievements:
It is not for me to speak of what I have
done, but the achievements of the Uni-
versal Negro Improvement Association
and of the Black Star Line, stand out
as a monument to the sacrifice, energy,
and ability of some one. Everybody
knows that the Universal Negro Im-
provement Association has a member-
ship of four million active members.
Everybody of sense ought to know
that it takes some ability to organise
four million people in the space of
three and a half years. Everybody
knows that the Black Star Line owns
three ships and in another couple weeks
will own a fourth ship, and ships are
not bought by mere cheap words but
by hard American dollars and English
pounds ... ibidd p.335].
And he rebuts:
Rev. Price referred to my failure in
starting a Tuskegee Institute in Jam-
aica. He suggests that it would have
been a good thing to have. I can really
understand why Mr. Price draws the
line at the present time he would
much prefer to see an industrial school
where Negroes are taught to plough,
hoe, wash plates, and clean pots, rather
than to have Negroes thinking about
building up empires and running big
steamships across the ocean. Ah! a
Tuskegee in Jamaica, would be but the
carrying out of the philosophy of Mr.
To Price's 'defence' of black parsons and
teachers against Garvey's criticism, Gar-
vey affirms the main thrust of his pur-
I desired to bring home to the men a
conviction of their responsibility to the
poor struggling people of Jamaica ..
and challenges his adversary:
Mr. Price makes out that he is so much
interested in Rev. Somers, and that he
believes that the Rev. Somers has made
a sacrifice to be at home, and that he
could do much better abroad. Oh! for
the hypocrisy of this world! Does Mr.
Price really mean this . . If so, why
did he not recommend him for the
Pastorate of the East Queen St. Baptist
Church, being the ablest Baptist Preach-
er in the country? Why did he encour-
age his denomination, to send all the
way to England for the Rev. Tucker, a
man who could not loose the shoes of
the Rev. Somers, in the pulpit of any
Although Garvey did not succeed in local politics ... he
contributed significantly to the awakening that took place
throughout the region in the late 1930s.
By highlighting racism within the church
Garvey removed the debate from gen-
eral questions to the particular, thus
underscoring the validity of his case.
But in order to deal with Garvey, his op-
ponents very frequently could not re-
main at the level of argumentation and
degenerated into scandal and personal
acrimony. This feature now character-
ised the response of the Rev. Mr. Price
in a letter published on 6 April.
The Garvey-Price controversy and
the debate over Garvey's speeches in
1921 foreshadowed the most active
1928-34 period of Garvey's Jamaican
political activities. Because what he said
in 1921 he tried to implement in the
His return to Jamaica was necessi-
tated by his deportation from the Uni-
ted States at the end of 1927 after
spending nearly three years in prison.
It took him some time to decide to re-
locate the headquarters of the UNIA
here. When he settled on that, he decid-
ed to plunge into colonial electoral
politics. His programme was a demo-
cratic one and he tried to introduce into
Jamaican politics the idea of a political
party, with a programme reflecting the
interests of the black majority. This
challenged the status quo with its non-
party tradition dominated by large prop-
erty-holders and merchants who were
kingpins in their respective parishes.
To effect a more favourable climate of
opinion Garvey founded the Blackman
(1929-31) and New Jamaican (1932 -33)
newspapers. He was also responsible
for a remarkable cultural programme
which gave expression to his own talents
as a playwright and scope for local
talent.4 Meanwhile, although failing to
win a seat in the Legislative Council, he
was elected while in St. Catherine prison
to a seat on the Kingston and St. Andrew
Corporation. He used this position to
continue his efforts on behalf of the
The decision to leave Jamaica and
resettle in London by the mid-1930s
was a difficult one. Although Garvey
did not succeed in local politics because
the odds were very much against him,
he contributed significantly to the
awakening that took place throughout
the region in the late 1930s.
Garvey's significance however is far
greater than his excursions into electoral
politics. By an enormous effort of po-
litical education and organisation, he
awakened his people to the possibilities
for freedom which slavery and colonial-
ism had denied for centuries. He chal-
lenged the class and racial foundations
of social oppression, and put on the
agenda of international politics the
struggle for the twentieth century eman-
cipation of black people, emphasizing
both its international and local dimen-
sions. The relevance and significance of
Marcus Garvey lies in the pursuit of this
unfinished historical enterprise.
1. See Gleaner, 11 February 1925, p. 10.
Garvey, of course, was not to arrive in
Jamaica until 10 December 1927 after
having been deported from the U.S.A.
The editorial asserted in part: 'whether
Mr. Garvey comes here shortly or five
years hence there can be no doubt that he
will prove a dangerous element in Jam-
2. See Garvey's explanation of his original
objectives in the Jamaica Times, 16
January 1915. This article is reprinted
in Hill  pp.103-5. See also p.135.
3. For extensive analysis of Garvey's Jam-
aican years, see Lewis,.
4. See Tony Martin [19831. Also Lewis
 and Hamilton in this volume.
CLARKE, John Henrik (ed.), Marcus Garvey
and the Vision of Africa, New York:
Random House, 1974.
GARVEY, Amy Jacques and ESSIEN-UDOM
E.U. (eds.) More Philosophy and Opin-
ions of Marcus Garvey, Vol. 3, London;
Frank Cass, 1977.
HILL, Robert (ed.), The Marcus Garvey and
Universal Negro Improvement Asso-
ciation Papers, Berkeley, California,
UCLA Press, Vol. 1, 1983; Vol. III,
LEWIS, Rupert, MarcusGarvey: Anti-Colonial
Champion, London: Karia Press, 1987.
MARTIN, Tony, Literary Garveyism, Mas-
sachusetts: Majority Press, 1983.
Garvey's shrine in National Heroes Park
and the Politicisation of some
in the 1920s and 1930s
By Erna Brodber
T he major works on Marcus
Garvey deal with his philo-
sophy and/or his life story.
They begin with his wife's two-part
compilation -- The Philosophy and
Opinions of Marcus Garvey. Mrs Amy
Jacques Garvey published the first part
of her work in 1923 and the second
in 1925. Apart from Mrs Garvey's pub-
lication of two volumes of his poetry,
there appears to have been no other
studies on Marcus Garvey until 1955
when E. David Cronon's Black Moses
published by the University of Wis-
consin appeared. Mrs Garvey had pub-
lished her husband's speeches, writings
and poetry; Cronon now brought Mar-
cus Garvey's life to public attention. His
book is sub-titled, The Story of Marcus
Garvey and the Universal Negro Im-
provement Association. The most spec-
tacular part of Garvey's life was played
on American soil. It is understandable
that a book researched, written and
published by Americans should focus
on the 'obscure foreigner' who born
in 1887, 'stepped ashore New York
on that bleak March day early in 1916
[when] the American negro world was
undergoing a series of profound social
changes that would play no small part
in the acceptance of Garvey's leader-
ship by large numbers of American
Garvey was nearly thirty years old
when he began his work in America.
Most of his early years and many others
after his deportation from the United
States in 1927 were spent living and
working in Jamaica. Cronon's 'story'
of Garvey, apart from its first chapter
"A Son is Given" deals very little
with the relationship of Garvey to the
Jamaican people and he to them. This
emphasis on philosophy and life story
and the location of Garvey in the United
States continues with the other works.
In 1963, it was Mrs Amy Jacques
Garvey again. This time it was Garvey
and Garveyism. This was a more detail-
ed treatment of Garvey's life but none-
theless the accent remained on his
philosophy and his life history. Adolph
Edwards's work, 'a factual exposition'
[p.3] came in 1967. This essay, en-
titled Marcus Garvey 1887-1940 was
published by New Beacon Press and
does give us some intimate photo-
graphs of Garvey with the Jamaican
people in the post-1927 days. We see
the sentiment between them:
Never before had the city of Kingston
witnessed such a demonstration of love
and loyalty. [p.27].
These glimpses, however, come to us
second-hand, originating with the Gleaner
reporter whose selection of shots is
naturally limited by what makes news.
In 1972 came Shawna Maglangbayan's
Garvey, Lumumba, Malcolm. This work
published by Third World Press, Chicago,
is intended to set right Garvey's politi-
cal thought which the writer feels is in
danger of re-interpretation from 'Ary-
an supremacists) . cloaked in sheets
of Marxism.' [p.7]. This work natural-
ly deals with Garvey's philosophy. John
Henrik Clarke had written the intro-
duction of Mrs Garvey's Garvey and
Garveyism. In 1974 his own contri-
bution to the study of Marcus Garvey
came off the press. This, called Garvey
and the Vision of Africa, was publish-
ed by Vintage Books and was a collec-
tion of essays by the then Garvey scho-
lars. This is once more a story of Mar-
cus Garvey played for the most part
in non-Jamaican settings. Two of
these essays, however Amy Jacques
Garvey's "The Early Years of Marcus
Garvey" and Rupert Lewis's "The Last
Years 1934-1940" acknowledge that
Garvey lived and worked in Jamaica.
Still, not much is told of Garvey's
relationship with the Jamaican people.
Tony Martin's Race First came
off the press in 1976 (Greenwood) and
has added a great deal to existing know-
ledge of Garvey, but the addition con-
tinues to be in the area of Garvey's
philosophy. We know much more about
Garvey's thinking with respect to the
communists and the Klu Klux Klan
and we know more about the fortunes
of the Black Star Line; but we still
know very little about Garvey's relation-
ships with Jamaicans and they with him.
The most recent of the studies is Garvey,
Africa, Europe, the Americas edited by
Rupert Lewis and Maureen Warner-
Lewis and published by the Institute of
Social and Economic Research of the
University of the West Indies in 1986.
Rupert Lewis's essay in this collection,
"The Question of Imperialism and As--
pects of Garvey's Political Activities in
Jamaica 1929-1930", does place Garvey
in Jamaica but it is with his relationship
with the Establishment, principally the
British government, rather than with the
people around him that it is concerned.
The Voices in the Crowd
Though the preoccupation of the
works described above have been with
Garvey's life and philosophy, there are
in some of them rare testimonies from
the mouths of the millions whose lives
these studies say were touched by Gar-
vey's behaviour. There is a little whis-
per from George Alexander McGuire
who styles himself archbishop and pri-
mate of the African Orthodox Church.
In the preface to part II of Mrs Jacques
Garvey's The Philosophy and Opinions
of Marcus Garvey, he testifies:
Outsiders fail to understand the psy-
chology of the disciples of Garvey, but
the writer of this preface (who is not
ashamed to acknowledge that he is an
open follower of this great teacher,
rather than one of the Nicodemuses
who are secret disciples for fear of
criticism or opposition) finds the
reasons for our devotion in the con-
viction that no man has spoken to us
like this man, inculcating pride and
nobility of race and pointing out to a
down trodden and discouraged people
their star of Destiny. [p.xiii] .
In Cronon's work we find another
rare testimony. He quotes from a share-
holder writing from Panama:
I have sent twice to buy shares amount-
ing to $125 . . Now I am sending
$35 for seven more. You might think I
have money, but the truth, as I stated
before, is that I have no money now.
But if I'm to die of hunger it will be al-
right because I am determined to do all
that is in my power to better the con-
dition of the race. [p. 561].
Then there is in John Henrik Clarke's
work, Captain Hugh Malzac's "Memoirs
of a Captain of the Black Star Line",
but this is more an analysis of the fail-
ure of Garvey's shipping project than a
personal testimony of how Garvey and
Garveyism touched this captain's life.
In any case, these whispers are not from
Jamaican voices. Yet, Rupert Lewis quot-
ing from the Gleaner in his article men-
tioned above, tells us of Garvey's return
home in 1927 that 'no denser crowd has
ever been witnessed in Kingston'. It is
the intention of this essay to move away
from the examination of Garvey and
Garveyism and focus instead on the
Jamaican people who were in the crowds
around Garvey and from whom he
might even have got the kind of psychic
support which gave him the strength to
operate on non-Jamaican soil. Such
people are among the ninety senior
citizens whose life histories I have col-
lected [Brodber 1980]. We look first
at Cou Meme.
Cou Meme whose real name is Mary
Nichols would have been called 'fast',
'facety' and stubborn if she were a
younger person. Although her voice
creaks with age, her memories can still
fill her with such excitement that she
laughs or hisses her teeth or responds in
some other articulate form of body
language. Mary Nichols was born in
1886, the year before Marcus Garvey.
When she was interviewed thirteen
years ago, she was living in a house in
Walderston, Manchester a room and
hall with an outside kitchen with her
crippled daughter whom she nursed.
This was far too much responsibility for
an eighty-seven-year-old person and the
untidiness of her house showed it. But
there was no such sign of aging in
Cou Meme's spirit. This was a woman
who was ready to defend herself and her
daughter against thieves and rapists: she
slept with a cutlass beside her. This was
one of the people who travelled from
Jamaica's interior to see the Black Star
Liner. Cou Meme speaks with the inter-
What about Marcus Garvey. You never
hear anything about him?
No sah. Me hear bout the Black Star
Line and me see the Black Star Line.
[This is obviously a very important
event in her experience. She changes the
rhythm of her speech to emphasise the
event.] Because me go a Kingston go see
Oh you went just to see it?
Just to see it.
How you went? How you travel go
Whole heap of we tek train from Kendal
or some go all a Porus go tek train.
Cou Meme must have been one of those
waiting in early 1920 to see the Yar-
mouth with its officers Cockburn and
Mulzac, demit passengers in Jamaica on
its way from Cuba.
it appears at this point to have been
the Black Star Line and its peculiarity -
a shipping line owned, managed and
captained by black people which
made Cou Meme leave her income-
earning tasks and pay the return fare to
be in the crowd of Garvey supporters.
More eminent people than Cou Meme
were just as impressed by the ship and
its peculiarities. According to Captain
Mulzac's account in John Henrik Clarke's
work to which we have already referred,
President Menocal of Cuba was one.
At the stop which the ship made in
Cuba, 'he expressed great pride in see-
ing coloured men make their own op-
portunities in the field of commerce'.
[p.133]. Cou Meme could only give this
commercial venture her psychic support:
President Menocal gave the ship's officers
a banquet and 'promised the support of
the Cuban government for the ventures
of the Black Star Line'. [p.133]. Gar-
vey whose brain child this venture was,
had given Menocal cause for 'great
pride'. Garvey and the movement he
inspired gave Cou Meme more than
pride. He added another dimension to
her sense of self. It was this, in addi-
tion to pride, which took Cou Meme
out of Walderston and into Kingston in
early 1920. She describes to the inter-
viewer the process by which the new
sense of self came to her:
But why were you interested in the Mar-
cus Garvey Movement?
I go in Town one time and I hear dem
have Marcus Garvey meeting out so and
mi bredder seh to mi sey: 'Meme mek
wi go Marcus Garvey meeting tinigh t. 'Me
sey: 'Nuh must be some fool-fool meet-
ing.' Him seh 'Gal, you never hear dem
sinting from you born, so you come wi
go.' When mi get ready go, mi dear Ma,
de man sey why him hate white people,
him granmoder was a slavery time
woman and one of the white man come
and the woman seh him won't give up
black people and de man ketch him and
carry him, tie one footpon dis va eucalv-
ptus tree and dis foot up deh so pon de
oder eucalyptus tree and dem count to
three and as dem count to three, dem
cut de two rope and the eucalyptus tree
fly up so, and tear de ole woman in two.
An I BAWL you see.
Other people bawled too?
L-a-w-d [She is living once more the ex-
perience she felt on hearing the speech].
Cou Meme didn't answer the last ques-
tion, she was too involved with her own
Cou Meme might have heard the
speaker incorrectly; the speaker might
have fabricated the story. There is no
gainsaying however, the emotional im-
pact which this visit to a Garvey meet-
ing had on Cou Meme. She was now
connected to the Afro-Jamaican past.
She felt with and for 'slavery time'
women. She was connected to the
Afro-Jamaican present and to her broth-
er by political ties now, as well as kin-
ship ties. Cou Meme's new perception of
herself also coloured her response to her
social setting. Cou Meme was asked:
Then how you feel about white people
when you hear that?
Lawd, I hate them worseah.
Her very expressive L-a-w-d in the pen-
ultimate speech above suggests that in
1973 when she was interviewed, Cou
Meme was still feeling the connection
with her racial past that had come to
her more than fifty years before. This
feeling, this black consciousness she at-
tributes to the Garvey meeting. Her
interview continues to discuss her feel-
ings towards white people:
Lawd. Me nuh love dem, Ma. Me a talk
the truth, Missis. Me nuh too love dem.
But was it Marcus Garvey that influen-
ced you, or you on your own never
No. From the man talk so.
Oh. From the man talk so?
I don't like them.
Bambi And Her Father
The sense of black consciousness
which came to Cou Meme in the 1920s
had been with other Jamaicans with-
out the help of Garvey. Bambi, for in-
stance. She was twenty-five years old in
1920. She did not go to see the Black
Star Liner, nor did she go to see Mar-
cus Garvey when he came to Montego
Bay, about twenty miles from Williams-
field, St. James where she lived. Her
father went to hear him. The father of
Beatrice Williams known as Bambi, must
have been quite impressed with what he
heard and saw, because what of it he
shared with his daughter was still with
her in 1975 when she was interviewed.
For Mr Williams, Garvey was a man of
the people who had 'good education'.
'Me father tell me say, sey him have
the cut of Zekel James, . who must
have been a local chap, for Bambi,
remembering that the interviewer was
foreign to the village and could not have
known him, adds 'You no know him,
you no know him', and continues to
share her father's response to Marcus
Garvey and his meeting:
Him sey him short and him black and
him stout and him have a good education
because him speak well. But wait, me
going tell 'bout him for him go to the
meeting and him seh 'black people must
open dem eye. Is time now for black
people to open dem eye for they keep
down too long' and him give plenty
address. Me doan remember all what
Puppa sey 'bout Marcus Garvey.
From what Bambi had earlier said in
her interview, the bonds between her-
self and her racial past were already so
close that they didn't need the cement-
ing power of the Garvey platform. Her
'Lawd Missis we black people, fi we gin-
neration we ben meet i!' and 'The ole
ginneration pay for it . Lawd them
meet i. Dem meet i' and again, 'Dem
meet it Missis, dem ole ginneration dem
meet it' is equivalent to Cou Meme's
moan, 'L-a-w-d'. It wasn't the memory
of a speech made from a Garvey plat-
form that had Bambi so affected. It was
the memory of the horrors of slavery as
told her by her paternal grandfather.
,Bambi's exposure to tales of slavery left
her with sentiments towards white
people very similar to those inspired in
Cou Meme by a Garveyite's tale. She
If mi even come and see dem a do a
white man anything, me nah talk, no
man, I don't business wid it. Me have
anything wid de white man! I couldn't
business wid it. The ole ginneration pay
for it... Lawd. Dem meet it.
But Bambi and her father both knew
that despite a black consciousness
which made them feel negatively to-
wards whites, they had to 'business wid
them'. The problem they now faced
was how to get whites to treat them
as different yet equal.
One way was to have demonstrably,
the skills which whites had. It gave
Bambi great pleasure to watch her
father as he established through his
ciphering skills, his equality with whites.
She relates one incident which is redol-
ent with this sense of pride. Bambi's
father was a produce dealer and as such
frequented the house of the Squire,
Used to go up there and buy. And mi
father did have good eddication, you
know. Yes . . You know, ole time
people when dem tek to book! When
dem born wid di gift! I remember one
-day when we go get up dere, Judge Hall
was in his telecopes.
Judge Hall was what?
Telecopes, was a . he was a astral
man and me father and Mistress Hall
over di table, ciphering. And when . .
me remember many things you know...
and dem cipher dem. Mrs Hall say:
'Mr. Williams is wrong.'
Him say, 'No Mistress. I am right and
you is wrong.'
Mrs Hall says, 'No Mr Williams. I am
right and you is wrong.'
Puppa say 'No'.
Puppa could do sums you see! Wish to
God I could a do sums like him. Him do
shorthand all de time.
Shorthand sums and when him di go
down de road you only see di pam-pam-
pam-pam-pam and heap down him
paper and him done, and him nah wrong
you nuhl No, Ma.
Mrs Hall say, 'Let me take it to Squire'
and him tek di two papers and Mrs Hall
come with a little sadness now: 'Mr
Williams, Squire say you is right and I
The other week Puppa go up again to
buy produce. Her son from England.
Doctor son come. Mrs Hall wouldn't
face the table again you know, wouldn't
face Puppa. Him call Doctor and Doctor
and Puppa go over de table. Mrs Hall
say, 'Now Doctor you must be careful
of Mr Williams, he is very clever in Arith-
Bwoy and when mi Pa did mongst de
white people, you know, when him
mongst de white people, him boasy
because he got di eddication you know
. . shorthand you know. .. pam-pam-
pam. Doctor go round, two of dem go
round. The two of dem do so bram!
Him and Doctor get one answer.
With education her father had equalised
and even beaten the whites. Bambi
ended this monologue with 'Mi can't for-
get all those things you know'. One
black man had cracked the stereotype
that blacks were intellectually inferior
to whites. But for the stereotype to be
removed, it was necessary that more
black men demonstrate their intellec-
tual capacity. Bambi and her father ap-
proved of Garvey's message that black
men should open their eyes. But it was
as much to them that he spoke well,
thus demonstrating publicly that he had
'a good education'. The short, stout,
black man, looking just like the local
chap 'Zekel James', was through his
ease with the English language giving
Bambi and her father what they felt
they needed a further sign that the
stereotype which whites had of blacks
and which hampered the interaction
which had to take place between them,
could be made to crash.
'Is we build Llandovery estate.'
Some men are achievers and like to
have excellence around them. Mr Shand
is one of them. The hernia which his job
as a carpenter at Llandovery left him, is
as much a source of pain as a sign of
achievement, and joins the house in
which he lives and which he had built
with his 'own hands', as evidence that
Mr Shand did live on this earth. Mr Shand
was born at Beverley, a district in St.
Ann, in about 1900 and was therefore
in his early twenties when Garvey and
Garveyism were awakening the black
world. Instead of excellence and achieve-
ment among blacks, Mr Shand then saw
impotence. He talks about how the large
estates owned by whites physically
choked the aspirations of his kind mn the
area in which he lived:
Well, me love, is only this district
between. Just a few chains right off
yah now, it was property. And just as
you come down de bottom deh, was the
same property. Both of them. And we
just in the middle. Amen. Fe one man,
man! And then the government buy it
out and sell we, as land settlement.
Some change came in 1938 after the
rioting masses forced the government to
consider redistribution of lands. He con-
tinues to list the estates which occupied
the lands which the labourers needed to
achieve the status of farmer:
. Shawbury, Oh Lawd! Madwell,
Matthews Hall, Penners, Hylton Hill,
Orange Valley that was the big property
that side. Just in the middle. And the
people them works on that estate and
get them little money.
Mr Shand was aware that achieve-
ment for the mass of people in his
area was virtually impossible, given their
lack of social and physical space. And
he was not being hypersensitive. William
Cradwick and A.A. Barclay, the organi-
zers of the government's food production
campaign felt this impotence through-
out the parish of St. Ann and communi-
cated this finding to Governor Probyn.
the people of St. Ann have our
sympathy. The penkeepers have simply
out-witted the peasant. Rented them
unproductive land which they cleaned
up and within two years the proprietors
took it back, shoving the peasant out
of the parish. [CO 137/742, Despatch
Out-witted. And the peasant clearly
knew that he was out-witted and that
he was going to be out-witted. A feeling
of impotence must follow. Mr Shand's
'And we just in the middle. Amen',
and his 'Shawbury, oh Lawd!' are ex-
pressions of this impotence.
On to this scene came Marcus Garvey.
The 'man of words' is very well-
respected among the Jamaican and
Caribbean folk. It is he who chairs meet-
ings, takes the pulpit and is cheered at
tea-meetings. His audience listens not
just to his message, but to his choice of
words and his diction, and gives him
points for endurance and for the way he
handles his hecklers. Marcus Garvey was
a master of the art of public speaking.
His excellence and his achievement in
this area answered Mr Shand's need to
see something else in the parish of St.
Ann besides the impotence which comes
from being perpetually surrounded by
those who will out-wit you.
He went to hear Marcus Garvey in his
post-United States days, but remembers
only that he was the 'longest chatter'
he had ever heard.
You remember anything him used to
No. I don't remember what him used to
say. But is the most the longest chat-
ter we ever hear! Because Marcus Gar-
vey chat for three hours and him don't
call one word two times that's all me
Mrs Hilda Durrant of Blenheim, Han-
over was twenty-six years old in 1920.
Mrs Durrant as a young girl growing up
in Hanover was not at all convinced like
Bambi and her father that education
could break the social and economic
barriers which restricted black people's
mobility in Jamaica. She says:
What I want to tell you, that education
never carry like colour. If you can just
read and you educated so til and ..
you don't get the position weh the
mulatto man get and him don't fit the
job. You understand what I mean.
She was a bright student and her teach-
er Parson Kenny was encouraging her to
take 'lessons' towards becoming a
. . me couldn't walk out mi shoes bot-
tom for that. It was too cheap. Teacher
get 60 a year you know, sister.
She went to Cuba as a nursemaid
As the food controllers' comment
cited above indicates, migration away
from the society parish or island -
was a route which many blacks felt
forced to take. Mrs Durrant return-
ed to Jamaica in 1932 like many others
who were forced to return when the re-
cession hit Cuba. Mrs Durrant came
back to find Marcus Garvey here. In dis-
cussing the life of Alexander Busta-
mante who lived in Blenheim in her
youth, Mrs Durrant comments:
. the first man that start to make us
open our eyes was that man, the black
man there from St. Ann -
Garvey. And then now Busta took ... I
don't know what happen, but Garvey
had to go -
So when you say Garvey opened your
eyes, tell me how. Tell me about that?
Because Garvey mek the people them
know that to work fe shilling can't mind
we and all that kind of thing.
Did you actually hear Garvey?
Yes. I knew him. I knew him ...
Mrs Durrant did not remember Garvey's
name but she remembered the experi-
ence of having 'her eyes open (ed)' to
the fact that there was an alternative to
flight from Jamaica: the worker could
demand better working conditions.
Mr Fearon like Mrs Durrant had scof-
fed at teaching's miserly rewards. He
had been a very bright boy scholastical-
ly and otherwise. By age thirteen he had
passed the Jamaica Local Examinations.
After five years of teaching he left Jam-
aica in 1915 at age nineteen on a sailing
boat for Cuba. There he found another
route to self-realization: he could be
part owner of a shipping company. Mr
Fearon had known Garvey and Amy
Ashwood who became his first wife, inti-
mately in Jamaica. The relationship
with Garvey was renewed in Cuba:
. . those were the times when they had
the Black Star Line business; I joined
the Universal Negro Improvement Asso-
ciation. Up to now , if I turn
somewhere around I would find my
bronze medal that I have. If I go and
search I will find it for sure. I lend them
50 to carry on the Association. And
we usually keep meetings for Garvey
in Cuba you know. And you can under-
stand .... For those days, I knew it and
could speak the language fluently be-
cause if you can't read and write it, you
couldn't speak as a platform speaker,
for you have to talk exactly that the
Spaniards or the Spanish-speaking people
could understand what you are saying,
for you couldn't go and have meetings
and they don't hear what you are say-
irng, that would be against Cuban law.
Mr. Fearon still had and could find
in 1975 when he was interviewed, the
medal, evidence of his involvement with
the movement Garvey founded, involve-
ment with charting a movement whose
economic promise was more in line
with his talents. The medal was the sign
that he had not succumbed to what the
society had to offer but had tried to
establish something better. The effort
was important to this man-boy. Garvey -
provided the occasion.
Garvey and the Politicisation of
These then were people who were
part of the crowd at Garvey's meetings:
Cou Meme, Mr Shand, Mrs Durrant and
Mr Fearon, and through her father,
Bambi Williams. They became affected
by Garvey at different points in their
political socialisation and came to him
from different parts of black Jamaican
society. Cou Meme was, when she at-
tended her first meeting, a casual labour-
er in Manchester, making her living from
breaking pimento and cleaning ginger.
She knew she was black and though she
was aware that there were people who
put blacks in a special category, she had
never given that idea much 'ear as partly
Jamaica ah so-so black people'. She was
also quite aware of Africa as her ances-
Me grandmother and everybody. Yes
Ma! Lawd,dem want wi go back a Africa
tell dem fool...
Sey dem no love Jamaica.
But it wasn't until she went to a Garvey
meeting that Cou Meme moved from
knowing herself to be black in colour to
an awareness of herself as part of a
group which had a particular kind of
relationship to other groups in the
society. Cou Meme became politi-
The others in the group presented
here had already passed this stage.
Bambi and her father had already
heard her grandfather's experience and
already had through him a deep sense of
the political significance of being black.
They were now at the point where they
needed to be seen and as a consequence
treated by whites as their equal. Mr
Williams had already acquired some of
the symbols of equality and was on his
way to being perceived as such. He had
his own mill and copper, was a produce
dealer who had the Squire as one of
his clients and most important, could
cipher better than the Squire's wife and
just as well as his 'doctor' son. He need-
ed to know that there were other poten-
tially mobile blacks like himself. He met
Garvey. Mr Shand was at the other end
of the continuum, caught up in a per-
ception of his people as consigned to
non-achievement. Garvey's excellence
at public speaking gave him the com-
fort that the race was not doomed to
Mr Fearon and Mrs Durrant did not
share that problem. They knew that
..... they were achievers. They didn't share
the hope of Bambi and her father that
education would bring mobility. They
N^o. 7 01 Sh^ /. already had that. Nor was it the eco-
nomic independence which Mr Shand
might have hoped for: both had lived
with economic independence and high
SAE............... I social status. Mr Fearon's parents own-
BLACK STAR L=NE, INC. ed and cultivated large tracts of land,
CAPITAL STOCK $500.000 and were the king and queen of the
SHARES $5. EACH Congregational church in the area.
S-Mrs Durrant's father was a large yam
farmer who took his ware to the mar-
BLACK STAR LINE INC. J~l.D.d-. ket in Colon in his own boat. Mr Fear-
on and Mrs Durrant had the trappings
01 .,of equality with whites but still felt
,a, blocked. Their approach to their pre-
dicament was to leave Jamaica. Gar-
/i vey showed them that there was another
14 way to self-actualisation. They could
---.... --- combine to demand a better deal from
.othe system and could establish through
similar combination, commercial enter-
prises as viable as those controlled by
Stock Certificate in the Black Star Line, 1919. whites.
ABRAHAMS, Roger D., The Man-of-Words in
the West Indies, Johns Hopkins Univer-
sity Press, 1983.
BRODBER, Erna, 'Cou Meme' (parish of
Manchester) tape reference 26MFb; 'Oral
Historian' (parish of St. James) tape
reference 60SjFa; 'Master Carpenter'
(parish of St. Ann) tape reference
46StAa; 'A Droger's Daughter' (parish
.... of Hanover) tape reference 9HFe. 'Man-
Boy' (parish of Clarendon) tape refer-
ence 5CMb, in Life in Jamaica in the
Early Twentieth Century: a presentation
of ninety oral accounts, unpublished
manuscript, I.S.E.R., U.W.I., 1980.
CLARKE, John Henrik, Marcus Garvey and
the Vision of Africa, Vintage Books,
CRONON, E. David, Black Moses, University
of Wisconsin Press, 1955.
COLONIAL OFFICE, Probyn to Milner,
CO 137/742, Despatch 711, 27/9/1920.
EDWARD, Adolph, Marcus Garvey, New Bea-
Sd 6 con Publications, 1967.
GARVEY, Amy Jacques, Philosophy and
Opinions of Marcus Garvey, CASS,
Garvey and Garveyism, Collier Books,
S LEWIS,Rupert and WARNER-LEWISMaureen,
Garvey, Africa, Europe, the Americas,
S- -. MAGLANGBAYAN, Shawna, Garvey, Lum-
umba and Malcolm: Black Nationalist
Separatists, Third World Press, 1972.
The Black Star Liner SS Yarmouth. MARTIN, Tony, Race First, Greenwood
Garvey's Boyhood Friend
as told to Wenty Bowen
L while there are still a few people
who remember Marcus Garvey
personally, there were only a
few who had intimate recollections of
Garvey's childhood. One of these was
Isaac Samuel Rose of St. Ann's Bay,
who died a few years ago.
Mr Rose, who was ninety-one when
I spoke to him in May 1974, would have
been 104 in this 100th anniversary year
of Garvey's birth. Mr Rose, at the time
we talked, was an active octagenarian
who looked after the Farmer's Coop
Store on the town's main thorough-
fare. Known affectionately to his many
customers as Corpie, he seemed blessed
with almost total recall. He had been
born in 1884 on the Seville property,
St. Ann, in a place they called Nigger
House. But let Mr Rose tell his
story . .
In the nineteenth century, Seville
was a sugar estate and my father Joseph
Rose was the man that fed the mill with
cane. My mother was Susan Bartwell.
She turned the trash outside the cane
yard to boil the sugar. My father married
my mother when I was a little child.
In those days, some of the people
who worked on Seville Estate lived on
it. That's why they called it Nigger
House. They lived in little houses made
out of thatch, wattle and daub, paved
inside with marl.
I had four brothers and altogether
there were seven of us, two girls and five
boys. I am the eldest.
I ask him about Marcus Garvey.
Garvey was born at 32 Market Street
but that house pull down now and they
put up another one there. My grand-
uncle's yard was near it on the other
side of the road.
The house Garvey was born in was an
old board-up house. It was blown down
in the 1944 storm.
He takes me over to Market Street
and shows me the house that now stands
where Garvey's home was. Then we go
to Winders Hill where the Garvey family
later lived. There is a mango tree on the
hill on what Mr Rose said was Cloisters
Property. There are houses at Winders
Hill, replacing the one the Garveys lived
in. He says the Garvey property was a
square and a half-chain both sides. He
The Cloisters property is Methodist
Church property. Mr Garvey senior
(Marcus's father) cultivated this church
property and the mango tree is on it.
Nearby is the priest's house. The priest
was Pastor Lightbourne. This waswhere
the Methodist priest lived in Garvey's
day and a Methodist parson still lives
At Winders Hill was a Spanish wall
house made by Garvey, senior, a mason.
That pull down and gone.
rth in the District of 6 r-J ish: 01 On tau -
Dt -ad Pl*0-1 Dirtk N.r, (df my) h_ S_ u mdKnm d h..eui. iend I^ c ljf' ,(" hb-- Ql -iclo nd ltvdsoo1 ~ Rt fd.V ,Bptm Nn&i
8 _eW by i .1 _d U-, l, '
S y~ bj Cis. ..ade.'Q__ i ___ ft ~ m [/ i42^ -- /h ^/ ----,
Copy of Garvey's birth certificate.
Garvey was born at Market Street
but grew up at Winders Hill where his
father bought a piece of land. His father
was a good mason. He built my father's
Garvey's mother was Emilia, a house-
wife. They had eleven children but some
died. Only two lived. Becheva, a daugh-
ter, and Marcus.
Garvey's father was a Christian man,
a steward at the Wesleyan Church. A
hard-working man. He worked on
many churches and used to build tombs.
I know Garvey from a little boy. Me
older than him but him bigger than me.
He was a big fella. I was schooled at St.
Agnes Church School, Priory, St. Ann.
I left Priory because I was a strong boy
and other boys always try to fight me
and I beat them. Then I come to St.
Ann's Bay School and there I met with
my friend Marcus Garvey. We were
schoolmates. We also went to Methodist
Sunday School together. The church we
went to blow down in 1903 and was
built back in 1905.
I could remember once, they had a
gallery in the church and all the boys
them used to sit in the gallery. The par-
son would ask us to sing a song and the
boys alone would sing that verse or read
a psalm. But the boys, them always be-
have rude up there. So Parson Light-
bourne sent Marcus Garvey's father,
Mosiah Garvey, up to the gallery to
keep the boys quiet.
The breeze blow cool and the old
man drop asleep with his mouth wide
One of the boys made a cigar out of
paper. Heh, heh [Rose laughs at the re-
collection] and put it in his mouth and
light it. Ha, ha. So when the paper near-
ly burn to catch his mouth, the boys
began to laugh.
Marcus turn and looked and said, 'No.
You can't do my father that!' And he
took up one of the boys, Sanders, and
threw him downstairs, down the steps ling us things that happen all over the
while the parson a preach. world. Him know I don't know, but
While church went on, the boys him telling us. He was very interested
would always write some notes and in world affairs.
hand them to the girls downstairs and
when them read it, them laugh.
One Sunday we was in class and
somebody did 'something' They poop.
Marcus said it was me, 'Rose', he said,
I said, 'Yes man, you have a trumpet
from your ears to me ass. 'And the boys
When we come outside the church,
Marcus said to me, 'Rose, tell me what
you tell me in church. Tell me!'
Sanders say, 'Don't tell him nothing,
cause he hear already. Is fight he want
to fight now.'
Then Sanders turned to Garvey and
said, 'It wasn't Rose do it, it's me.
Marcus say, 'All right, Rose, I apolo-
gise to you.'
When we left school it was a
Methodist school in those days it was
all church schools Garvey went to
work to learn printing from his god-
father, Mr Elphie Burrowes.
One day I was selling naseberries
from a tray and he said, 'Rose sell me
some of those naseberry. How you sell
'Six a penny-hapenny.'
Before I could take out the tray, Gar-
vey took out two and when I held
down the tray I gave him four.
He said, No, it is six him to get. I
said, 'No, you take two already.'
He grab a naseberry from me and we
started to wrestle. The naseberry was
very mashed up when we part.
Marcus Garvey was a fellow like this:
all the time when I meet him he wear
jacket and every time, his two jacket
pockets full of paper, reading and tel-
After Garvey worked with his god-
father Mr Burrowes, he got a job in Port
Maria working in printing. After that,
he left to go to Kingston, and work-
ed at the printing office in Kingston for
some time. From Kingston he went to
America where I lose sight of him
for a time.
We had a man in Kingston named
Tom Prang. A big fat fellow. When any
of the waterfront workers went to
speak hard to the managers, the em-
ployers would get Tom Prang to beat
Marcus called Tom Prang and told
him he must stop it, because did he think
any white man would beat him friend
for a nigger?
Tom Prang did stop it. He leave
Kingston and go to Mo Bay where he
died down there.
Isaac Rose left Kingston in 1908,
went back to St. Ann's Bay and lived
there for the rest of his life, working
as a farmer, a policeman and a car-
penter. He married in 1914 and had
six children, three sons and three
daughters, all alive when I talked to
him in 1975. By then he had thirty
grand-children, twenty great-grand-
children and four great-great-grand-
daughters. He had many adventures
of his own and became a leader in
his community while Garvey travel-
ling the world and living mainly in
America, became an international
figure. Isaac Rose, however, was to
meet his childhood friend one more
In 1930 I was in Kingston building
the number one railway pier. I lived at
No. 7 Bond Street. One Sunday morn-
ing a young woman came in the yard
and said, 'Mr Rose, you come from St.
Winders Hill, St. Ann's Bay. The Garvey family once lived at this site (above) in a Spanish wall
house built by Garvey snr., a mason. That house was pulled down years ago. Below: No. 32
Market Street, St. Ann's Bay, the site on which Marcus Garvey was born but not the original
I said, Yes.' swords and Marcus walked under the
She said, 'You don't know Mr Gar- sword. He was well dressed. I never see
vey, sir?' a man dressed so. Not even the King of
England dress like him. Some robes and
I said, 'Yes, I know him.'
She said, 'Let we go to Edelweis
Park this evening, no? To hear him.'
I said, 'yes.'
So in the evening I get tidy and me
and the lady went up there.
So when I went up there to Edel-
weis Park I see a large crowd up there.
I took a seat against the walkway and
just as it was about to begin I saw the
choir come out from this little place.
And afterward, bodyguards, about six
men, dressed in black pants and white
braid, black cap with white braid.
Two of them made an arch with their
The next day I didn't work. I went
to see Marcus at Edelweis Park and
have a talk with him. We talked about
two hours and he told me he came to
St. Ann's Bay where he was born and
he didn't get a good reception. They
didn't give him a reception like he
I told him that I was a policeman at
the time and was always on duty when
he came, so I couldn't gossip, but the
people appreciated him very much.
That was the last talk I had with
him. Anything else I just heard about.
That Edelweis meeting was packed
with people. It was a building with steps
coming down. Circular, like the stadium,
with a roof. The seats went right round,
and his place where he preached was on
one side on the middle section. It
took about four steps to reach him.
Garvey preached from the Bible,
man. He talked about how humans
should live to God. How we should
keep the Commandments and all those
In the service he didn't talk about
politics at that meeting. I can remem-
ber he said, 'If ye say ye have no sin the
truth is not in you, but if you con-
fess your sins to God he will abun-
dantly pardon you.'
Garvey was a prophet, a man that
was sent from God. He wasn't no ordin-
all sorts of things.
So, knowing him as I know him and
never seeing him dressed like that I said,
'Me Ass, look Marcus!' [Isaac Rose
laughs and wipes a tear from his eye].
I enjoyed the service very much. Gar-
vey was one of the greatest preachers I
ever hear. Reverend Dillon could preach,
but he could not preach like Marcus.
Dillon was a Baptist minister here in
St. Ann's Bay who went to St. Andrew
and died there. He was a great preach-
er, but Marcus preach better than him.
Marcus Garvey in regalia.
ary man. Anything he told you came to
Garvey told us you would see people
going through and through the world
and that has come to pass. Years gone
you couldn't see a man going to Eng-
land, or America, or Canada.
The Edelweis meeting was orderly.
Everybody sit down quietly, everybody
dress like a church. It was a church.
Garvey preached on Sunday, morn-
ing and night, and during the week they
had political meetings where they talk-
ed about the UNIA and other things.
The choir was women, about thirty
of them, dressed in white. White hats.
The men in black caps with white braid
around it, the jackets had white braid
round the neck, and white braid on the
seam of their pants.
The choir started to sing and Gar-
vey come up and take his place in the
pulpit. First 4he would pray, then sing.
But people didn't go up after his meet-
ing for blessing.
Garvey was stout, big, with a big
head and with a commanding voice. He
wasn't bad-looking. He spoke ordinary,
plain talk. You could understand all
that he said.
His wife was in the choir.
Garvey wore black pants and a white
sash with three different colours on it
across his chest, and a regalia, a robe,
over him. It yellow. And he had some-
thing like a crown on his head.
People felt proud of him. Proud. Any-
time he was coming it was a proud
Though this meeting with Garvey at
Edelweis Park was the last time Rose
and Garvey saw each other, Mr Rose
also recalled that Garvey had come to
St. Ann's Bay earlier, on an electioneer-
ing campaign. He recalls that when Gar-
vey returned to Jamaica from the United
They sent him to prison for sedition
[actually it was for contempt of court].
Manley was the prosecutor.
Garvey went to Cuba then came back
and held meetings in St. Ann's Bay. He
was around here having meetings and he
formed the UNIA of which I was a
member. A fellow named Bellamy was
At UNIA meetings in St. Ann, Gar-
vey would talk about politics, the move-
ment of the country and bringing the
people together. He wanted to bring the
Negroes into one body of people. One
aim, one object.
Though Isaac Rose's achievements
did not attract national attention, in
some ways he was cut from the same
cloth as his schoolmate Marcus Garvey.
Rose was in his own way also a leader
of men, and given different circum-
stances, he too might have become a
household name in Jamaica. As it is,
in his area of St. Ann's Bay he was well
known, loved and respected. People
coming into the Farmer's Coop Store
addressed him as Corpie, from his days
in the police force, and young men cal-
led him 'sir'. It is thousands of men like
him, largely unknown and unsung out-
side of their immediate circle, who are
the real makers of Jamaica's history.
Thus, in 1971, Isaac Rose, who was
the president of the St. Ann's Bay
branch of the Jamaica Agricultural
Society from 1933-71, was honour-
ed by his peers with an illuminated
scroll. Among other things the scroll
You were responsible for Farmers getting
ten (10) acres of land at Glasgow Avenue as
well as lands at Cloisters Property, Lawrence
Park and Park Avenue. Among your achieve-
ments are the establishment of the New
Ground Land Settlement and Housing at
You led the agitation for Seville Property
to be made a Land Settlement which is now a
reality to farmers in this community and
other adjacent districts.
Mr Rose explained:
I'm the first man who recommended
government to build houses in 1943.
I took the parish council to see the Priory
slums in St. Ann's Bay, some at Lime
Hall, and Steer Town. There was a
woman living in a coconut tree lean-
to with three children.
I took Dr Rerrie, Daryl Strudwick,
the parish council chairman, Frank
Tennant and Benjamin Yee.
Dr Rerrie said he never knew Jam-
aica was in that condition. Strudwick
asked, 'Who was going to build houses
for the people'
I said, 'Government.'
He said I wouldn't live long enough
to see government build houses for the
I said, 7' mightn't live, but you will
live to see the government build houses.'
When the storm blow in 1944, the
government didn't hesitate to start
build houses for people. I, as a car-
penter, build plenty of them too.
This article first appeared in the Jamaica
Daily News, as "Isaac Rose, Jamaican Original".
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Living the Garvey
Interviewed by Maxine McDonnough
Sister Mariamne Samad was born a Garveyite
(her father was Guyanese, her mother, Ameri-
can) and has spent her life living up to the
ideals of Garveyism. After extensive travels in
Africa in the 1960s and 70s she settled in
Jamaica in 1976 with her Jamaican husband,
Abdul. She spends her time teaching and lec-
turing on Garveyism and Africa.
MM: Your parents were Garveyites and
you were born at the height of the Gar-
vey Movement in New York?
MS: Yes. I was born exactly five minutes
after the third convention of the UNIA
in 1922, 12: 05 in the morning. They
had to rush mother across the street to
Can you tell me what it was like grow-
ing up as a 'Garvey child'?
We had a childhood that was unlike that
of other children. Most of the other
children looked on us asweirdos, strange
children, because we had a code of living
that was very strict. We just couldn't
do things that other children did. As a
child you didn't realise what was hap-
pening. But when you grew up you
would meet someone from the neigh-
bourhood who would say, 'We used to
look at you on the steps and we used to
laugh at you because you always wore a
We wore a uniform. Not to school, of
course. But in the afternoons when the
other children were out playing in the
Photos courtesy Mrs Mariamne Samad.
streets, we were off to the Garvey Club
so we wore our uniforms. When you
were very young it was black socks,
black shoes, then when you were Miss
Teenage you wore black stockings and
black Oxfords with a green skirt, red
tie and an oversee cap, you know, the
cute little pointed cap, and you were
always like you were marching. You
didn't even want to be like other child-
ren. It was a strange life and I have dis-
covered too, a lonely life. In fact, I
could almost say I didn't have a child-
hood. I was in Garvey Club No. 1, I
was a Juvenile. We met at 169 West
133rd Street and I lived at 123 West
133rd so it was always the club, every
afternoon after school you went to the
club, there was always something going
on there. If you went out, you went to
the library, you went to concerts, you
know that kind of thing, while the other
kids on the street played marbles.
But let me go back to my real UNIA
baby days when I really didn't know
too much about the organisation it-
self. I went along with my mother and I
saw the beautiful men and they chuck-
ed my cheek, you know, the 'Garvey
baby' they called all of us the Gar-
vey babies. My home was a centre, a
hub of UNIA doings. Garvey was never
a communist but if you were to use a
communist term, Garvey had 'cells' of
people and our home was one of the
cells. A cell is a group of people who
gather in a particular place to talk about
the functions of that particular ideology
or thought pattern that they prefer;
sometimes it is a religious one, some-
times it is otherwise, political; ours
was a black political cell where I met
I was never a Christian, you know. I
wasn't born in the Christian move-
ment so I had no church affiliations.
But we had our own Garvey exercises on
Sunday mornings, we had choir and
stuff life that, from his African Ortho-
dox Church. It was not the Ethiopian
Orthodox, it was African Orthodox, be-
cause actually Garvey was an African
Fundamentalist. People want to know
who was he, what was he, he was an
African Fundamentalist and if you have
ever read that beautiful dissertation
called The African Fundamentals well
that's what he was. He was an African
Fundamentalist and so were we. So that
earlier in life we soon got rid of the
word Negro, people like us we didn't
use the term Negro except in maybe the
preamble, the Universal Negro Im-
The 'Garvey' baby' Mariamne Samad
provement Association, but you your-
self were not a Negro, it was the organ-
isation apart from you you were
black people, you were African people
and even Nubian because Mr Garvey
he let us know that we were the Nubians
from that area that we now call Egypt;
we were the builders of the pyramids,
all of that is in the African Funda-
mentals. So that as a child, I grew up
with a lot of very serious people. Tech-
nically I really could say I never had a
childhood, you know I didn't get a
chance to skate and bicycle and jump
rope and play marbles and fly kites. In
fact I never flew a kite until I went over
to Guyana and I think that's a thing
they do at Easter, and I got a chance to
fly a kite at last. But I had no child-
hood like that.
My childhood was all about this business
of getting the mind of the black man to
stand tall. The mind to stand tall! Not
even the spine yet, but the mind. I grew
and I heard that. I moved as a child
amongst the legs of grown-ups who were
sipping their tea or having their coffee,
that's all they could talk about getting
out the newspapers of the organisation.
In the Garvey Movement we had any-
thing that you could want in any out-
side organisation, it just had different
names, instead of being Girl Scouts and
Boy Scouts we were called 'Juveniles'.
The girl Juveniles and the boy Juveniles.
I was a Juvenile from very early.
And what exactly did this mean?
Study, studying the catechism of the
organisation, the songs, the poems, every
Sunday you had to recite a whole poem
no matter how long it was. Every Sun-
day, certainly once a week, you would
get maybe a paragraph of something to
What poems were these?
Lots of it, lots of poetry, was writ-
ten about our culture, Marcus Gar-
Oh written by Marcus Garvey himself?
Marcus Garvey. Because we went to
school and we learned all about George
Washington and allof those people, every-
thing white you learned in school, but
you didn't bring that home or to the
organisation. Every day I would go into
the bathroom after school and I would
put my poem up in the mirror you know,
and I would be learning . learning
that poem, and they expected a poem a
week out of us. And being the daugh-
ter of Mrs Olman and Mr Olman, I was
expected always to be up front. In fact
a terrible thing happened to me as a
child, because I was the daughter of
these two particular people, I was al-
ways pushed in the background I
was always brought out front to do
something but then when the prizes
were given out, it was given out to the
children who didn't do as well as I did,
and mother always explained to me,
'Now you can't expect me to give it to
you, you know, those children have to
have it because they don't do it as well
Within the Garvey Movement, well
among the adults, there were courts,
were your parents members of any of
Very much so. In fact, if you saw some
of the old pictures you would see how
elegant some of those ladies dressed you
know. Oh boy! You should see my
mother's dresses and those gorgeous
shoes and the stockings. They didn't
wear uniforms, they wore really lady
this and lady the other, and the duchess
of this and the duchess ...
What was her title?
Actually mother didn't have a title like
that. Mother was always in charge of
the children and she was Mistress Ol-
man. But when I came back to the
United States in 1936 (after living for
four years in Guyana) and found mother,
she had recently left St William Grant's
organisation, the division, she was now
a member of the MotorCorps in uniform.
Dressed in the Garvey colours of red, black and green the Sankori Nubian Cultural Workshop founded by Sister Samad in the 1950s in Harlem
helped to promote black cultural awareness and pride in the African heritage.
(she had gone back to Guyana with us
in '32, but she came back in '33 with
the new baby and I didn't get back till
'36). Before we left in 1932 mother was
one of the grand dressers. And I mean
grand! The women were wearing derbies,
you know, and knickerbockers and
things like that and elegant! Women
walked into the Garvey Movement with
their short riding crops and they didn't
ride horses! It was wonderful, I was very
proud of her you know, this lady was
so gorgeous. But when I came back she
was a different woman. There was my
mother in the Motor Corps, a very mili-
tary woman, a very different lady, you
know she wasn't that lovely, fluffy lady
any more who worked with the children
and taught singing and all that stuff.
Now she was a military woman and she
was teaching you to march up and
down, the boys you know, and she
wasn't taking any back talk or even a
second look from you. She was a whole
What exactly were the responsibilities
(apart from the marches and parades)
of the Motor Corps and African Legion,
The Motor Corps was into breaking
down and taking apart jalopies which is
what we called cars in those days, know-
ing about them. Because there was al-
ways this idea in the minds of the adults
that the day would come when you
would need all of this knowledge. And
there were so many different little
things that I heard as a child. Take
for instance the story of when Gar-
vey went to New Orleans and they met
him in the square that Sunday morning
because they were expecting him to
come and speak and the sheriff came
riding into the group you know, he
jumped out and he pulled out his gun
and he says, 'Mr Garvey you come down
from there, you will not speak today'
and he looked around and there were
hundreds of black people standing with
guns, pointing them straight up in the
These were members of the African
No, these were members of the organi-
sation, period. You see in New Orleans
you could still carry a gun and the
Legion were there but the whole mem-
bership had guns. So there was always
this idea in the minds of the people that
you had to protect Mr Garvey wherever
he was or you would have to protect
yourself because you are now standing
up as a man. So that the Motor Corps
knew that they might have to drive an
ambulance, they knew that. Now at that
time we didn't know where we were
going to get the ambulance from, but
the adults had this they were moving
towards these things. That's why Mr
Garvey had to be broken early, I say
this all the time. He had to be broken
early because the Motor Corps was about
driving ambulances, why do you drive
an ambulance? And military men were
learning to fire guns, why do you do
This was a real army that he was pre-
You see the people in the Caribbean
didn't understand Mr Garvey but the
white man understood what Mr Garvey
was all about. Mr Garvey was about
teaching the darker men of the world
and I do mean the darker men of the
world, because even the Japanese and
the Indians you know, you know
Gandhi and those people who had met
him, they knew too that they were
moving towards this hour. The hour
never came because Mr Garvey was the
pivot of all this and he was destroyed.
You go into reading the story of Mahat-
ma Gandhi who met Mr Garvey in Lon-
don and Mr Garvey told him, and I read
this in one of Mr Mohandas K. Gandhi's
own autobiographies, that he had met
Mr Garvey and Mr Garvey told him to
go home to his people and stop play-
ing around with that monkey suit, which
was the suit of the lawyers in those days,
he was a South African lawyer, Mohan-
das K Gandhi. Mr Garvey was the one
who told him to 'go home and take care
of your people', he went back to South
Africa and they treated him so badly
and he put on his dhoti or whatever it
was, and went to India to the land of
Can you recall meeting Marcus Garvey?
No. My mother said that I was three
years old when I passed him as a tod-
dler, he sort of tousled my head and he
said, 'you're going to grow into a fine
woman' so whenever I tell the story I
say 'And I did!' No, I was only three
years old when he left. Then he would
go to jail and then from jail right on the
ship back to the Caribbean.
Can you tell me how women were per-
ceived within the movement itself?
Grand. I really hadn't thought about it at
all until I remembered when I was a
teenager there was a member of our
Motor Corps whose husband would not
join the organisation, he was more or
less a no-good, and he used to beat her.
He used to beat her and I remember all
the Motor Corps women meeting one
night at my mother's house and they
said to her, 'you know, you can't take
this kind of thing. You don't tolerate
this type of thing. Do you want us to
come up and take care of him?' And I
realized that these women were serious.
They would have gone there, I don't
Mr Abdul Samad (in the uniform of Garvey's
African Legion) has shared his wife Mariamne's
lifelong adherence to the ideals of Garveyism.
know whether they would have beaten
him or thrown him through the window.
They were amazed at her, but she was
very much in love with him. So that she
went through this abuse from him, and
the Motor Corps women told her that
they would take care of him. And I
heard that not too long after when he
found that out he left.
He left New York?
Yes. Because he realized that these
women were coming to get him.
Garveyites not only acted a special way,
they looked a special way. It is not
beauty I am talking about, it is the man-
ner, the way you dressed, the way you
kept yourself. I don't know if you
have ever heard, but Mr Garvey would
stand up and tell people 'get a 5-cents
piece of soap and wash yourself'. Where
did he get that from? Was it his St.
Ann's background? He told hundreds of
people in the hall to 'wash yourself', it
means no underarm odour .
It means the Garvey woman and man
had a responsibility?
Very much, very much. I think it was
the New York Times that accused Gar-
vey of setting up an organisation of elites.
Now elite is not a very nice word, but at
that time it meant something elegant,
you were different, you didn't have any
money in your pocket but you walked
around being terribly superior to other
people. I remember growing up on
133rd Street and simply saying to the
other young people in the block 'hello',
and one of the mothers said one day
'why does she talk like that?' And the
girls said, 'oh, she always talks like that'.
We were Americans, but we were sur-
rounded by these elegant people from
the Caribbean who spoke beautifully,
you know, the Caribbean people that I
knew, that I grew up with, they spoke
beautifully, and they were not trying
to speak the American way, it was no
hyar-hyar-hyar, they spoke distinctly and
elegantly. These were Garveyites now,
I am not talking about people on the
outside, I am talking about people with-
in the organisation, because it seems that
belonging to the Garvey Movement
meant that you were different. You
just didn't do what other people did.
We knew people who sold fish, the man
who sold us fish he was a Jamaican
man, very elegant man, and he would
see my mother coming along the street,
'How do you do, Mrs. Olman?'They just
seemed to expect this elegance from
each other. It was like saying we are a
new nation now, we are a new nation,
within a nation, and the best of what-
ever they are, that is what we are. That's
what I felt when I was around my adults.
We picked it up as children you know,
that we are Americans, we may never
get to Africa. Within the organisation,
this business about back to Africa, we
didn't know nothing about that, be-
cause Garvey was not a back-to-Africa
man, back-to-Africa was a mental thing.
Those who would go back to Africa
were highly trained.
Trained in what areas?
Outside of the academics of course, you
know the teachers and the professors,
they could go. Those who would be
masters at electrical work, plumbing,
masters at whatever you did, you knew
that you were going to be handpicked
for that. You had to know what you
were doing, you had to have something
to offer to Africa. Now what happened,
the New York papers picked this up
and they made it into a dirty by-word -
'this is a back-to-Africa organisation'.
Not at all. Because if you were not pre-
pared to give something to Africa, offer
something to Africa, you couldn't go
back to Africa through our organisation.
So there were black people picking up
and going back to Africa, but every man
who went was a master at what he was
doing. They were doctors they were
lawyers, and the ordinary member knew
he was not one of them.
Recently when we spoke you told me
about the UNIA birth certificate.
Yes. This is another thing that this
strange little man, I remember Garvey as
a strange little man, because I have been
to St. Ann's where he was born and you
know you park downstairs and vou look
up at that little shack of a house al-
though his original house burned down
- and say, 'what kind of dirt is it that
this man came out of?' Number one you
didn't come into his organisation un-
married, you could come in as a young
lady and a young gentleman but you
ain't come there and talk about you
living together. No shacking up. You
had to get married. Many marriages
went on in the organisation. They saw
young people getting too close they
would say 'what you doing about it?'
And the baby that was born had to be
registered in the City Hall first. You had
to be registered under your government.
Now can you imagine a man who had
come into the United States and had
never become a citizen himself, he saw
to it that each child was registered first.
I remember hearing my mother talking
about this, she just thought it was so
wonderful because she was born in White
Plains, New York and her people had
come from Virginia, and she was dis-
cussing how 'this man coming in from
the Caribbean and he tells us that we
have to get married, that the children
have to be registered. He is amazing,
the man is amazing.' That's how she
talked about him, you know. You
would be surprised how he was adored.
This man, if there was such a thing
beyond the prophets, that some human
being in our day could be adored, this
man was. Now he had plenty of ene-
mies, as a child I heard that too.
Coming back to me as a youngster, very
young, I can remember as far back as
seven years old, and one of these cell-
like meetings and the women would be
moving you didn't hear women talk-
ing in the kitchen quaka-quaka, against
the parties, there was this quiet move-
ment of women. I remember picking
that up as a small child because your
mother would turn to you and say,
'Shh-shh' with her finger to her lips,
and there was hardly a sound, because
the men were discussing and they seem-
ed to smoke very good cigars. I think in
those days it was Havana. . but they
smoked these very elegant cigars and
some had pipes. Never saw one of those
men smoke a cigarette. And they were
always in this, frowning, you know
Sister Samad with Ruth Prescott, Marcus
what had to be done, and they had
something that I would learn someday
to be statistics. You know this island,
and you would hear so many numbers.
Were these numbers members in the
Yes, they would count a lot on how
many members they had. In fact if you
peruse one of the old magazines you
will see how the different countries
went and they would all vie with each
other and all they were sending in was
fifty cents an adult, but that's what
made the organisation and getting out
the papers on time. I call it a cell, each
cell had their ideas to give to Mr Garvey
and it would go in. And Mr Garvey him-
self seems to have been very prolific. It
was always 'Mr Garvey said this' and 'Mr
Garvey said that'. Some people are ques-
tioning how could Mr Garvey say all
these things, but I know as a child grow-
ing up, everything was 'Mr Garvey said'.
Maybe Mr Garvey didn't say all of those
things but the people's minds towards
this man were so open that anything
good was what Mr Garvey said. I remem-
ber one day my brother not wanting to
eat his spinach, and mother said, 'Mr
Garvey wouldn't like that' you know,
and he chomped into his spinach, that's
the kind of life that I call good.
When you were about three months old
they had this lovely little ceremony,
mostly amongst the women, where the
baby would get a certificate, an or-
ganisational certificate and then when
you were about sixteen and you were
now qualified by your actions, by your
aptitude, you would now be able to
receive the certificate of adulthood. To
get that certificate on your sixteenth
or seventeenth birthday, you had to be
qualifying all along. Were you partici-
pating? That's the word, participating.
What was your attitude in those years?
Were you the child who was learning,
who learned the poems, who took
part in the dances, we had dances on
Friday nights for young people. Were
you in the sewing classes; the elocution,
did you take part in those, you know,
learning to speak well, learning to deli-
ver lectures to the adults. Were you in the
Juveniles; did you come regularly, what
was your attendance sheet? And then
when you got to be sixteen you were in-
vited to join either the Motor Corps,
or the Black Cross Nurses, the boys
were asked into the Legions, but you
didn't have them too young in the
legions, they remained Boy Scouts
until they were about eighteen. Now
something happened. In my seventeenth
year Garvey died. So that actually I got
my certificate but I never made the
Oath? What was this oath?
It was known in the world of Garvey-
ism, there was a terrible oath that you
had to take, and it was something about
'may my tongue cleave to the top of
my mouth if I were to do anything to
hurt my race'. It was the oath and many
of them were terrified of that oath. I
don't know why they would be, because
I have lived up to the oath you know,
all of these years. But I never took that
oath because Mr Garvey died, we got
the news that Garvey was dead, I think
he died June 10th and we didn't get the
news until maybe a week or two later
because you know you didn't have tele-
vision and stuff like that. But I remem-
ber mentally promising Mr Garvey when
I was seventeen years old, that I would
call his name every day of my life until
his name began to rise again. Well I
have lived to see that happen a long
time ago in the sixties, so I would
never have to call it again. But the
young people have taken it and gone
with it like a ball. But I never took that
oath. What amazes me sometimes is that
people who took that oath and did dis-
paraging things within the organisation
or to the organisation or to their promise,
I saw them come to very sad endings.
I said to my mother, 'Mother, did you
take the oath?' she said, Yes, I had to
take the oath'. So I said, 'I didn't take
the oath'. She said, 'Remember the
changeover in the organisation, just
about that time everything began to fall
apart, so you never got a chance to take
the oath', she says, 'but I will tell you,
you are a pride and joy to the organi-
sation.' But that always bothered me,
that I didn't take that oath.
Now you've said that you didn't take
the oath but you have lived the Gar-
vey life, can you tell me how?
Every moment of my life. I got mar-
ried the same year that Garvey died,
Garvey died in June and I got mar-
ried in July. I just couldn't deal with
the whole school system anymore. I was
supposed to go back in September to
finish my last year in high school. I
didn't go back, because I knew that
there were certain things with me men-
tally, that I couldn't deal with in the
American school system, so I left school.
I was to have two children before I went
back to school. But every day of my life
from the time I was born, to the time
that I was a teenager, the four years in
Guyana that I lived, I have lived a very
different life from most of what you
would call Negro or coloured women. I
wasn't a finger-popping, gum-chewing,
you know, just-do-anything person.
Well, not with your Garvey background?
Now, a lot of the girls that I went out
with, they moved away from the Gar-
vey organisation and even though they
lived a more relaxed life, my life wasn't
relaxed, that's about the best way you
can put it, I was always on show with
myself . at home there was a certain
way you had to act, a certain way you
had to be, and at the same time you had
to be very friendly, caring, loving, so it
wasn't that you were a scrooge you
didn't act like the other people. Through
the years I stayed in the organisation be-
cause even though I moved out of the
UNIA in the 1940s, because I didn't
want the word 'Negro', the stigma of
Negro: we became the Universal African
Nationalist Movement in the same build-
ing with the UNIA Movement. So when
Mrs Garvey, the second Mrs Garvey
came, she visited both of the organi-
sations, and the knew that we were still
part of the Garvey movement. Then as I
grew up, grew into a woman, the 1950s,
I formed the Sankori Nubian Cultural
Workshop, it's still the Garvey Move-
ment. And everything that I did was in
the name of Garvey.
What exactly were the activities of the
Cultural, strictly cultural. It was a re-
educative group. We were re-educating
ourselves as to who we were to turn
around and give it to everyone that we
touched. We did fashion shows, we
started African fashions as fashions.
There are a lot of things that are being
called African fashions in today's world,
even worn by Africans, that were
actually started in Harlem because we
took the African clothing that we saw
and we stylised it; we started the
abbuba for the women and I created the
dashiki for the men in 1958. It was like
giving royalty to the black man. I began
to do the weddings of people in the
community, African-Americanised out-
fits. We propagated the story of Shaka,
we wanted everyone who was black to
know about Shaka. Then I did many
years of stage work with Sankori; we
did shows in schools, talks, in any
school, black or integrated. I put out.
the red, black and green buttons; I had
1,000 made in the early sixties.
Was this as a part of the Black Power
movement that emerged at that time?
No, the Black Power movement emerged
in the sixties; we started Sankori in the
fifties, but we moved along with it; they
bought the red, black and green buttons
from me and it helped to bring up what
they were doing and they chose that
colour, because take for instance people
like Malcolm X, his father Elijah Muham-
mad had been a Garvey member. Now
one of the things that many people
didn't know in the world was that Gar-
vey was also a Muslim, he had taken the
salute, the raising of the finger, the One
God, One Aim, One Destiny, from Duse
Mohammed Ali in England, the editor.
But Garvey couldn't bring that to the
United States because that was a com-
pletely foreign religion to the United
States and the United States at that
time was based on Christianity. So
much so that the Ku Klux Klan who
were a Christian-based group, they
would not have tolerated it and Garvey
knew it, so Garvey had to keep this to
himself. However, the movement was
developed in the Christian vein through
the African Orthodox movement, which
borrowed many things from the Roman
Catholic church, when the priest moves
the lantern with the incense that was
in it too and the burning of the candles
on the altar and things like that. We
didn't have any business with com-
munion, we didn't have communion,
but we had many other things that he
had borrowed from his youth and
brought in. Because the majority of
the people were from the Caribbean and
that's the way they had grown and they
would recognize that we were not Roman
Catholics any more, or Baptist, Pente-
costal, Anglicans or Moravians, you
know. Now they were African Ortho-
dox and they could equate one with the
other and move comfortably, come ,to
church every Sunday morning, very,
very beautiful. We had Sunday School,
in Sunday School we had our own cate-
chism of the organisation that also
brought in the teachings of the church.
A controversy has always surrounded
Garvey and his introduction of a black
Christ and black angels, how did you re-
act to this as a child?
Loved it, I didn't know no better, he
looked like me, you know I could deal
with that. From the time I opened mV
eyes as a child I looked upon the wall
and there was black. The controversy
was that, when we went into people's
houses we'd say, 'Oh, what you doing
with that up there?' And you know
they would look at us, they were shock-
ed, what else should be up there? And
I'd say, 'but you are black, what are
you doing?' My friends thought I was
kind of screwy!
And of course there were black dolls
Yes. We had black dolls. I remember
my first doll was bigger than me,
because they made these huge dolls and
my godfather wanted to give me a pre-
sent, so he didn't buy one of the little
ones, he thought I would grow up with
the doll you know. In fact I did have
her until 1937.
How long have you been in Jamaica?
Eleven years now, since '76. I came to
Jamaica with my husband; he decided
to come home at the age of 62, he re-
tired early. I like living here, not only
because it is the land of my husband,
. . .but because Garvey was also born
here; he is my hero.
And since you have been here you have
been doing a lot to teach Jamaican child-
ren about Garvey?
Yes, at the Shortwood Community
College since '81. In fact, I was teach-
ing Garveyism since 1976 here. I have
done fashion shows in churches and
Men who are
are not afraid
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
This statement by our Na-
tional Hero may justly be *
applied to the founders of
the Jamaica Banana Produ-
cers Association Ltd., who in
1927 courageously establish-
ed a co-operative of some 6,000 banana
growers in the island to undertake the
marketing and shipping of the fruit.
It was a bold venture as the Associa-
tion was pitting itself against large
and powerful foreign-owned fruit
) ^ On April 1, 1929 the Asso-
citation shed its co-operative
status and became a limited
liability company with 6,145
members and a capital of
173.12 divided into 41,664
shares of 1d. each.
Along the way Producers has
had many setbacks and has had
to overcome many obstacles.
Today it is a wholly-owned Jamaican
company with a turn-over in 1986
of half a billion dollars.
Producers serves Jamaica in Agriculture, in Export and in Travel.
Producers salutes National Hero Marcus Garvey.
We pledge to continue to make our contribution towards the growth
and development of the land of his birth and ours.
JAMAICA BANANA PRODUCERS
schools right across the land -
Again, doing your African stylised
Very much so, and a lot of my pieces
are authentic because I brought them
back from Africa with me. I also teach
the philosophy of Marcus Garvey at the
Shortwood Community College along
with black and African studies that's
two different studies right there. It
isn't easy here to teach these subjects
because number one, the child goes
home, he goes home to a house where
grandmother says that Marcus Garvey
was a tief! and when the child comes
and tells me, 'grandmother says Marcus
Garvey was a tief', I say go back and ask
grandma what did he steal from her.
And they go back and they ask grand-
ma and the grandma sends back a mes-
sage to me that I am fresh! You know -
or upstart I forgot the word 'She
fas' she fas' 'because grandmother
didn't have nothing to steal you know.
And this is why she knows what I am
saying. He gave, he gave. Garvey never
took anything from them. It's just like
the people in America, had to put down
their foot and say that Garvey must not
be pardoned. What did he do? He
brought dignity to people, which was an
asset to the western world. Blacks were
an asset once they found out who they
Your teaching is not only through Short-
wood Community College. Your home,
as a matter of fact, is a repository on
Very much so. Since I have been here
every last Saturday of the month has
been left open for Garvey studies for
anyone who is interested, not just
people saying that they want to come,
just to be coming, they have to be
really interested. So that a lot of people
from the university, colleges, high schools
have been here to fill in on what they
didn't know, especially about Garvey
and many times about Africa. Many
of the children who are having ses-
sions on Africa will call and ask if they
can come. I have letters from students
across the country who write to me for
you know, written workshops. I do that
too. And my life. Everyday it's a mirror,
a looking glass about Africa and Garvey-
ism. I am never caught without my but-
ton, and if it is not on my dress it is
somewhere in my pocketbook that I
can scramble and get it out. I am very
blessed, I think I am very blessed to
have been able to come to this country.
You ask me what I am doing now. If
you were a tiger cub as I was, you were
born in the organisation. You remember
that when Garvey was in court, some-
one asked, 'Are you going to let the
tiger loose?' And Garvey himself said,
when they were arresting him, 'You
may cage the tiger but the cubs are run-
ning free'. Now, I am a cub, I will al-
ways be a cub, a person who really want-
ed to be a part of the organisation. I
couldn't help it, I was born in it, I was
in with my parents. But if I stay in it, it
is because it really affected me in a posi-
tive way. Fortunately for me at seven-
teen I married one of the Legions who
was a Muslim himself and I became a
part of what he was, which was exact-
ly what Marcus Garvey was.
Two for Nature Lovers .....
Forests of Jamaica
Edited by D.A. Thompson, Peter
Bretting, Marjorie Humphreys
Published by the Jamaican Society of
Scientists and Technologists
A definitive statement on the forests of Jamaica in
A book by specialists which can be read and
appreciated by anyone with an interest in our
Lavishly illustrated: 21 black and white photographs;
20 in colour.
Edited proceedings of a Caribbean seminar on forest
reserves of Jamaica, their management and use.
International and regional environmentalists working
in the disciplines of botany, forestry and conservation
contribute to a unique work describing one type of
eco-system on a tropical island. Includes an invaluable
species list and the text of the Forest Act of Jamaica.
ISBN 976-8017-02-3 J$150 UK 30 U.S.$40
Gosse's Jamaica 1844- 5
Edited by D.B. Stewart
The great English naturalist Philip Henry Gosse
(1810-88) spent 18 months in Jamaica and his writings
reflect 'The unwearying delight of those months'
which resulted in The Birds of Jamaica (1847),
Illustrations to The Birds of Jamaica (1849) and A
Naturalist's Sojourn in Jamaica (1851).
Gosse's Jamaica combines the best parts of
The Birds and A Naturalist's Sojourn with 16
illustrations of birds, eight in colour.
Gosse's Jamaica is of wide general appeal but will
be of particular interest to bird lovers. Although not
a field guide, anyone with an interest in Jamaican
birds and scenery will find it an invaluable and
ISBN 976-8017-00-7 J*70 UK 15 U.S.$20
Orders and trade enquiries to:
Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited
PUBLISHERS OF JAMAICA JOURNAL
2A Suthermere Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, Telephone: 92-94785/6
On Reggae and Rastafarianism and a Garvey Prophecy
By Pamela O'Gorman
T he time was October, 1986; the
place Brisbane, Queensland an
Australian state whose political
conservatism and backwardness are a
source of despair and incomprehension
to most other states of a country that
works hard, if at times a little naively, at
being one of the Commonwealth's more
liberal and tolerant nations.
I was walking over the bridge that
connects the new multimillion-dollar cul-
tural centre to the city of Brisbane
proper and was feeling depressed, having
just left the art gallery after searching in
vain for even one aboriginal painting.
Three-quarters of the way across, my
eye was suddenly caught by a lone graf-
fitto, a proclamation in black despoiling
the pristine whiteness of the bridge:
BOB MAR LEY. I stopped dead in my
tracks and all of a sudden found that
I was smiling, my depression momen-
tarily gone. What price JA! (Marcus Gar-
vey would have approved, too).
There is, in Australia, an aboriginal
reggae group called No Fixed Address.
The name of the group is a clever dual
reference to the aboriginal practice of
periodically disappearing 'on walkabout'
and to the customary status of the abo-
rigine in Australian society. The group's
performance style is African-American.
Only the addition of a didgeridoo for
special effects in the bass and a certain
nasal quality identify it as belonging
'Down Under'. The song lyrics, com-
posed by a member of the group, are
directly descended from the tradition of
You can't change the rhythm
of my soul,
You can't tell me what to do,
You can't break my bones by
putting me down
or by taking the things that
belong to me.
We have survived the white man's
and the horror and the torment
of it all,
We have survived the white man's
and you know you can't change
that. [We have Survived by
The author of an article on reggae
published in the Unesco Courier 
was accurate enough in making the fol-
The music is obviously an important
force within the lives of the black com-
munity, whether in Jamaica, the
Americas or Europe. In the latter situ-
ation it has given strength and resolve
to those experiencing the harshness of
European racism and prejudice and has
forced them to resist these experiences.
The influence of reggae spreads far
wider than America or Europe. It has
become a political weapon of racial
isolates such as the Australian aborigine
and of countless others of the world's
Michael Manley in his introduction
to Reggae International the most
comprehensive and best researched
book on reggae to appear to date -
draws attention to the revolutionary
nature of the Jamaican art form as com-
pared to calypso and blues and its ac-
ceptance as part of international cul-
ture despite the competition of 'the
bromides and anodynes' of synthetic
escape music which exist at the other
end of the popular music spectrum. He
hazards the guess that its success owes
much to the originality of Bob Marley
whose gifts helped it to gain international
acceptance; but, he says, 'it must also be
true that the protest of reggae, the posi-
tive assertion of moral categories [my
emphasis] goes beyond parochial boun-
daries. Among other things reggae is the
spontaneous sound of a local revolution-
ary impulse. But revolution itself is a
universal category. It is this, possibly,
which sets reggae apart, even to the
international ear.' [Manley 1983].
Reggae and Rastafarianism
The source of this revolutionary im-
pulse of which Manley speaks was un-
doubtedly Rastafarianism which had
grown out of, and was continuously
renewed by, the teachings of Marcus
Garvey. The relationship between the
two has been thoroughly expounded by
Smith et al. , Barrett  and
others and need not be gone over here.
It is my assertion that the doctrine of
Rastafarianism and the militant black
consciousness of Garveyism would never
have spread with the rapidity they have
done, both here and in other parts of
the world, were it not for reggae and the
African-American musical tradition.
However, it has been the custom of
most writers on reggae (especially non-
musicians) to approach the lyrics and
the music as if they originated from
the same source and constituted an
organic whole. The belief has grown up
that reggae and Rasta are one. This is
not exactly true.
Let me say from the outset that what
follows here is in no way intended to
detract from the contribution of Rasta-
farianism to reggae. It is merely intend-
ed to clarify certain unexamined as-
sumptions which keep being repeated in
order to emphasize the Rastafarian
aspect of the form. That aspect needs
no special pleading. Its record, as far
as lyrics and performers are concerned,
When we listen to and analyse reggae,
we find that, musically, it owes less to
Rasta than to rhythm-and-blues, over-
laid with indigenous elements such as
mento and Pocomania and to the genius
of certain individuals, particularly drum-
mers and bass guitarists who set down
patterns that others imitated to the
point where they became entrenched
Nyabingi, the authentic Rastafarian
music which, as Kenneth Bilby and
Elliot Leib recently pointed out
, is most likely derived from
Kumina as well as Buru, is based on the
use'of bass drum, funde and repeater. It
is an 'inward-directed' religious music
with a rhythm pattern quite different
and distinct from that of reggae.1 And
according to Yoshiko Nagashima's re-
searches, orthodox Rastafarians 'even
look down upon the reggae beats which
show the mixed influence [hence "im-
pure" to Bynghi-oriented . . Rasta-
farians] such as the spiritual Gospel,
mento and revival songs . .' [Naga-
shima 1984 p.181].
Musically there is also a clear line of
demarcation between the R & B-derived
popular tradition that is reggae and the
Rastafarian secular tradition, typified
by groups such as Light of Saba, which
is rooted in drumming, instrumental im-
provisation, group singing, dance and
the conscious incorporation of 'African-
isms'. In Jamaica it has never attracted
the numbers of adherents that reggae
This is not to say that Rastafarian
rhythm patterns are not used in reggae.
Occasionally the funde and repeater are
added to the percussion section, or Ras-
tafarian rhythm patterns will be utilized
by the traps player or bass or rhythm
guitarist, but these will be exceptional
rather than customary. Reggae is an ex-
tremely traditional music that has been
content to use a few basic rhythmic
constructions. It does not lend itself
to experimentation, except in the hands
of exceptional groups such as Third
World, who have the technical mastery
and the solid international reputation
that allow for innovation.
Among musicologists, nowadays,
some clarity is beginning to emerge
from the obfuscation which has been
poured out by writers who take a main-
ly sociological or ideological approach
to the Jamaican popular music tradi-
tion.3 Ska is now recognized as a
regional variant of a broad U.S. style,
namely rhythm-and-blues, in which the
shuffle rhythm is exaggerated by placing
greater weight and a heavier instrument-
al texture on the up-beat. [Witmer 1977
As for rock steady and reggae, we
find that the instrumentation (lead,
rhythm and bass guitar, drum set, key-
board and solo voice with vocal back-
ing and optional reed and brass instru-
ments) is exactly the same as that found
in North American pop rock of the late
1950s and early 1960s. And many other
features such as multiple ostinati pat-
terns, the doubling of the bass guitar
by the electric guitar one octave higher,
the peculiarly playful vocal timbre and
the use of call and response structures
are all to be found in African-American
music of the late sixties and early seven-
Witmer  makes a scholarly,
low-key, yet persuasive argument for
taking into consideration what he terms
these 'connections between musical
traditions in synchronic proximity' (i.e.
U.S. black music and Jamaican popular
music), and in doing so, draws attention
to the fact so often overlooked that reg-
gae owes much more to African-
American popular music than many
musicians and researchers are willing to
Indeed, we should not forget that
Bob Marley did not attract international
attention until the making of the album
Catch A Fire in which he not only had
the necessary time to ensure that the al-
bum came up to international standards
but he also had available the finance to
hire other pop musicians and make use
of extra electronic instrumental re-
sources such as electric keyboards and a
moog synthesizer, all of which the inter-
national market had come to expect.
With the added advantage of Chris
Blackwell's professional expertise in the
field of publicity and promotion he was
then ready for the international market.
[Clarke 1980 pp.106-7].
Throughout the rest of his career
Marley was under suspicion by the
purists for having 'sold out' to the First
World and every successive album was
scrutinized for signs of his having lost
touch with his roots. Yet these same
purists conveniently and constantly
overlooked the essentially commercial
nature of pop music and the fact that
conforming to certain 'product' stand-
ards was the only way in which Jam-
aica's music could remain on inter-
The greatest achievement of Marley
and other leading reggae musicians was
that they retained the musical identity
which had won them a unique place in
the world of African-American popular
music in the first place: that identity
that comes from the singular and elusive
construction of the bass riff whose
origins go straight back to the mento
rumba box, the individual use of the
drum set, and its connection with Poco
rhythms, the mento-derived approach to
the rhythm guitar, and the melodic con-
tours that grow directly out of Jamaican
speech. Also there was the fact that
despite occasional sorties into sex,
(albeit the unsentimental approach of
the African-American tradition) ideo-
logically they never wavered and this,
no doubt, won them the trust of their
A French musicologist, Denis Con-
stant Martin, recently observed in a
study on reggae , that Rasta
owes more to reggae than reggae owes
to Rasta. It is an observation that invites
careful consideration by all scholars of
It is ironic that the Rastafarian mes-
sage should have been proclaimed by
means of lyrics superimposed on a
fundamentally Afro-American com-
mercial form transformed into a Jam-
aican one largely through the addition
of traditional features derived from
mento and Revival, both of which were
rejected by Rastafari.
It is equally ironic that, without the
electronic media and the pop music
industry, Garvey's message might have
been confined largely to intellectual
circles and their comparatively limited
range of influence. In the space of ten
or twelve years more has been done for
Rastafarianism and Garveyism than
would have been previously possible in
a century, if they had been dependent
primarily on books or even on the
spoken word. Manley also brings out
this point in the article previously cited.
Once more, we return to the reali-
zation that there is no more powerful
communicator of messages than music.
The pen may be mightier than the
sword, but music isa hell of a lot mightier!
Because it is oral and rhythmic and has
an instant impact, it tends to pass lan-
guage barriers with consummate ease;
when it is transmitted by means of the
electronic media to all corners of the
globe, it becomes an irresistible force.
Thus, Garvey's message of black
pride and hope for the dispossessed as
articulated by Jamaica's Rastafari has
reached the ears of millions who might
otherwise never have come in contact
with either concept. Garvey's time has
come, thanks to black American music,
Jamaican reggae music, Rastafarian
ideology and Western technology. The
latter constitutes the greatest irony of
all, for it is Western technology that is
helping to bring one of Garvey's main
prophecies to inevitable fulfilment.
The power and sway we once held
passed away, but now in the Twentieth
Century we are about to see the re-
turn of it in the rebuilding of Africa;
yes, a new civilization, a new culture
shall spring from among our people,
and the Nile shall once more flow
through the land of science, of art,
and of literature, wherein will live
black men of the highest accomplish-
ments. [Garvey, 1967 p.34].
When Garvey refers here to Africa,
it is less likely that he is referring to a
geographical location than to a civili-
zation that, in its new form, will have
worldwide influence. It is largely music
that is responsible for preparing the way
for that new culture whose effect will
be felt almost on a global scale.
One of the cultural miracles of
modern times occurred in the early part
of this century when a previously en-
slaved people who had preserved their
cultural practices throughout generations
of degradation and disruption literally
took over the popular music of their
former masters and transformed it into
a totally new musical language.
It came into being at the beginning
of this century in the American South
and it was destined to become the root
from which all popular music of
North America either sprang or by
which they were influenced. Spirituals,
blues, gospel, jazz, rhythm-and-blues,
Tin Pan Alley, soul, Motown, rock and
roll, pop, rock, contemporary folk,
funky, disco all owe their genesis and/
or their individuality to the mingling of
African music with European music.
(Even country-and-western is not ab-
solutely free of black musical influ-
ence!). Furthermore, throughout the
history of North American popular
music, the African-American forms
of the Caribbean and Latin America
have been added as a source of enrich-
ment, bringing renewed rhythmic vitality
and appeal to an already powerful
By means of the electronic media
American popular music, the majority
of which is Afro-American in style,
has been disseminated all over the
world in a movement unparalleled by
any other musical culture in history.
It took some three centuries and a
lot of bloodshed and exploitation for
European culture to attain the position
of global pre-eminence which reached
its culmination in the early part of this
century, overlapping the genesis of
African-American popular music. It has
taken the latter a mere thirty years to
sweep the world. This can be attributed
directly to the invention and develop-
ment of radio and the long-playing rec-
ord (the latter of which came on the
market in 1948, around the same time
that rhythm-and-blues developed). In
countries which have tried to ban the
music, it has inevitably gone under-
ground and because of consumer
demand has become a black market
commodity (its availability no doubt
aided by recording machines and
the Voice of America).
Anyone who is alert to musical
developments worldwide, must realize
that African-American music is about
to take the preeminent position which
European music once held. It can be
observed on a macrocosmic level (the
number of countries even Com-
munist ones where African-American
music has not penetrated are the excep-
tion rather than the rule) and on a
microcosmic level: in most societies
where African-American music is pre-
sent, it soon becomes the music most
listened to by the greatest number of
Is there a reason for this?
I feel that there is. From the time
when Western beliefs presided over the
dissolution of the ancient unity of
music, song and dance a destruction
that was initiated by the early Christian
church and when the Western scientific
world view adopted the Cartesian separ-
ation of body, mind and spirit, there has
nevertheless developed a concomitant
and growing need for a return to human
wholeness, unity and communality,
especially in urban societies.
This is a need that the purest black
culture has always satisfied. In religion,
education, healing, the arts, the unity
has always remained. But of all black
culture, especially that in the New
World, black music is the artistic mani-
festation that has remained most intact.
Throughout the diaspora it has pre-
served its essential unity, even when it
has mixed with white culture, its synco-
pations and rhythmic drive continuous-
ly urging the body to assert itself and
move, its compositional patterns and
social mores continuously urging a com-
munal sharing that has been lost in
Western urban civilization. Its inherent
approach to time as a circular rather
than a linear element denies the Western
search for goals which is termed 'pro-
gress' and subconsciously asserts the
importance of time in action over
action in time. The message has al-
ready been picked up and understood,
either consciously or subconsciously,
by those who have suffered most from
the dehumanizing effects of goal-orient-
ed societies hellbent on 'progress'.
No changes occur suddenly. They are
always preceded by a long period of
preparation and gestation. For years,
black music has been preparing and
continues to prepare the way for the
acceptance of black culture, black atti-
tudes, a different world-view.
One cannot help feeling that, if Gar-
vey were alive today, he would look on
this amazing modern phenomenon and
recognize it as the manifestation of a
prophecy reaching fulfilment.
Surely that great new civilization
of which he spoke will come from this
hemisphere where the African slave
was brought forcibly centuries ago and
where he has become a cultural cata-
lyst and a cultural leader with all the
potential of changing the face of the
1. There is a fundamental difference in
that Rastafarian rhythm emphasizes
the first and third beats of the bar
while ska, rock steady and reggae em-
phasize the second and fourth.
2. In my article "An Approach to the
Study of Jamaican Popular Music"
[JAMAICA JOURNAL 6:7 1972] I also
made the mistake of assuming that
Rastafarian music had joined the
mainstream of Jamaican popular music.
In fact, the Mystic Revelation of Rasta-
fari, which I then hailed as bringing a
regenerated instrumental element into
the popular form, remained outside it,
as did Cedric Brooks's Light of Saba
which continued the secular tradition
after Count Ossie's untimely death.
3. The length of time this has taken
points to the continuing need for a
holistic approach to reggae research
that includes synchronous musicolo-
gical, sociological and ethnological in-
vestigation. Such an approach might,
for instance, lead to a closer examin-
ation of the repeated assertion that
"0 Carolina" was a landmark in the
history of Jamaican popular music.
BARRETT, Leonard, The Rastafarians, Lon-
don: Heinemann/Sangster, 1977.
BILBY, Kenneth and LEIB, Elliot, "Kumina,
the Howellite Church, and the Emer-
gence of Rastafari Traditional Music
in Jamaica", Jamaica Journal 19: 3
CLARKE, Sebastian, Jah Music. The Evolu-
tion of the Popular Jamaican Song,
London: Heinemann, 1980.
GARVEY, A.J. (ed.), Philosophy and Opin-
ions of Marcus Garvey, 2nd ed. Lon-
don: Frank Cass and Co. Ltd., 1967.
MANLEY, Michael, "Reggae, the Revolution-
ary Impulse", Introduction to Stephen
Davis and Peter Simon (eds.), Reggae
International, London: Thames and
MARTIN, Denis Constant, Aux Sources du
Reggae, Paris: Editions Parentheses,
NAGASHIMA, Yoshiko S., Rastafarian Music
in Contemporary Jamaica, Tokyo:
Institute for the Study of Languages
and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1984.
SMITH, M.G., AUGIER, Roy, and NETTLE-
FORD, Rex M., Report on the Rasta-
fari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica:
Mona: University of the West Indies,
UNESCO COURIER, "Reggae Cultural
Authenticity", reprinted in the Sunday
Gleaner Magazine, 6 June 1982.
WITMER, Robert, "African Roots: The
Case of Recent Jamaican Popular
Music", Proceedings of the Twelfth
Congress of the International Musico-
logical Society, Berkeley: California,
No Fixed Address, From My Eyes, Rough
Diamond Records, Australia, RDM 8804.
Pamela O'Gorman is Director of the
Jamaica School of Music and our regular
The Hon. Rex Nettleford, O.M. is
professor of Extra-Mural Studies,
University of the West Indies, Mona,
and head of the Trade Union Edu-
cation Institute. He is artistic direc-
tor and principal choreographer of
the National Dance Theatre Com-
pany. His publications include
Caribbean Cultural Identity (1978)
and Dance Jamaica (1986).
Tony Martin, a well-known Gar-
vey scholar, is professor in the
Department of Black Studies, Wel-
lesley College, Wellesley, Massachus-
setts. His publications on Garvey
include Race First (1976), Liter-
ary Garveyism (1983) and Marcus
Garvey, Hero (1983).
Beverly Hamilton has done exten-
sive research on Garvey, especially
his contribution to culture and the
oral tradition surrounding him. Her
interest has led her to organise lec-
ture tours and seminars on Garvey
in schools. She is a recipient of the
cultural interest award in journalism,
secretary of the Press Association
of Jamaica and president of the
African Studies Association of
the West Indies (ASAWI).
Rupert Lewis is head of the Depart-
ment of Government, University of
the West Indies, Mona. A Garvey
scholar of long standing, he is author
of the recently published Marcus
Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion
(1987) and is co-editor of Garvey,
Africa, Europe, the Americas (1986).
Maureen Warner-Lewis is head of
the Department of English, Univer-
sity of the West Indies, Mona. She
lectures and writes in the fields of
Afro-Caribbean literature, lingui-
stics, history and culture. She is the
co-editor of Garvey, Africa, Europe,
the Americas (1986).
Erna Brodber is a socio-historian
and has done extensive research on
Jamaica's social history. Articles
published in JAMAICA JOURNAL
include "Oral Sources and the
Creation of a Social History of the
Caribbean" (16: 4) and "A Life of
Service: The Rev. E.N. Burke Inter-
viewed" (17: 2).
Wenty Bowen is publications editor
at the Institute of Social and Eco-
nomic Research, University of the
West Indies, Mona. He lectures at
the Caribbean Institute of Mass
Communication (UWI). He has
been the recipient of a bronze
Musgrave Medal, a Seprod journal-
ism award and a Fulbright/LASPAO
Maxine McDonnough is assistant
editor of JAMAICA JOURNAL.
She is currently pursuing an M.A.
degree in the Department of
English, University of the West
Stephney Ferguson is director of
the National Library of Jamaica.
She is president of the Common-
wealth Library Association and an
executive member of the Jamaica
Library Association. She has parti-
cipated in several local and inter-
national seminars on library deve-
June Vernon is head of the Tech-
nical Services Department of the
National Library of Jamaica and
editor of the Jamaican National
By Everton Pryce
Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion
London:'Karia Press: 1987
301 pp. 6.95.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey singularly represents the seminal
black nationalist and Pan-Africanist of the twentieth
century. To persist in the denial of this truism is sheer
folly. Through whichever social historical lens we choose to
assess him whether via Marxism,Christianity, liberal democ-
racy, or black nationalism he has no equal as a leader of a
mass movement among blacks anywhere in the world. As a
Napoleonic personality in the true sense of the term, he oc-
cupies honourably his place within the black redemptive tra-
dition offering a synthesis of spiritual salvation and temporal
transformation. To describe him as a 'Black Moses' who pre-
cipitated 'a new era of militant Black leadership', is symbolic-
ally apt and psychologically correct.
When as a young man Garvey arrived in the United States
in March 1916 after travelling extensively throughout the
Caribbean, Central America, and England, he quickly dis-
cerned that the plight of black people was not reducible to a
feeling but was rooted in a condition. Blacks were up against
postwar racist violence and oppression, the denial of political
and civil rights and the institutional denigration of their
humanity. Black leadership was paralysed by enfeeblement.
Armed with a refined sensibility, slender resources, and tre-
mendous courage and determination to succeed despite the
odds, Garvey set about the business of challenging the vast
material forces and the pervading social conceptions that
conspired to destroy the black man's achievement, by ways
and means that remain one of the propagandistic miracles of
Through his Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA) and African Communities League, by his passionate
belief that Africa was the home of a civilization which had
once been great and would be great again, by his slogan,
'Race First', which meant that for him racial conflict was
central to world politics, through his itinerant publishing
ventures and tremendous propaganda skills expressed pri-
marily through the pages of the Negro World, by his or-
ganising ability as seen chiefly in the establishment of the
ill-fated Black Star Line Steamship Corporation, and by a
host of conferences and meetings of African people all over
the world, except in Africa, Garvey boldly challenged the
slave psychology which still throttles and strangles black ini-
tiative by preaching the unification and liberation of Africa
as a continent and its people in the diaspora.
At the time of Garvey's appearance on the world stage,
European imperialism was already entrenched in the Americas
and Africa was divided among the dominant competing world
powers. A truly revolutionary nationalistic sound was de-
manded by this seemingly intractable condition if it were to
be broken; and Garvey provided plenty. 'Africa for the Afri-
cans', he cried, and in October 1919 ventured to warn: 'I call
upon you four hundred million Blacks to give the blood you
have shed for the white man to make Africa a republic for
the Negro'. Blacks listened, then acted. In Africa, the Ameri-
cas, and the Caribbean, they turned up the heat in the strug-
gle against racism and colonialism, and in America, UNIA or-
ganizers quickly established all-black groceries, laundries,
doll factories, printing establishments, a hotel, and hundreds
of young women joined Garvey's Black Cross Nurses.
The impact of this Mosaic initiative was astounding.
Garvey successfully linked the struggle for black liberation
with all other dynamic nationalist campaigns in the Carib-
bean, Canada, Central America, the United States, Ireland,
India, and China. He bequeathed to blacks a sense of racial
pride and resistance to colonial domination that eventually
formed the basis for. the political freedoms that swept
Africa in the decades after 1940. And although for his ef-
forts he was convicted, jailed, reviled, persecuted and criti-
cised, it is to his lasting credit that he retains the love and
admiration of his people even to this day so much so,
that despite his lonely death in London in 1940, four de-
cades later his message of racial pride and dignity remains the
fertile soil for the philosophical ethos of the Rastafarian
Movement that now prevails upon the consciousness of the
black oppressed at home and abroad.
In this context, the publication by Karia Press of Rupert
Lewis's book is a timely celebration of Garvey's contribution
to black struggle in this century. As a scholarly contribution
it represents good, straightforward history interspersed with
compassionate comments on Garvey's legacy. Lewis com-
petently emphasises Garvey's struggles against racism and
colonialism, specifically within the context of the Caribbean,
pointing out that this phase of Garvey's work tends to be
neglected in the literature on his life and work. The book sets
out modestly to fill the void, but this is overshadowed by the
claim of 'examining the Garvey legacy in its true historical
perspective . (p.14), which finds the author articulating
Garvey's contribution to black history purely in terms of
the anti-colonial paradigm. But the author's objective in this
book is not entirely problem-free, for the absorbed reader
soon discovers that given the breath of Garvey's influence, or
what Lewis himself refers to as 'the scope of the Garvey
movement' (p. 14), the book narrowly gets away with paint-
ing Garvey as an anti-colonial champion per se despite
On one level, it makes perfect sense to attempt to do this.
The Pan-Africanism which Garvey preached still retains its
central vitality as an international and militant tradition of
social change throughout the African diaspora, and there is
much that the still-to-be liberated can learn from the tradi-
tion established by Garvey. But on the analytical level, as to
whether Garvey's distinguishing characteristics fall within the
anti-colonial paradigm, there are niggling questions not ade-
quately addressed by Lewis.
The articulation of the anti-colonial paradigm both with-
in and beyond the Caribbean was not the monopoly of Mar-
cus Garvey since his initiatives were shared with other anti-
colonialist leaders and social movements before and during
his rise to prominence. Garvey's Black Star Line Steamship
Corporation, for example, more than likely was inspired by
the Sinn Fein in Ireland, which had called for the 're-
establishment of an Irish mercantile Marine' some ten years
before. Similarly, following Sinn Fein's proposal in Novem-
ber 1905 for the 'establishment of an Irish consular service
abroad', Garvey in 1914 proclaimed the same idea 'for the
protection of all Negroes, irrespective of nationality'. Even
Garvey's slogan 'Africa for the Africans' was influenced by
the Sinn Fein's cry for an Irish Free State of 'Ireland for the
Irish'. The strong Irish nationalism represented for Garvey a
model of resistance to racist exploitation and national op-
pression, in the same way the East Indian National Asso-
ciation, founded in Trinidad in 1897, had come to repre-
sent a model of anti-colonialist resistance. And Garvey's ad-
miration for Mohandas K. Gandhi and Indian nationalist
leaders such as Lajpat Rai is testimony to the fact that he
was one of the conduits through which the energy of the
nationalist campaigns of the period flowed. In fairness, Lewis
refers (and often enough) to the influence of the Irish
nationalist struggles on Garvey's work, but doesn't follow,
analytically, the implications to their logical conclusion.
Moreover, as experience has shown, the 'mass anti-colonial
torrents' or campaigns of this century limited themselves,
unintentionally perhaps, to self-determination for blacks and
oppressed peoples, self-government, equality, freedom from
colonial fiefdom and independence.
What Lewis neglects in his portrait of Marcus Garvey is
the psycho-cultural superstructure of Garveyism which sus-
tained the anti-colonial thrust that is, Garvey's call for the
ensemble of blacks qua blacks in the diaspora. Garvey's
vision of blacks in the diaspora was in terms of a worldwide
movement of people, capable, strong, and determined, from
among whom could be teased out practical lessons and stra-
tegies for effective political action as a race of people per se.
This race nationalism was a powerful and daring vision to
TM THE MAJORITY PRESS
PRESS Books by TONY A
have articulated at the time and in terms of its legacy today
among blacks in the diaspora, speaks compellingly and more
forcefully to the paradigm of negritude than to anti-colonial-
ism, important though this continues to be.
The basic problem with Lewis's latest tome is that it gives
the feeling of being overrun by events, e.g. publication of the
monumental documentation by Robert Hill, the accounts
by John Henrik Clarke and Tony Martin, to name just two
recent writers and the reinforcement in the popular con-
sciousness of the achievements of this visionary, celebrated
in reggae compositions and dub poetry. It seems to be offer-
ing nothing that is fantastically new about Marcus Garvey,
and therefore fails to soar. Moreover, the index, references
and general editing of the book detract from a clear grasp of
Despite this, however, it offers much that is important.
Lewis undoubtedly succeeds in depicting Garvey as the in-
tellectual that he genuinely was, particularly in chapters
6, 11, and 12, and demonstrates clearly that his manipulation
of ideas and his genius at pamphleteering (chapters 5, 8, and
9) are positive contributions to thought about race. Signifi-
cantly, Lewis recognizes too that without descending into
hagiography, Garvey's achievements ought to be 'celebrated'.
To this extent, Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion,
deserves our serious attention.
Everton Pryce is a political scientist (at Essex University,
England), journalist and political analyst.
The New Marcus Garvey Library
- Literary Garveyism: Garvey, Black Arts and the Harlem
ISBN: 0-912469-00-5 (cloth), 0-912469-01-3 (paper).
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- Message to the People: The Course of African Philosophy.
(By Marcus Garvey. Edited by Tony Martin).
ISBN: 0-912469-18-8 (cloth), 0-912469-19-6 (paper).
$22.95 (cloth), $8.95 (paper).
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of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement
ISBN: 0-912469-22-6 (cloth), 0-912469-23-4 (paper).
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ISBN: 0-912469-06-4 (cloth), 0-912469-07-2 (paper),
$22.95 (cloth), $7.95 (paper). (Expected 1988).
- The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey. (Edited
by Amy Jacques Garvey. Preface by Tony Martin).
ISBN: 0-912469-24-2 (paper). $10.95 (paper).
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A Garvey Biography for Schools
MARCUS GARVEY, HERO
A First Biography
by TONY MARTIN
- Concise and simply written
- Suitable for CXC level students
- Incorporates the latest research on Garvey
TM THE MAJORITY PRESS
PRESS P.O. Box 538, Dover, Massachusetts 02030, U.S A
ISBN: 0-912-469-04-8 (Cloth); 05-6 (Paper). Tel: 617-828- 8450
$19.95 (U.S.), Cloth; $7.95, Paper.
He did more than make the news
And if he could today, where do you think
Marcus Garvey would read the news he made?
Every column inch a part of Jamaica's history.
01hr Cranrr Tomlpartg 4imitri
P.O. Box 40, 7 North Street, Kingston
Telephones: 922-3400 & 922-3500
West Indian Political Ideas Explained
For the first time ever, those interested in the
political developments in the English-speaking Caribbean
can turn to a single source to have their questions
The Growth and Development of Political Ideas
in the Caribbean 1774-1983 by Denis Benn
Covering 233 closely argued pages, this historically
based book analyses the more significant intellectual
formulations that have emerged in the region since the
18th century. It is an intellectual history of the region
focussing primarily on the political responses to the
colonial situation over the past 200 years.
0 Here will be found stimulating discussions of:
* The political theory of Crown Colony Government
* Eric Williams and the development of West Indian nationalism.
* The political economy of the New World group and the theory
of plantation economy
* C.L.R. James, Cheddie Jagan and the development of a West
Indian Marxist tradition
* Garveyism, black consciousness and Black Power
To order, send US$14.95 to:
Institute of Social and Economic Research,
University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7,
A Guide to Sources
at the National Library of Jamaica
T he Garvey Centenary celebrations will no doubt en-
courage many persons to find out more about Jam-
aica's first National Hero. This article attempts to
provide a guide to information about Marcus Garvey which
could help the general public learn more about this remark-
able man who is possibly the most studied and the most writ-
ten about Jamaican of all times. It is by no means a complete
listing of the publications on Garvey, but rather a select list
By Stephney Ferguson
References prepared by June Vernon
from the material in the National Library's collection.
Sources of information on Garvey fall into two major
categories, primary and secondary. Primary sources include
documents, diaries, correspondence, records and other. papers
of Garvey and his contemporaries. These can provide inform-
ation on the man, his philosophy and the organization which
he formed. When studied, analysed and evaluated by scholars,
they give rise to secondary sources such as books, pamphlets
and magazine articles.
This article is mainly concerned with secondary sources. It
gives a brief indication of the main thrust of the publications
mentioned and sometimes includes quotations from an
Full bibliographical details of the publications are given in
Consultation of a bibliography is usually the first step in
the study of any subject and the same is true for the study of
Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Two bibliographies issued in the
1970s by the West India Reference Library of the Institute
of Jamaica list the publications that were available in the
library at that time. The first, compiled by Audrey Leigh in
1973[11, and the second, by A. Silvera in 1975 [211, are
mimeographed publications and include bibliographies,
works by Garvey, standard works on Garvey and newspaper
articles. A third bibliography (in press) has been prepared by
the National Library of Jamaica, successor to the West India
Reference Library. This updates the earlier efforts and pro-
vides a comprehensive listing of the publications and other
material on Marcus Garveyinthe National Library's collection.
The second in the National Library's Occasional Bibliography
Series, the Marcus Garvey Bibliography  lists international
as well as regional and local material on Garvey and his Move-
ment. Annotations are supplied for all local and regional
publications which are considered to be less well-known than
the international ones. It also lists theses and audiovisual
Of particular interest to the general public will be Marcus
Garvey : An Annotated Bibliography  compiled by Len-
wood G. Davis and Janet L. Sims, published in 1980. This
lists 562 items with full descriptive annotations of each
under the following headings 'Books by Marcus Garvey',
'Articles by Marcus Garvey', 'Major Books', 'General Books',
'Major Articles', 'General Articles', 'Dissertations and Theses'.
It also contains the Constitution and Book of Laws of the
Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Com-
munities League. The annotations are clearly written and can
be very useful in assisting the general reader to identify
publications which present a comprehensive understanding
of Garvey's philosophy and achievements. It complements
the National Library's bibliography by providing annotations
for most of the items included which were published abroad.
Other bibliographies in the collection of the National
Library of Jamaica include the six-volume Dictionary Cata-
log of the Negro Collection of Fisk University  at Nash-
ville, Tennessee, the two-volume Dictionary Catalog of the
Arthur B. Spingarn Collection of Negro Authors at
Howard University and the New York Public Library's nine-
volume Dictionary Catalog of the Schomburg Collection of
Negro Literature and History. [71
The collections of the Schomburg and Fisk libraries are
important for their holdings of primary source material on
Garvey. (The Schomburg houses a large collection of Garvey
material found in an abandoned warehouse in Harlem while
the collection at Fisk University includes the private papers
of Amy Jacques Garvey and the FBI file on Marcus Garvey).
Works by Garvey
Although Garvey did not write a book in the true sense of
the word, it is fair to say that he left volumes in terms of his
speeches, articles, letters, poems and hymns as well as the
newspapers which he published. Many examples of these
items are included in the library's collection.
Significant among his works are the newspapers and
magazines which he published. These include the Black-
man [8 newspaper published in Kingston 'devoted to the up-
lift of the Negro race and the good of humanity', starting out
as a daily on 30 March 1929, becoming weekly from 29
March 1930 to February 1931 when it ceased publication;
the New Jamaican  published in Kingston from 9 July
1932 to 9 September 1933 as 'a daily paper devoted to the
development of Jamaica'; the Black Man , a monthly
magazine published irregularly in London between 1933-
39. The complete collection of this journal was published in
1979 with an extensive introduction by Robert Hill.
The newspapers present Garvey's wide-ranging views on a
variety of subjects. He explains the principles of the UNIA,
urges Negroes to cooperate in the fight for liberty, comments
on aspects of world economy and politics, criticizes some of
his contemporaries and constantly appeals to Negroes to
adopt a positive self-image. He in fact used his publications
to maintain contact with his followers and control within his
worldwide movement.They also served to promote his entry
into Jamaican politics through his forceful advocacy of im-
proved social conditions for the masses. These publications
provide valuable insights into the breath of Garvey's interests
and the depth of his thinking.
The Negro World  newspaper published by the UNIA
in New York between 1921 and 1933 is also valuable for its
inclusion of verbatim reports of many of Garvey's speeches
and for the editorials which he contributed. Unfortunately
its distribution was suppressed in many British colonies and
only incomplete runs are available on microfilm at the
The well-known Philosophy and Opinions which pre-
sents Garvey's personal views, although compiled and edited
by his wife Amy Jacques Garvey is also considered here as a
work of his. She describes it as containing 'gems of ex-
pressions convincing in their truths', 'definitions and ex-
pressions of various interesting theses', 'essays on subjects
affecting world conditions generally and Negroes in particular'
and 'two of [his] best speeches'.
Works about Garvey
During the late 1930s Garvey's work was the subject of
research studies by a group of young black writers who parti-
cipated in the writers programme of the Work Projects Ad-
ministration of New York City. The Jamaican Claude
McKay who had been a writer for the Negro World was one
member of this group. Although his contribution as a member
of the project is not included in the library's collection, his
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opinion of Garvey is recorded in his books, The Passion of
Claude McKay[131 and Harlem : Negro Metropolis[141 in
which he defended Marcus Garvey, linking 'the flowering of
Harlem's creative life' with the Garvey era and recognizing
Garvey's achievement in arousing the consciousness of
Len Nembhard's Trials and Triumphs of Marcus
Garvey, originally published in 1940 in Kingston by the
Gleaner, is the earliest full-length biography. This publication
is significant as the first in which Garvey's contribution to
shaping the new Jamaica is recognized. It also includes in-
formation on Garvey's activities in Jamaica after his return
from the United States. This 249-page book was reissued as a
Kraus Reprint in 1978 with a new introduction by the
Edmund Cronon's Black Moses which was developed
out of a masters thesis at the University of Wisconsin was
first published in 1955 and is regarded by some as the stand-
ard work on Marcus Garvey. Cronon represents Garvey as an
escapist whose rejection of the white world led him to
develop a programme of black nationalism which failed be-
cause it did not offer satisfactory alternatives to the con-
ditions being experienced by black Americans. He neverthe-
less regards Garvey as a significant black leader with a dis-
tinct philosophy who attracted a large following.
Amy Jacques Garvey's 1963 publication Garvey and Gar-
veyisml171 is a collection of personal recollections, docu-
ments and newspaper accounts published as a tribute to Mar-
cus Garvey and is important for the primary source materials
which it includes.
The year 1967 saw the biographical publication Marcus
Garvey  by Adolph Edwards, a Jamaican, whose brief
45-page book tells the story of Garvey under the following
headings 'Early life', 'Work in the United States', 'Work in
Jamaica' and 'the Garvey Legend'.
The Black Power Movement of the 1960s in the United
States reawakened interest in black nationalism and influen-
ced numerous publications on Garvey by black nationalists
or students of black nationalism. In the 1970s several such
books were published. These included John Henrik Clarke's
Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa[191; Daniel Davis's
Marcus Garvey[201, Edmund Cronon's Marcus Garvey 
in the Great Lives Observed Series and Elton Fax's Garvey :
The Story of a Pioneer Black Nationalist[221. These public-
ations recognized the universal popularity of Marcus Garvey
and his contribution to and influence on black nationalism.
The most significant publications of this period, however,
were Theodore Vincent's Black Power and the Garvey
Movement[231 and Tony Martin's Race First.
Vincent's 1971 publication was the first major book-length
work since Cronon's Black Moses of 1955 and presented a re-
interpretation of Garvey and his movement, emphasizing
Garvey's contributions to black awareness and black national-
ism throughout the world and recognizing the UNIA's pre-
eminent position as a black nationalist organization.
Tony Martin's Race First presents an exhaustive account
of the Ga-vey Movement and is perhaps the most important
single publication on Garvey to date. It is written by a Trini-
dadian scholar whose stated intention was to 'treat Marcus
Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association
with the seriousness and respect which they deserve'. The
book is forcefully written and succeeds in promoting Gar-
vey as 'a major, if not the major black figure of the century'.
The interest aroused in Garvey and his movement which
was stimulated by the Black Power and black nationalism
movements of the sixties has not abated. The spate of
related publications in the seventies has been succeeded by
others which throw new light on the subject.
The 1980s saw the birth of The New Marcus Garvey
Library consisting of a series of original works on Garvey by
Tony Martin. Literary Garveyism[251, the first in the series,
highlights and illustrates Garvey's 'literary and artistic in-
fluence on masses of people' through the weekly paper
Negro World. It argues that 'the Garvey movement has
to be elevated to a position of major importance in the liter-
ary epoch of what is popularly known as the Harlem Renais-
sance'. Several volumes are planned in this series, six of
which have already been published.
The Institute of Social and Economic Research of the
University of the West Indies also contributed to the works
about Garvey by publishing Garvey, Africa, Europe the
Americas in 1986. This collection of essays was origin-
ally presented at the International Seminar on Marcus Gar-
vey organised by the African Studies Association of the West
Indies (ASAWI) in 1973. It covers many areas of Garvey's
work from different viewpoints and includes presentations
from Garvey scholars from the Caribbean, the United States,
England and Africa.
The most recent publication is written by Rupert Lewis,
currently Head of the Department of Government of the
University of the West Indies, Mona. He is a well-known
Garvey scholar whose Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial
Champion[271,'focuses on Marcus Garvey's struggles against
racism and colonialism'.
A major work in progress is the Marcus Garvey Papers Pro-
ject which is being undertaken by Robert Hill, a Jamaican
at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Marcus
Garvey Papers and Universal Negro Improvement Asso-
ciation Papers[281 brings together copies of thousands of
documents in repositories all over the world and is of pri-
mary interest to the research scholar. Four volumes of the
proposed ten-volume series have been published to date.
Among the archival documents included are letters, pam-
phlets, vital records, intelligence reports,newspaper articles,
speeches, legal records and diplomatic despatches which,
together with Hill's introduction, descriptive source notes
and explanatory footnotes, provide a comprehensive pic-
ture of Marcus Garvey and his worldwide influence through
the UNIA. This series promises to be an invaluable source of
information for Garvey scholars and for the serious re-
searcher, will serve as a parallel to the bibliographies and pub-
lished catalogues which help the general reader to identify
information on Garvey.
Many general works have been published which contain
important sections on Garvey. They fall into two main cate-
gories. The first category is by far the most extensive and
consists of books of international significance. They examine
the rise of black nationalism, the role of the Negro in Amer-
ican history, black leaders in the world, Afro-Americans, the
oratory of Negroes and such similar topics. Over a hundred
titles fall into this grouping, the most popular of which in-
clude a biographical publication entitled Great Negroes past
and present[291 as well as Marcus Boulware's The Oratory
of Negro Leaders[301 which in chapter 5 deals with Mar-
cus Garvey, comparing his voice of authority with that of
Jesus Christ which people heard gladly.
Other favourites include Black Leaders of the Cen-
turies which devotes one chapter to Marcus Garvey and
African Nationalism and Red, Black and Green which in
chapter 3 attributes the creation of racial pride among black
people throughout the world to the profound and lasting
contribution of Garvey and the UNIA. Also in this group is
the World's Great Men of Color, Vol. 11, another well-
known work. It portrays Garvey as an autocratic dictator-
type leader whose cause was just but whose methods were
poor. It predicts, however, that Garvey's success in arous-
ing blacks and whites to examine the race problem in a
new light, will cause him to be remembered and idealized
more and more with the passing of time. One of the more
recent publications in this category is Black Leaders of the
20th Century[341 edited by Franklin and Meier and pub-
lished in 1982. In chapter 6 Lawrence Levine describes
Garvey as a 'charismatic leader who offered his followers a
sense of pride and esteem by celebrating the glories of the
The second category is of more local significance and deals
with aspects of Jamaican history. James Carnegie's Some
Aspects of Jamaica's Politics, 1918-1938 identifies
Garveyism and the UNIA as important factors in the move-
ments which led to the modern political development of
Jamaica. Similarly, George Eaton in his Alexander Busta-
mante and Modern Jamaica[361 recognizes Garvey's impact
on the political development of Jamaica. Philip Sherlock in
Norman Manley: A Biography[371 noted that 'Manley's
work was made possible by Garvey who gave to blackness
a new dynamic personality, animated the great majority of
the people with hope and confidence, kindled their interest
in changing their conditions through organized political acti-
vity . '
Garvey and Religion
Those wishing to explore this theme may find the follow-
ing books useful: Garveyism as a Religious Movement[381
which includes sections on 'Garvey as a Black Theologian',
'The Religious Ethos of the UNIA', 'Sect or Civil Religion'
and the 'Clergy in the UNIA'.
Roderick McLean's The Theology of Marcus Garvey[391
presents 'Garvey as the pre-eminent Black Theologian'
describing his theology as 'based on an exegesis of Black
existence, both in its chronological and cultural essence, and
from the divine perspective'.
A local publication written by Barbara Makeda Lee en-
titled Rastafari : the New Creation provides the link
between Garvey and the Rastafari Movement.
Periodical Articles and Pamphlets
Articles and pamphlets on Garvey are numerous, and it is
difficult to deal with them in any structured way. The
National Library's most recent bibliography identifies a num-
ber of these, differentiating them from newspaper articles.
What is significant about these articles is the range of
viewpoints which they represent. They include the hostile
and the sceptical, characterized by those published in the
Messenger and the AME Zion Quarterly Review; the reportage
in Time and the New York Amsterdam News; the analytical
articles in scholarly journals such as Journal of Negro Edu-
cation, Race or the Journal of Negro History and even the
popular type articles as carried by Ebony.
The pamphlets on Marcus Garvey are for the most part
photocopies of journal articles which have been bound
separately or are short publications which originate locally
or within the region. Examples of the latter include the
Proceedings of the 1981 Symposium on Garveyism,
the Trinidad and Tobago publication From the Maroons to
Marcus[421 or the publication of the Pan African Secre-
tariat of Jamaica (431 which describes Garvey's belief and
work for his race.
Selected newspaper articles contained in the library's Gar-
vey bibliography list over 100 items from locally published
newspapers dating back to the Daily Chronicle of August
1914 December 1915. Most of the articles are from the
Daily Gleaner but there are a few from Public Opinion and
the Star. These articles chronicle the views of the Jamaican
public and their responses to Garvey over the years. These
clippings along with programmes, announcements of events
associated with Garvey and the UNIA and other documents
are compiled in the Garvey Biographical Notes[441 and the
UNIA Historical Notes[451 files maintained by the library.
Audio cassettes of interviews as well as recordings of the
presentations at the ASAWI-sponsored International Seminar
on Marcus Garvey in 1973 are among the audiovisual ma-
terials at the National Library. Also included is a tape of the
speech "Africa for the Africans" reported to be in Garvey's
own voice. The video cassette Marcus Garvey: Towards Black
Nationhood[461 a documentary made in Germany which
was shown on JBC-TV earlier this year, is also in the collection.
The collection of photographs and negatives is represent-
ative of Garvey and his activities. The file titled Marcus Gar-
vey has been compiled by the National Library of Jamaica
from newspapers, books, and journals. The file also includes
some original photographs donated to the library. There are
various photographs of Garvey, formal portraits some in
his UNIA president-general uniform, others with his family
or reviewing a parade. The file also includes scenes of UNIA
rallies, the Black Cross Nurses on parade, advertisements of
concerts at Edelweiss Park and ships of the Black Star Line.
Also available are portraits of Amy Ashwood Garvey and
Amy Jacques Garvey. Other files contain portraits of some of
Garvey's contemporaries and officers of the UNIA.
The collection also includes some theses from masters and
doctoral studies undertaken by students at the University of
the West Indies and American universities. These studies are
concerned with Garvey's work as well as his movement and
the influence which he has exerted through his teaching.
The works of Robert Hill and Rupert Lewis are among these.
It has been estimated that altogether nearly a thousand
books, pamphlets and journal articles have been published on
Marcus Garvey and it is likely that the interest generated by the
centenary celebration will result in many more publications.
The National Library's collection is by no means comprehen-
sive. We will therefore welcome donations of documents,
programmes, photographs and other memorabilia.
[11 LEIGH, Audrey, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 1887-1940 : a reading
list of printed material in the West India Reference Library.
Kingston : Institute of Jamaica, 1973.
 SILVERA, Althea, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 1887-1940 : a bibliog-
raphy. Kingston : West India Reference Library, Institue of
 Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 1887-1940 : a list of material in the
National Library of Jamaica. Kingston : NLJ, 1987.
 DAVIS, Lenwood G. and SIMS, Janet L., Marcus Garvey : an
annotated bibliography. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood, 1980.
 Fisk University Library, Dictionary catalog of the Negro col-
lection of the Fisk University. Nashville, Tennessee. Boston :
G.K. Hall, 1974. Vol. 2 pp. 329-330.
 Howard University Library, Dictionary catalog of the Arthur B.
Spingarn collection of Negro authors. Boston : G.K. Hall,
1970. Vol. 1. pp. 463.
 New York Public Library, Dictionary catalog of the Schomburg
collection of Negro literature and history. Boston : G.K. Hall,
1962. Vol. 4 pp. 2851-2853. 1967. First supplement. Vol. 1.
 The Blackman. Kingston : The Blackman Printing and Publishing
Company. Library has: 30 March 1929 14 February 1931.
 The New Jamaican [microform]. Library has : 9 July 1932 -
9 September 1933.
 The Black Man : a monthly magazine of Negro thought and
opinion; compiled with an introductory essay by Robert A.
Hill. Millwood, New York : Kraus-Thomson Organization
Limited, 1975. Includes Vols. I-IV (December 1933-June
 The Negro World [microform). New York : African Communities
League, 1921-1933. Library has : Incomplete runs for the
years 1921-1930; 1933.
 Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey; edited by Amy
Jacques Garvey, with a new preface by Hollis R. Lynch.
New York : Atheneum, 1969. Vols. 1 and 2.
 McKAY, Claude, "Garvey as a Negro Moses", The Passion of
Claude McKay. New York : Schocken Books, 1973. pp.65-69.
_,Harlem : Negro metropolis. New York : E. R. Dutton, 1940.
 NEMBHARD, Lenford S., Trials and triumphs of Marcus Garvey.
Kingston : Gleaner Company, 1940.
 CRONON, Edmund David, Black Moses : the story of Marcus
Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.
Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, 1955.
 GARVEY, Amy Jacques, Garvey and Garveyism. Kingston :
A. Jacques Garvey, 1963.
 EDWARDS, Adolph, Marcus Garvey 1887-1940. London; Port-
of Spain : New Beacon Books, 1967.
 CLARKE, John Henrik, Marcus Garvey and the vision of Africa.
New York : Vintage Books, 1974.
 DAVIS, Daniel S., Marcus Garvey. New York : Watts, 1972.
 CRONON, Edmund David, Marcus Garvey. Englewood Cliffs :
Prentice Hall, c1973.
 FAX, Elton C., Garvey : the story of a pioneer Black nationalist;
foreword by John Henrik Clarke. New York : Dodd Mead,
 VINCENT, Theodore G., Black power and the Garvey Movement.
Berkeley, Calif.: The Ramparts Press, 1971.
 MARTIN, Tony, Race first : the ideological and organizational
struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improve-
ment Association. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1976.
 _, Literary Garveyism: Garvey, black arts and the Harlem Renais-
sance. Dover, Mass. : The Majority Press, 1983.
 Garvey, Africa, Europe, the Americas: edited by Rupert Lewis
and Maureen Warner-Lewis. Kingston : Institute of Social and
Economic Research, University of the West Indies, 1986.
 LEWIS, Rupert, Marcus Garvey: anti-colonial champion. London :
Karia Press, 1987.
 The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association
papers; edited by Robert A. Hill. Berkeley, Calif. : University
of California Press, 1983, 1984, 1985.
Volume I : 1826 Aug. 1919.
Volume II: 27 Aug. 1919-31 Aug. 1920.
Volume III: Sept. 1920 -Aug. 1921.
Volume IV : 1 Sept. 1921-2 Sept. 1922.
 ADAMS, Russell L., Great Negroes past and present. 3rd ed.
Chicago : Afro-American Pub. Co., 1969. pp.115.
 BOULWARE, Marcus H., The Oratory of Negro Leaders : 1900-
1968. Westport, Conn. : Negro Universities Press, 1969.
[311 "Marcus Garvey and African nationalism". In Black Leaders of
the Centuries; edited by S. Okechukwu Mezu and Ram Desa.
Buffalo, N.Y. : Black Academy Press, Inc., 1970. pp. 185-201.
 PINKNEY, Alphonso, Red, black, and green : black nationalism
in the United States. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press,
 ROGERS, Joel A., World's great men of color. Volume II. New
York : Macmillan, 1972. pp.415-431.
 LEVINE, Lawrence W., "Marcus Garvey and the politics of re-
vitalization". In Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century;
edited by John Hope Franklin and August Meier. Urbana :
University of Illinois Press, 1982. pp. 105-138.
 CARNEGIE, James, Some aspects of Jamaica's politics 1918-
1938. Kingston : Institute of Jamaica, 1973.
[361 EATON, George E., Alexander Bustamante and modern Jamaica.
Kingston : Kingston Publishers, 1975.
 SHERLOCK, Sir Philip M., Norman Manley. London: Macmillan,
 BURKETT, Randall K., Garveyism as a religious movement : the
institutionalization of a Black civil religion. Metuchen, N.J. :
Scarecrow and the American Theological Library Association,
 McLEAN, Roderick Michael, The theology of Marcus Garvey.
Washington, D.C. : University Press of America, 1982.
 LEE, Barbara Makeda, Rastafari : the new creation. Kingston :
Jamaica Media Productions, 1981.
 Garveyville : a model for tomorrow. Symposium on Garveyism,
Kingston, 17-21 August 1981. Raleigh, N.C. : The OGH Re-
search Committee; Kingston : Byron Moore, 1981.
 TAFARI, Seko, From the Maroons to Marcus : a historical devel-
opment. Tunapuna, Trinidad : Research Associates School
Times Publications, 1985.
 Pan-African Secretariat Jamaica, Marcus Garvey. Kingston :
Information Dept., National Joint Committee, 1975.
 GARVEY, Biographical Notes Files of articles clipped, mount-
ed and compiled by the National Library of Jamaica. The files
Garvey, Amy Ashwood
Garvey, Amy Jacques
 Universal Negro Improvement Association, Historical Notes File
compiled by the National Library of Jamaica of articles on the
UNIA clipped and mounted from various sources and ranging'
in date from 1915 to the present.
 Marcus Garvey [videorecording] Towards Black Nationhood.
Princeton, N.Y. : Films for the Humanities, 1980.