Institute of Caribbean Studies seek to pardon Marcus Mosiah Garvey
The Institute of Caribbean Studies is seeking support from the Caribbean Diaspora to aid in their efforts to obtain a Posthumous Presidential Pardon for the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
The Institute’s website, http://justice4garvey.org, provides complete details about the campaign. A crucial component in this process is obtaining 100,000 signatures on the online petition by September 28 of this year to ensure that the request for a Posthumous Presidential Pardon will be acknowledged and reviewed by President Barack Obama.
Born in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey’s was a protagonist of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements which paved the way to found the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A) and African Communities League. He advanced a Pan-African philosophy which inspired a mass movement known as Garveyism and Garveyites.
During a time when Blacks were seen as second class citizens, Garvey led a mass movement to elevate the Black community through economic empowerment and independence. In May 1923, Garvey was convicted of mail fraud in relation to the operation of his signature program for Black economic independence, the Black Star Line. He was sent to prison and later deported never allowed to return to the United States. He was convicted after being targeted by J. Edgar Hoover and deprived of a fair trial. His sentence was later commuted by President Calvin Coolidge on recommendation by the U.S. Attorney General and with the support of 9 of the 12 jurors who voted to convict.
This put a halt on Garvey’s global movement for racial and economic justice breaking down the level of momentum. He never abandoned his movement to empower people of the African diaspora and he was recognized as a forbearer of the Civil Rights Movement by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Today, his legacy is celebrated the world over.