Jamaica's first national hero was born in St. Ann's Bay on August 17, I887. In his youth Garvey migrated to Kingston where he worked as a printer and later published a small paper  The Watchman".


During his career Garvey travelled extensively throughout. many countries observing   the poor working and living conditions of black people.


In 1914 he started the Universal Negro Improvement Associa­tion (UNIA) in Jamaica.  The UNIA, which grew into an inter­national organisation, encour­aged self government for black people worldwide; self-help eco­nomic projects; protest against racial discrimination and cul­tural activities.


In 1916, Garvey went to the USA where he preached his doctrine of freedom to the oppressed blacks throughout the country. However, USA officials disap­proved of his activities and he was imprisoned, then deported.


Back in Jamaica in 1927, he con­tinued his political activity, forming.   the People's Political Party in 1929 He was unsuc­cessful in national elections but won a seat on the KSAC,   But the world of the 30s was not ready for Garvey’s  progressive ideas.   He left  Jamaica again, this time for England where he died in 1940.


His Body was  brought back to Jamaica in 1964 and buried in the National Heroes Park in Kingston


Garvey’s legacy can be summed up in the philosophy he taught, race, pride, the need for Afri­can unity; self-reliance: the need for black people to be organised and for rulers to govern on behalf of the working classes. Click here to see nominees


“A Fi Wi Heritage “ … JIS 1996