2012: Between EMANCIPATION and Beyond INDEPENDENCE Celebrations…AMERICAN ELECTIONS in SOUTH FLORIDA.
You may be interested to know that there is a much bigger and wider (and newsworthy) backstory involved; of which the Miami-Dade County proclamation honouring Marcus Garvey (see photo below) is but a small glimpse.
STORY: Despite taking a strangely twisted pride in their demographics – pointing to the large percentage (80%) of Black residents – the Black Mayor and City Council in one of Miami-Dade's largest municipalities seem unable to summon up neither the moral courage nor the political will to honour one of history's most important Blacks icons; some think because the icon is a Caribbean-American.
This throws an interesting light on the political ambitions of the Mayor and City Council of a Black-majority municipality (the largest of its kind in Florida) which has esentially tried to stall, derail, or kill in committee (using deliberate avoidance, neglect, and possibly-illegal ploys) an attempt to have a thoroughfare (in said Black-majority city) named in honour of Amy & Marcus Garvey. (Having stalled for months, the City Council's latest ploy, sponsored by the departing mayor, is to change the city's street naming ordinance to require an unanimous vote of all council members to approve name-change criteria).
Unsurprisingly, this is the behavior of representatives of a Black City Council, led by a Black Mayor, who have not seen fit to issue even a proclamation in honour of Garvey’s 125th Birthday. (They rather belatedly issued a proclamation for Caribbean-American Heritage Month, but only after I strongly insisted that they should; in addition to writing the first draft of said proclamation, and suggesting that they should properly present it to Mr. Kent Hippolyte, Dean of the Caribbean Consular Corps).
Now, the Mayor in question is demitting office, and is presently challenging an incumbent Miami-Dade Commissioner; one who has in the past been quite supportive of the annual celebrations honouring Marcus Garvey's birthday, and the City in question; a commissioner who, moreover, has promised to guide the road-renaming request through the County Commission (it's a county thoroughfare), and ensure an appropriate ceremony for the renaming...that is, once the said Black-majority municipality (through which the avenue runs) can be convinced to approve the name change.
All this without once asking -- or expecting -- me to do anything in return .
(DISCLOSURE: I am not a part of the campaign or staff of any politician, nor am I open to political manipulation or bribery from any direction. My main and permanent interest is in recognizing good works and honouring great Black people, especially, in this case, The Hon. Marcus Garvey and both his wives; both named Amy).
On the other hand, the behavior of the Mayor and Council Members of the city in question is quite ironic –in fact, really bizarre – given that it was largely through the mobilization of the large numbers of Caribbean-American voters that the city succeeded in its second attempt at incorporation; after I pointed out to the Chairperson of the Incorporation Committee that the failure of the previous attempt was due to them ignoring (avoiding, disrespecting) the significant number of Caribbean-Americans in the proposed city.
The Chairperson (who became mayor) then challenged me to mobilize the Caribbean-American community to support the incorporation effort. If you were at the KCOBA-SFL Bingo in 2003, you would have seen me introducing the then-putative politician (who easily won the subsequent mayoral elections, once the incorporation succeeded) to the KC alums, especially Winston Barnes of WAVS 1170, and to my generation of Purples, and our guests; Or heard me ‘talk up di ting” and give the incorporation effort some not-usually-given endorsements – and thereby, indirectly benefitting the aspiring politician -- on Barnes’ talk program, and other shows on Caribbean radio).
BOTTOM LINE: The City of Miami Gardens’ 2003 incorporation effort would almost certainly have failed again, without the effective mobilizing of the Caribbean-American community and voting contingent.
But, as we say back home in Jamaica: “A nuh one day monkey waan wife!”
Dissing the Caribbean Community, or even Jamaica, is bad enough. Dissing Baba Marcus Garvey is intolerable.
So, FRIENDS, MEDIA-CITIZENS, from your privileged and influential position, even if you say you cannot advise your audience and readers what to think, or do; Please at least help put this matter into the public record, and bring it to the public's attention; so that they can act as informed voters.
Please recall also that Amy and Marcus Garvey were pioneering politicians, writers, and journalists.
You will hear more about the outrageous and politically-fraught idiocy, and ungratefulness; highlighting what has been essentially a dissing of Caribbean-Americans, Caribbean-American Heritage Month, Marcus Garvey, Garveyites, Marcus Garvey's 125th, AND Jamaica’s and Trinidad &Tobago’s 50th Independence Celebrations – and in a busy election year, no less.
But then, this is The-More-Than-Silly-Season.
Thanks, and Walk Good.
(L to R.) Mr. Pharaoh Shabaka, Mr. Donald Jones, Mr. Vernon Martin, Commissioner Barbara Jordan, Ras Don Rico Ricketts, Mr. Geoffrey Philp, Mr. Benjamin Essien, and Emekan Afamefuna
"We must canonize our own saints, create our own martyrs, and elevate to positions of fame and honor black women and men who have made their distinct contributions to our history." Marcus Garvey.
Spearheaded by Ras Don Rico Ricketts of the Marcus Garvey Celebrations Committee, of IMI, Inc, August 17, 2012, has been proclaimed "Universal Marcus Garvey Day" by the Miami-Dade County Commission.
The proclamation, which was guided through the process by Commissioner Barbara Jordan
and her able staff, Mr. Ryan Hawkins and Mairenny Alexis, was presented to Ras Don Rico Ricketts on August 2, 2012 in the District Office of Commissioner Barbara Jordan.
The Garveyite, Jamaican, and Caribbean communities thank Commissioner Barbara Jordan,
the Mayor and County Commissioners for their support of "Universal Marcus Garvey Day.
Other 2012 events Commemorating Marcus Garvey's 125th Birthday Anniversaray include:
South Florida's Annual Marcus Garvey Birthday Celebrations & "LIONSPLASH" at FMU - August 17-18
The Launch of the "AfricanAugust17Movement," at FMU, August 17.
(Celebrating the August 17 Birthday of Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II, Marcus Garvey, and Crown Prince Zera Yacob, grandson of Haile Selassie I)
A Mini Film Festival, at Florida Memorial University (FMU), Miami Gardens. August 17.
The Annual Marcus Garvey Birthday Lecture & Community Forum, at FMU, August 17-18
The Launch of the Marcus Garvey Rasta Folk Festival - August 31.
PHOTO NOTES: Mr. Pharaoh Shabaka
, CEO, NileValleyTV.com, and AfricanHollywood, (www.africanhollywood.com
). Professor Donald Jones,
Professor of Law, University of Miami. MGCC-SFL Advisor, Marcus Garvey Trial Project. Mr. Vernon Martin,
Director, Student Activities, Florida Memorial University, Co-Host of "LionSplash" at the Annual Marcus Garvey Birthday Celebrations (AMGBC). Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan
, District 1, Miami-Dade County Commission. Ras Don Rico Ricketts,
Founder/Chairman, The Marcus Garvey Celebrations Committee -South Florida (MGCC-SFL).
Founder/Host, South Florida’s Annual Marcus Garvey Birthday Celebrations (AMGBC). Mr. Geoffrey Philp,
The Marcus Garvey Celebrations Committee – Marcus Garvey Exoneration Petition Project. Mr. Benjamin Essien,
UPPAC Member, Nigerian-American Community Supporter & Sponsor of the AMGBC. Emekan Afamefuna,