JIS News

Honorary Consul to Atlanta, Vin Martin, has urged Jamaicans in Atlanta to join the Government’s effort in seeking a pardon from the United States government for National Hero, Marcus Garvey.
In addressing an exhibition in honour of the country’s heroes on Sunday (Oct. 29) at the Hillside Presbyterian Church Hall in Georgia, Mr. Martin said, “fellow Jamaicans and friends, there is a joint and compelling project to which the government of Jamaica would like to enlist your support and activism. This cause, simply put, is to ensure a pardon from the United States government for Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero.”
“Garvey’s work”, Mr. Martin said, “here in the United States and elsewhere, as a philosopher, mass-mobilizer for justice, and progenitor of the Pan-African Movement, is recorded in the annals of history.
Jamaica, the land of his birth, has elevated him to the lofty status of National Hero. Surely, this is not a life that can be condemned or caricatured as a simple criminal”. He noted that Mr. Garvey had spawned such great American and Pan-African leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Kwame Nkrumah. Mr. Martin urged all Jamaicans to join the worthy cause in the search for truth and justice as the government, along with members of the United States Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus, moved forward for a full pardon for Marcus Garvey.
The United States government convicted Mr. Garvey of mail fraud in 1923. Members of his family and of the organisation he founded and led, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), have long lobbied for his name to be exonerated and the effort has been joined by members of the United States Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus.
In February 2005, Congressman Charles Rangel introduced House Concurrent Resolution 57, calling on the President to grant a posthumous pardon to Marcus Garvey.
Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, earlier in the year, instructed Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Anthony Hylton, to proceed with dialogue between Jamaicans in the Diaspora and Congressman Rangel, “to begin to make some approach to the United States government to have Marcus Garvey’s name cleared once and for all”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Martin commended the Atlanta Jamaican Association for organising the event and the Jamaica Information Service for providing the material on the National Heroes.
Among those in attendance were Allan Alberga, President of the Atlanta Jamaican Association; Dr. Chris Parker, Vice President of Integrity Children’s Fund; and Rev. Winston Lawson, Pastor of the Hillside Presbyterian Church. The audience was treated to a number of cultural items rendered by the Sugarcane Cultural group.