The son of early 20th century black nationalist Marcus Garvey wants to mark his father’s 129th birthday with the perfect gift – a presidential pardon to exonerate Garvey for the mail fraud conviction that ended his residence and political activism in the US.
Dr. Julius W. Garvey wants President Barack Obama to clear his father’s name from a mail fraud conviction that caused Marcus Garvey to be deported from the United States to his native Jamaica, he said on Wednesday.
The younger Garvey said he has lived his whole life with the fact that his famous father was a convicted criminal, which he believes is part of the reason his father is less well-known and accepted among mainstream Americans.
Because of the conviction, ‘there is still a whiff of subversion about the idea of being’ a fan of his father’s teachings, Garvey said at a news conference at the National Press Club.
Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica on Aug. 17, 1887, and was considered by people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to be a father of the civil rights movement.
Many of his supporters feel the conviction was unwarranted and a way to get the civil rights leader out of the country.
He inspired millions of followers worldwide with messages of black pride and self-reliance, and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1914, considered to be the largest secular organization in African-American history.
His Pan-African philosophy urged blacks to return to the continent of their ancestors, and he launched the Black Star Line, a fleet of steamships intended to take them there. He also wanted it to establish trade and commerce between Africans in America, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Canada and Africa.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Kiri Blakely; The Associated Press