A TRIBUTE TO JAMAICA’S FIRST NATIONAL HERO, MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY, LEADING UP TO NATIONAL HEROES’ DAY ON OCTOBER 17, 2016

In 2003, Ian Adams, honorary fellow of the University of Durham, and his co-author R. W. Dyson, director of the Centre for the History of Political Thought, jointly published 50 Major Political Thinkers. This publication listed Marcus Mosiah Garvey among giant thinkers and well-known philosophers over a 2,000-year period, beginning with Plato, Aristotle, and including others such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Nicholas Machiavelli, and Karl Marx!

Marcus Mosiah Garvey

The elegance of Garvey’s genius becomes even more obvious when one sees that he intuitively recognized that his starting point had to be the application of a tourniquet to the abused psyche of his people to arrest the hemorrhaging of their self-esteem that was inflicted by the indignities of chattel slavery and its aftermath. Sherlock and Bennett (1998) noted that “Garvey was one of the few of his time who understood how seriously the inner world of the African had been damaged, and in some instances destroyed, by the experience of enslavement combined with alienation” (p. 294).

Garvey started his crusade first by attempting to raise the consciousness of his people about themselves as a race by focusing on racial pride and self-esteem in an attempt to break their mental chains of self-contempt, self-doubt, and cynicism. Garvey thus clearly demonstrated his understanding as an adult educator that consciousness-raising is a precursor to significant learning. Still further evidence of Garvey’s genius as an adult educator is seen in his use of consciousness-raising not as the culmination of his project, but as the initial scaffolding upon which to build a more sustained program of learning and action.

- An excerpt from my paper “Illuminating the Andragogical Dimensions of Garvey’s Legacy” published in the Journal of Arts Science & Technology, 2014, Vol 7.

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