Letters to the Editor

Garvey's mission of economic independence

Thursday, August 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

As we reflect on the wisdom of the Marcus Mosiah Garvey's economic independence strategy it is evident that he had left no stone unturned to elevate his financial circumstances.

Now, take into consideration that he established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in August 1914, and he eventually set up the Negro Factories Cooperation and the Black Star Line by 1919 to promote trade, which was an attempt to better the condition of black people everywhere.

Interestingly, the UNIA was inspired by Garvey through self-reliance and its main purpose was to unite the scattered black race around a common cause — that of a 'United States of Africa', while the Black Star Line was to facilitate migration of particular American blacks who wished to return to the motherland.

During his lifetime (1887 to 1964) the skilled Jamaican orator, Marcus Garvey, taught the virtues of capitalism to the people of his time when he argued that only fools would oppose capitalism because it has proven itself to be the most productive socio-economic system in the world.

No wonder he believed that if black people were to be successful the quickest and most effective way to financial independence was to practise capitalism.

In addition, Garvey, the entrepreneur par excellence, in his stirring public speeches, emphasised that no one should wait in the unemployment line for someone to offer him a good job when possibilities existed for him to start his own small business.

He had such an enterprising spirit for the attainment of economic independence when you understand that he owned a chain of restaurants, grocery stories, laundromats, a hotel, a printing press, among others. Garvey went on to publish his own newspaper, The Negro World, which highlighted, most importantly, the exploits of the black heroes and the splendour of the African culture.

Our first national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a man of unique talent, born on August 17, 1887 in St Ann, Jamaica, had a mission to help black people worldwide to become proud of themselves.

Without a doubt, we have come a long way with our political independence as a nation since 1962; therefore, our political leaders among other significant leaders in different sectors must now engage the general populace to grow the economy so as to achieve economic independence as a country.

Valentine Pearson

Montego Bay, St James


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