The Lioness On The Rise singer took to Instagram to share the sentiment that she will continue on her quest to keep the National Hero’s legacy alive.
“Happy birthday, Marcus Garvey. Today is your birthday and we’re here in Jamaica not even recognizing that it is your birthday. A lot of us are being mocked; a lot of us are being jeered; a lot of us have been scorned or silenced, or turned aside simply because we dare to stand up and speak the truth that you represented for so many, many, many years ago,” she said.
“But we just want to say today on your birthday that even though you might be dead to those that want you dead, for those of us who you did it for—you are alive in our hearts. We love you forever for what you did for us and as a mighty race, yes, we will stand up one day until our backs is against the wall.”
Added Ifrica: “I think it is solidly against the wall right now, but we not necessarily paying attention to the fact that it is. So, we just wanna say again happy birthday, Marcus and we’re so sorry for the condition that we’re in even though you have left so many examples for us to follow as a people. We’re still lacking, we’re still behind…we’re still not doing the unity that you asked of us. So, Africans at home and Africans abroad, start listening to what Marcus Garvey said to us because everything that he said, if it is practised, we can be the greatest nation of all nations which we already are. Big up yuhself, Marcus!”
Celebrated by Rastafarians as a prophet, Garvey, was a leader of the Pan-Africanism movement and inspired the songs of numerous Reggae artists throughout the years, among them Burning Spear, Fred Locks and even Bob Marley.
Contrary to what the Times Like These singer said, several government ministers paid homage to Garvey earlier today. Leading the pack was Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange who, along with other parliamentarians, participated in a floral tribute at the National Heroes Park in Kingston, where he is interred.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness also paused to recognize Garvey via social media. Holness shared a clip of one of Garvey’s speeches, with the accompanying caption:
“Today, we celebrate the birthday of Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a visionary leader who passionately championed empowerment for the black community. His teachings and actions ignited a powerful sense of self-worth and cultural pride, motivating countless individuals to embrace their roots and face challenges with resilience. As we commemorate Marcus Garvey’s life and his contributions, let us recommit ourselves to upholding his ideals of unity, heritage, and strength. #Jamaica #MarcusGarvey 🇯🇲”
Leader of the Opposition Mark Golding also shared his two cents in a lengthy post hailing the great leader.
For his part, he highlighted ways in which citizens and the government can incorporate Garvey’s teachings for the betterment of society.
“As we celebrate the life of The Rt Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey let us also put words to action. The best way we can honour Marcus is to utilise his philosophy and opinions in a deliberate and strategic way through the educational system to transform negative and dysfunctional behaviours so that a new generation of young Jamaicans emerges who embrace positive values and attitudes of discipline, personal responsibility, self-belief and self-awareness. That is the right direction to take,” he said, in part.
Over the decades, many Rastafarian singers have interpolated quotes from The Philosophy and Opinion of Marcus Garvey, into their songs, the most famous of which is Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.
Burning Spear shot to superstardom after releasing an entire album titled Marcus Garvey in 1975.
Reggae singer Fred Locks also achieved huge success with his 1976 single titled Black Star Liners, which has been dubbed one of “the most important songs in reggae music of the 1970s”. It was based on Garvey’s shipping line Black Star Liner which the. St Ann native had established to facilitate the transportation of goods and people of African descent to the Motherland, as part of the Back-to-Africa movement.
There were also other songs from Johnny Clarke and the Agrovators with Poor Marcus; Culture also released a song titled, Marcus while The Visionaries recorded Marcus Garvey. Perfect also penned a song titled Black Marcus while Third World recorded Man of Nobility in 1987. Tarrus Riley was also in the mix with Love Created I.
The 1977 Reggae album by Culture, Two Sevens Clash, also featured a song titled Black Starliner Must Come.