JIS News

Executive Director and Curator of Liberty Hall, Donna McFarlane, is hoping that the recent decision by the Organisation of American States (OAS), to name its Hall of Culture in honour of National Hero, Marcus Garvey, will re-galvanise calls for his exoneration by the United States of America (USA).
“We are absolutely thrilled at Liberty Hall, for such an honour to be given to him (Marcus Garvey). For us, it justifies the fact that he needs to be exonerated by the USA,” she said in an interview with JIS News.
“Congressman Charles Rangle, who is Head of the Ways and Means Committee, has been, for years, presenting to Congress, a Resolution for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey. It has not gone through as yet, but we are hoping that that will be rectified in very short order, because it is obvious that others are recognising his greatness,” the Executive Director added.
In November 1919, the Bureau of Investigation, known since 1935 as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, started an investigation into the activities of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). This investigation saw an eventual charge of mail fraud brought against Mr. Garvey.
On June 23, 1923, he was sentenced to five years in prison, in what his supporters and neutrals described as a miscarriage of justice. After having his sentence commuted by US President, Calvin Coolidge, he was deported to Jamaica in 1927.
Prior to and after this negative experience, Mr. Garvey, through his philosophy and teachings, contributed to the development of Black people as it related to self esteem and value, education, self reliance and economic prosperity.
Ms. McFarlane believes that the OAS naming its Hall of Culture in honour of Mr. Garvey, is indicative of his impact and everlasting legacy.
“It says that people are still thinking about Garvey and realise his relevance in today’s world and his largely international reach, which we in Jamaica have sort of not known much about,” she said.
“We know that Garvey made a great impact on African Americans in America, but his reach is much wider than the USA. It’s in Latin America, in Africa, in Europe, and even Australia,” she further informed.
On August 29, 2008, the 32 members of the OAS unanimously passed a Resolution to name its Hall of Culture in honour of Mr. Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero. The Marcus Garvey Cultural Hall will be located on the ground floor of the OAS main building in Washington, D.C.
Currently, a bust of Mr. Garvey is on display in the Hall of Heroes at the OAS.