JIS News

Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero, has not only left his mark on the pages of the country’s history but has also had international influence in his quest for equal rights and justice for Blacks in the Diaspora.
On October 20, when Jamaicans celebrate National Heroes’ Day, Garvey’s philosophies and works will come alive again with the opening of Liberty Hall, the former Headquarters of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) to the public.
Giving an update on the restoration, Donna McFarlane, Director and Curator of Liberty Hall, said that the ‘Friends of Liberty Hall’ and the Government of Jamaica have raised funds to restore the building and to reinterpret its use.
“Over the period they have raised money locally and internationally and they have finally gotten the thing off the ground,” she said.
Ms. McFarlane said, “what is envisioned is that the entire building and ground will be accessible to the people of Jamaica. So that when you approach Liberty Hall it will have a beautiful garden and people from the community will be able to sit in the garden and hear the philosophy of Marcus Garvey”.
Liberty Hall will also house a museum that will bring to life the works of Marcus Garvey through the use of multimedia such as audio visual, computer, photographic, video and life theatre programmes.
The Director and Curator said, “we hope that the experience will be accessible to all age groups, from six years and up. It will provide in-depth information on the history of Garvey and his philosophy. It will offer an opportunity for virtual visits to Africa where you can see films of everyday life in Africa, where we can actually bring Africa to the children of Jamaica, many of whom will not take that journey”.
Additionally, Ms. McFarlane said, “it will offer them an opportunity to experience the architectural wonders of Africa, its ancient cities and to learn about its people and civilisation and this is in keeping with the teachings of Marcus Garvey”.
She informed that various video programmes would be available in the museum on the life and work of Garvey.
There will also be interactive touch screen computers that will encourage visitors to explore Garvey’s themes as they relate to contemporary Jamaica and audio stations that will provide narrations of Garvey’s philosophies.
Additionally, Ms. McFarlane said that there are plans to have a centre where members of the communities will be trained in Personal Computer (PC) applications, multimedia skills in community and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) integration, techno-Garvey concepts and website management.
“The multimedia centre will also include computer animated educational material for children, which will be inspired by Garvey’s teaching,” she said. Ms. McFarlane also said that there are plans to have a digital library in place and also a cyber caf

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