With all of the pardons granted by our soon-to-be fellow President Barack Obama, the family of Marcus Garvey is asking and urging him to exonerate Garvey before his term is complete. If you aren't aware, Marcus Garvey was a pioneering figure of the early 20th century who led a mass Pan-African Movement, inspiring further leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela to do the same. This human rights champion stood boldly and beautifully against all efforts to denigrate the African American community. He is the name behind "Black is Beautiful." His risky efforts inspired our nation and its many African American leaders to promote African Americans and a black nation, where everyone was equal to one another. He began a movement to which he called "Garveyism," where he established a philosophy of social, economic, and political freedom for African Americans. A determined and thorough Garvey is known for many things, including his participation in founding the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.)in 1912, which had a goal of uniting all of the African diaspora.
Now that we put some information into the air, let's get back to Obama granting Garvey's pardon. You see, this all came about because back in 1919, Garvey established the Black Star Line, a steamship enterprise that allowed for the transportation of goods and services and for African Americans to maneuver between Africa and America. In 1922, he along with a few other members of the U.N.I.A. were charged with mail fraud within shipping enterprise. Further on in 1923, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison but was released in 1927. Now, here's the kicker: While in prison, Garvey claimed he was victimized by political miscarriages of justice, but of course, he was ignored.
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Today, his family is urging Obama to extend his pardoning methods to Garvey himself today. Garvey's son, Dr. Julius Garvey, made the request for a posthumous pardon firsthand. During an interview with Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Dr. Julius Garvey states: You know, from our perspective, "pardon" means that somebody has committed something, and you’re pardoning them, but we don’t think he has committed any crime. So, while we have to accept a pardon, we think it’s an exoneration, because the evidence, as presented to justify the pardon, shows that there was no crime and it was a political setup. So, we’re hoping that the president understands it from that perspective and that he will use the executive privilege within the last few weeks that are left, in terms of his office, to grant that pardon.
During the interview, it is obvious that Dr. Julius Garvey and the rest of the Garvey have exhausted their options towards pardoning Marcus Garvey. Since the early 1980's, the Garvey family has asked Ronald Reagan to expunge Marcus Garvey's record...they have even gathered a number of true believers of Garvey to give testimonies to the House Judiciary Committee in hopes of exonerating Marcus Garvey. The political setup posed against Marcus Garvey has been obvious to his family. I mean, during his time, African American had it bad...being looked upon as simply nothing, uneducated, and unworthy. Whenever an African American ever presented a pinch of sophistication, they were always disregarded and somehow punished for their intellectuals.
The question that remains: Will President Obama grant Marcus Garvey's posthumous pardon before leaving office? There's only a short amount of days remaining before a decision could be made...