Jamaica’s political class has been accused by one of the country’s most high-profile honours inductees of betraying the legacy of Marcus Garvey and other national heroes and failing to prioritise the teaching of Afrocentric history.
Dr Julius Garvey, who was inducted into the Order of Jamaica at yesterday’s National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House, said his father would be gutted by the slow pace of black-conscious social engineering that is a crucial cog of political independence.
Marcus Garvey, who was born in the northern parish of St Ann, was a pan-Africanist icon who promoted African pride, self-love and excellence long before those concepts were popular in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and Black Power of the 1960s. He died in 1940.
The honouree, who received Jamaica’s fourth-highest honour, believes that if his father were alive today, he would be devastated by the lack of intellectual and social progress.
“He certainly would not be happy with how the country has fared up to this point. Even though we have done well in certain aspects, I am saddened by the fact that too many of our people are still mentally enslaved,” said Dr Garvey, who was honoured for his distinguished contribution to universal civil activism and the promotion of entrepreneurship and the legacy of Garveyism and pan-Africanism.