The second annual Marcus Garvey Legacy Cruise set sail on December 5 from Ft Lauderdale, FL making stops at Labadie, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica, which is where Garvey was born in 1887 and where his descendants live today.
The cruise is a fundraiser for the African Socialist International and honors the life and work of Marcus Garvey.
In the 1920s, Garvey led an organization of 11 million African people from around the world under the banner of “Africa for Africans, those at home and those abroad.”
A mixture of fun, sun, camaraderie and political education, the Cruise brought together Africans and others from such places as California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Connecticut, New York and the Tampa Bay Area.
One of the highlights of the trip was the celebration at the Garvey home in St. Ann’s Bay, an opportunity that no other cruise offers.
Cruise participants were welcomed by Garvey’s great-grand-daughter Misty and local children who recited a poem.
Honoring Garvey and his message
During the visit, Cruise member and well-known Tampa area actor Ron-Bobb Semple gave a powerful and moving rendition of Garvey’s 1925 message from the Atlanta Prison where he was sentenced following the U.S. government attack on the Garvey Movement.
Standing on the steps leading up to the Garvey house, Semple spoke these famous words of Garvey: “When I am dead wrap the mantle of the Red, Black and Green around me, for in the new life I shall rise with God’s grace and blessing to lead the millions up the heights of triumph with the colors that you well know. Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for…I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life.”
Following the Garvey speech, Chairman Omali Yeshitela gave a fiery presentation, calling on everyone to live up to the words of Garvey and complete the struggle that Garvey and so many other Africans have fought for over so many years.
African people must rise up to liberate Africa and African people worldwide in our lifetime, Chairman Omali stated.
Organization is key, he pointed out, reminding all that the African Socialist International unites African people everywhere and carries on the legacy of the Garvey Movement to win Africa for Africans regardless of where they have been dispersed around the world.
In addition to the event at the Garvey home, Cruise participants visited the Marcus Garvey Technical School in St Ann’s Bay where they were welcomed by the assistant principal and students.
Political education and fun
Dynamic political education sessions and discussions were held on two afternoons at sea.
In one of these sessions, Semple gave an hour-long excerpt from his one man show, “The Spirit of Marcus Garvey,” where he acts out many Garvey speeches and talks.
During these lively sessions, Chairman Omali expounded on many critical issues of the day, giving deep analysis that informed all those present on the understandings needed to transform the conditions of African people today.
The Chairman covered such topics as the African nation, the question of racism versus colonialism, the current crisis of imperialism, the relationship of white people to the struggle for African liberation and why we must be organized to win.
In addition to the study, there was also plenty of time for fun with many of the Cruise participants taking part in activities such as snorkeling in the coral reef off the coast of Haiti, swimming, jogging, enjoying great food, dancing, karaoke nights and just hanging out on the decks under the warm Caribbean sun.
Cruise member Steve came from Philadelphia, saying that he was drawn to the Cruise because of the event at the Garvey home.
Valerie from Detroit and Adella from Indiana both said they joined the Cruise because they knew something about the Uhuru Movement, regularly read UhuruNews.com and found the Marcus Garvey Legacy Cruise to be a wonderful way to learn more about the Movement.
Cruise can expect more participants next year
Everybody who participated said they plan to join the Cruise again next year and bring along friends and family.
African People’s Socialist Party USA Deputy Chairwoman Ona Zene’ Yeshitela first came up with the concept of the Marcus Garvey Legacy Cruise a couple of years ago and she was thrilled at the outcome this year. “Next year we expect to have at least 100 people on the Cruise and in a couple of years we will fill the whole ship,” she stated.
Party Administrative Assistant Tammy Harris did an excellent job coordinating the Cruise activities, which added so much to the vacation.
The plan for next year’s Cruise includes a return to the Garvey home with an even bigger public event celebrating Garvey’s life and the struggle for African liberation today, along with a stop in Mexico to visit the Mayan ruins.
Don’t miss the Marcus Garvey Legacy Cruise in December 2012. The prices are reasonable and there is a payment plan, so start saving now. To reserve your spot now go to http://asiuhuru.org/cruise/.
One Africa! One Nation!