History: In Ethiopia AU to Honor Marcus Garvey With Planned Unveiling of a Statue

The announcement said: "By erecting the Marcus Garvey Bronze Sculpture in Addis Ababa we will not only honor the legacy of one of the architects of the Pan African independence movement, but will also highlight Ethiopia as a focalpoint for Pan-Africanists to engage in constructing a unifying African heritage and destiny." (Photo: Public Domain)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 21st, 2021

New York (TADIAS) — Marcus Garvey — the renown Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist and businessman who today is regarded as one of the original leaders of the Pan African movement in the Western Hemisphere — is set to receive a prestigious and historical recognition with a planned unveiling of a permanent statute at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“Our history began, in a sense, with Ethiopia,” Marcus Garvey’s youngest son, Dr. Julius Garvey, told NNPA Newswire. “Its history goes back to the beginning of civilization. Ethiopian history is fundamental.”

The announcement added: “By erecting the Marcus Garvey Bronze Sculpture in Addis Ababa we will not only honor the legacy of one of the architects of the Pan African independence movement, but will also highlight Ethiopia [a country that has never been colonized except for a brief occupation by Italy's Fascist forces in the 1930s] as a focalpoint for Pan-Africanists to engage in constructing a unifying African heritage and destiny.”

Garvey’s son emphasized that when he was alive his father never actually set foot on African soil due to the colonial era travel restrictions.

The press release stated:

Currently the African Union has divided the African World into six regions: north, south, east, west, central, and the sixth region, the Diaspora. Garvey galvanized the Diaspora before we knew it by that name. It is only fitting that the original architect of pan-African sovereignty be recognized in the city that houses the African Union, which owes much of its ideological foundation to the philosophies and opinions of Marcus Garvey. The founding fathers of the African independence movement were highly influenced by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, and their international newspaper, The Negro World [founded and led by Garvey].

Organizers noted that the project is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by the Pan African Technical Association (PATA).

According to NNPA Newswire:

In commissioning the sculpture, Dr. Garvey joined with the Pan African Technical Association, Strictly Roots, and the renowned Los Angeles artist Mr. Nijel Binns to create the Marcus Garvey Bronze.

Plans are to unveil the sculpture during a public ceremony on Aug. 17.

[Garvey] is considered one of the central pillars of the Pan-Africa movement. Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League boasted more than 6 million members and over 1,000 branches in 42 countries in Africa and the Americas.

“My father was a major proponent of the redemption of Africa, but he was never allowed to go to Africa because of the colonial policies,” Dr. Julius Garvey remarked.

“So, taking a bust of him back to Africa is significant and historical from that perspective as well,” he said.

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