Garvey Goes Home, Creation of Statue of Marcus Garvey at the African Union
Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the most successful mobilizer and organizer of African descended people that the world has ever seen, and we are aiming to create a statue in his honor at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Marcus Garvey is the premiere architect of Pan-African nation building. Garvey was the preeminent organizer of Black people not only during his era, but even now no one can begin to touch his legacy of organizing millions of Black people globally to align toward a single purpose, independence. Not only did the honorable Marcus Garvey offer solutions but he also worked to enact them through his organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association- and African Communities League ( UNIA-ACL)
Accomplishments include but are not limited to:
- Over 4 million members worldwide, and even more supporters,
- Over 100 branches throughout 40 countries
- “The Negro World” newspaper
- A shipping company, “The Black Star Line”
- “The Negro Factories Association”
- Wholesale, retail & manufacturing businesses
- Grocery stores, Restaurants, Launderettes
- Printing press, Tailor shop, Black doll manufacturing
- A trucking company,
- A nursing agency
- A paramilitary division
- Established our Pan-African flag (The Red, Black and Green)
- And Established the “Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World”
Garvey’s achievements influenced countless other Pan-Africanists, most notably Kwame Nkrumah, whose likeness already graces the pristine AU campus in Addis. Garvey is the first national hero of Jamaica, a country which shares a special bond with Ethiopia and the continent at large. He was the most outspoken 20th century advocate of repatriation for the descendants of Africa, those who reside in the Americas and Europe ( not to mention Asia and the Pacific). His message of African unity, sovereignty, self- love, dignity and respect resonates with the current Black Lives Matter generation who strive for justice wherever Black people find themselves.
As we look toward 2021, let us take a step back to look at our currency trajectory: We are in the midst of a burgeoning Pan-African movement, a Black tech renaissance, and a Black business boom, a golden age of Black media, and the mass access to digital infrastructure which promotes connections between those on the African continent and those in the Diaspora. In 2019 we witnessed a massive repatriation movement which saw a significant exodus of Diasporan Africans looking to Ghana as a place to reconnect with their ancestral homeland during the Year of Return. It is quite clear that a return to Garveyism and the whirlwind has already begun to take place.
Marcus Garvey once said that his message would be more powerful after his death than when he was living. He compared this resurgence to a whirlwind. We believe that we are the whirlwind generation, tasked with completing the plans that the honorable Marcus Garvey laid out. We are exactly one hundred years after the peak of Garveyism in the 1920’s. It must be remembered that the context of Marcus Garvey’s push forward was during a time when most of the African continent was colonized or recently enslaved. Marcus Garvey was able to create such a mass movement equipped with just a printing press. Now in today’s context of digital connectivity we have the ability to create and utilize what is now common infrastructure. We also have the economic access that we need. There is no reason why Garvey’s accomplishments can not be matched and surpassed.
The African Union is the natural choice for a statue of Marcus Garvey in Africa, seeing as how it is the most fully expressed and developed institution of Pan-Africanism on the continent. We consider this statue as a gift of the African diaspora to the people of the African continent as a symbol of our willingness to reconnect with the continent of our motherland that we have been estranged from for so long. We live in a special time, one that is befitting for the installation of a Marcus Garvey Statue at the AU. As Black protests look to remove statues that represent colonial oppression and racism, we must ask ourselves what icons, statues, and monuments will we create for ourselves? What will our symbols be? The Marcus Garvey Bronze aims to create a statue in the heart of Africa to represent the entrance of the Black race’s return to a Garveyite philosophy of universal Pan-Afrikan nationhood. 2020 put a major pause on international travel; however as life as we know it slowly begins to stabilize, we envision bringing Marcus Garvey home to the continent he loved, yet never set foot upon. Follow the hashtag #GarveyGoesHome, Sign the Petition and visit www.MarcusGarveyBronze.com to make a tax deductible donation to support this project.
Written by Miles Henderson & Kamau Grimes