History Man and Black History Month – Part 2
Part two of an eight-part series
February is Black History Month and Marcus Mosiah Garvey is one of seven National Heroes in Jamaica; the others being George William Gordon, Samuel Sharpe, Paul Bogle, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley, and Nanny of The Maroons.
According to The Informative History Man, “Garvey, more than any other, takes centerstage during this month.”
“Jamaicans, including those in the diaspora, believe Marcus Garvey – more than most strong leaders – fought to improve the lives of blacks throughout the world.”
“That word Equality is – for Garvey – the heartbeat which should transform blacks to gain self-confidence and self-government for which Norman Manley and Bustamante fought to become leaders in Jamaica.”
“Once this can be achieved, then blacks would have the confidence to rise above their adversities. They would simply have that energy to rise above poverty through education, build industries, and have wealth to improve their living conditions and their future generations.”
The Informative History Man agrees with Garvey’s ideas and policies. He says, “the big mistake blacks have made for decades is to see themselves inferior to others.”
“This inferiority complex has allowed us to doubt ourselves. But, Garvey’s philosophy is simply ‘up you mighty race, you can accomplish whatever you will.’
“The moment we look in the mirror and begin to tell ourselves we are not what we want to see, then we will want to change our image.”
History Man adds that the bleaching of the skin shows how much we are willing to lose our identity.
“We have been falsely indoctrinated that blacks have not contributed to technology and this is one of the reasons I have been to several schools to teach students that we are the ones who created the light bulb, horseshoe, the washing machine, and so many others inventions, not by the whites, the Chinese or Indians.
“Blacks have been taught – through books – to see themselves as workers but Marcus Garvey tried to change this through his newsletter.”
“Our former leaders under Colonial rule have us believe that white is pure and sinless and black represents sin and the Devil. This has given rise to a generation of blacks who will not respect his own race, or celebrate even their successes.”
History Man feels that blacks should make themselves visible. “This was Garvey’s mission when he formed the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).”
Garvey’s shipping company, the Black Starline, was to transport blacks and goods making links to different ports and cities.”
Today, History Man is celebrating Black History Month because he believes – despite our shortcomings – that there is reason to celebrate.
“Marcus Garvey has done so much that I am now able to talk about him and his contributions; write about him in songs, and spread his message through my many performances, here and abroad.
Be sure to read part three in the series. Only on the Reggae-Vibes site.
(Photo courtesy of Kings and Queens Production)
The Informative History Man – Tribute to Marcus Garvey