By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 9, 2016: Caribbean Americans have been slow to respond to a petition started to posthumously pardon Jamaican-born proponent of the Pan-Africanism movement, Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
A ‘We The People’ petition was recently started to get the White House to posthumously pardon Garvey for his wrongful conviction for use of the mails in furtherance of a scheme to defraud, but as of yesterday it had secured only 763 signatures, News Americas Now found.
The petition still needs a whopping 99,237 more signatures by September 28, 2016 to get a response from the White House.
Garvey is recognized as a fore bearer of the Civil Rights Movement by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X and his legacy today is celebrated globally.
The St. Ann, Jamaica-born Garvey was a political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a proponent of the Pan-Africanism movement, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).
He also founded the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line which promoted the return of the African Diaspora to their ancestral lands.
Sometime around November 1919, The Bureau of Investigation, now the FBI, began an investigation into the activities of Garvey and the UNIA. Although initial efforts by the BOI were to find grounds upon which to deport Garvey as “an undesirable alien,” a charge of mail fraud was brought against Garvey in connection with stock sales of the Black Star Line after the U.S. Post Office and the Attorney General joined the investigation.
On 23 June 1923, Garvey was sentenced to five years in prison.
His sentence was later commuted by President Calvin Coolidge on recommendation by the U.S. Attorney General and with the support of 9 of the 12 jurors who voted to convict and he was released in November 1927 and deported back to Jamaica.
Interested readers can sign the petition here.