Roots | Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., ONH

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., ONH

Jamaica’s First National Hero

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940) was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Black nationalist, orator, and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He was born as the youngest of eleven children in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, to Marcus Mosiah Garvey Sr., mason, and Sarah Jane Richards, a domestic worker.

In 1964, his remains were exhumed and taken to Jamaica. On Sunday, November 15, 1964, the Government of Jamaica declared Marcus Mosiah Garvey, ONH Jamaica’s first National Hero.

The Government of Jamaica ceremoniously re-interred him at a shrine in the National Heroes Park where he was given Jamaica’s highest honor, The Order of National Hero (ONH).

Garvey’s birthplace, 32 Market Street, St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, has a marker signifying it as a site of importance in the nation’s history. His likeness is on the 20-dollar coin and 25-cent coin. Garvey’s recognition is probably most significant in Kingston, Jamaica.

In London, a blue plaque was placed outside the house where Garvey once resided at 53 Talgarth Road, Kensington, and a second blue plaque was placed outside 2 Beaumont Crescent, London, the offices of the UNIA where Marcus Garvey and UNIA members conducted their work. There is also a small park named after him between North End Road and Hammersmith Road near Olympia, and a library in Tottenham.