A Petition to Clear Marcus Garvey’s Name

A group of artists across North America, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean have created an online petition to request a full pardon for Marcus Garvey, founder of the UNIA, and a national hero of Jamaica. The goal is to get 10,000 signatures and to deliver the petition to President Barack Obama.

Marcus Garvey

“When I read about the efforts of the Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange in Jamaica, I decided to begin a similar movement here in North America,” said Mr. Geoffrey Philp, a Jamaican author and poet. “Marcus Garvey has long been an inspiration because of the values of self-reliance and industry to which he devoted his life. After corresponding via email with other writers and artists, we decided to create a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clear-Marcus-Garveys-Name/123156414434047?sk=wall) and to put the petition online (http://signon.org/sign/clear-marcus-garveys), so that anyone who cares about justice can join in the cause.”

Clear Marcus Garvey’s Name

To be delivered to: President Barack Obama

“We are petitioning President Barack Obama to issue a full pardon and to clear the name of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a national hero of Jamaica.”

Marcus Garvey, founder of the UNIA, was arrested by the FBI under the Hoover administration and charged with mail fraud for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. Although his sentence was eventually commuted by President Calvin Coolidge, it is now abundantly clear that Garvey did not commit any criminal acts, but as Professor Judith Stein has stated, “his politics were on trial.

“This is a cause that President Barack Obama can fully embrace,” Philp continued. “In Dreams From my Father, President Obama has acknowledged Garvey’s influence by quoting one of Garvey’s more famous lines: “Rise up, ye mighty race.”

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