Marcus Garvey Celebration a Cultural Hit

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The Marcus Garvey Tribute was an interesting event that made us think more about the critical issues posed against black people in world. The event uses Afrocentric speakers and performers as the main feature to convey this message. The event also had moments of humour.  It was Irie Fm 25th  annual tribute to Marcus Garvey, celebrated under the theme “Breaking the cycle of mental control”.

The event was divided into two sections, the first segment which was held in the Coconut Grove Great House lasted from 6am to 6pm, focused on African history and heritage brought to Jamaica by Africans, each performance brought its own uniqueness, but also strong African orientation. The life and work of Marcus Garvey was the main story, an in depth analysis of the various things Garvey did to contribute to empowerment of black people worldwide was done to encourage Africans living in Jamaica to make stronger efforts to change the conditions under which they live.  African wears were on displayed all throughout the event, a fashion show showcased other aspects our African heritage through clothing and accessories. Guest Speaker from the USA and Trinidad shared their powerful messages about, African spirituality, education, liberation, repatriation, black power and black unity which brought enlightenment to many Jamaicans. The second half of the event was in the open lot of the courtyard, it lasted from 6pm to 1 am, and featured catalogues of musical and poetic content all concentrated towards moral development.

Some appealing features of the event were:

  1. a) the African speakers especially Dr. Umar Johnson, he really hit the nail on the head,
  2. b) the messages that were very interesting and absorbing,
  3. c) the action and drama that sustain our interest in the event, and
  4. d) the garments that represented a wide array African cultures and captured the attention of enthused onlookers.

The lighting and special effects were very striking, and the music conveyed different moods. Each live band was memorable. Additionally, the performances towards end of the event was appropriate and convincing. It made the point that black awareness is on the rise and that black people are closer to achieving revolutionary changes.

The Marcus Garvey celebration is an event that both children and adults will want to attend more than once.

Featuring the acts of: Ernie Smith, Mutabaruka and the School Band, Shakespeare, MawMaw Warriors, Nesbeth, Tony Rebel, Junior Reid , Rodney Pryce, Queen Ifrika, Bushman, Teflon, Bongo Herman, and Uprising Roots and Capleton Minka and Mutamba, David Mohammad,  Dr Umar Johnson and Professor James Small and Nyabingi drummers, Ubuntu Drum and Dance Theatre, Carifolk Singers and UWI Pano Rhythm Steel Orchestra.

Venue: Irie FM courtyard

Moderators: Imina Blackwood Meeks, Elise Kelly, Isis Miller