JIS News

New York City Council member, Charles Barron (42nd CD, Brooklyn), on August 16 became the latest in a growing list of persons calling for a full pardon for National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, from the US Government.
Speaking from the floor of the New York City Council in Manhattan, Mr. Barron called on his colleagues to join Congressman Charles Rangel (D-Harlem), in his effort to have the President of the United States grant a posthumous pardon to Mr. Garvey.
Mr. Barron said that the time had come for Mr. Garvey’s name to be cleared from a politically and racially motivated charge of one single count of mail fraud in l923.
“In light of Marcus Garvey’s tireless advocacy on behalf of persons of African descent worldwide, and his significant contributions to the cultural awakening within the African-American community during the 20th Century, the Council of the City of New York calls on the United States Congress to pass House Concurrent Resolution 57, sponsored by Congressman Charles Rangel, which calls upon the President of the United States to grant a posthumous pardon to Marcus Garvey,” he said.
He pointed out that pervasive discrimination of African Americans in the US during the early 1920s fueled severe racial tension and violence, making it easy at the time for certain elements of the United States government to harass and destroy social activists such as Marcus Garvey at the time.
“Marcus Garvey – Jamaica’s first national hero – became the target of surveillance and harassment by law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which led to the infiltration of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA),” said Mr. Barron.
“Garvey’s message of economic independence and pride in the collective culture and ancestry of African Americans inspired millions of people to rediscover their shared culture and history,” he said.
Councilman Barron, who is running for a seat in the US Congress this year, said that because Marcus Garvey’s teachings and philosophies had inspired many influential Black leaders, it was enough reason for his colleagues in the City Council to support the Resolution.
In February 2005, Congressman Charles Rangel introduced House Concurrent Resolution 57, calling on the President of the US to grant a posthumous pardon to Marcus Garvey.
Accepting a proclamation from the New York City Council in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contribution to the community and to humanity, Dr. Julius W. Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, told the audience that he was proud to be part of the heritage and proud to be carrying on the struggle of his father.
“I accept this humbly. There’s no victory without struggle and the struggle never ends, but if you understand the nature of the struggle, then you are happy to be a part of the struggle,” Dr. Garvey said.
Consul General of Jamaica, Dr. Basil K. Bryan who attended the City Hall session, said there was a need for building alliances to ensure that the heroes of the world are given their proper place.
“Garvey was the inspiration for millions of people all over the world. The fruits that we enjoy today come directly from those who went before us. Thank you for keeping alive the memory of Garvey. There is still much left to be done,” Dr. Bryan said.
Also on hand to support the resolution were: Caribbean Council members, Yvette D. Clarke, Kendal Stewart and Leroy Comrie; Paul Garvey, grandson of Marcus Garvey, and Leonard Frazer, former member of the UNIA.
Just last week, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller told a New York Carib News Editorial Board meeting, including Congressman Rangel, that her administration would become more active in the effort to clear the name of Marcus Garvey.