Today as I sit on my ass waiting for mail that will not be delivered because it’s Presidents Day I am wondering if Presidents Day is necessary especially with Black History Month being recently criticized for relevance. I really do not see the point for this nation to remember leaders of an institution built on oppression, blood tears bodies.
Since I have been conscious of the Presidential office, we have had 3 losers in office: Ronald Reagan, George Bush & George W Bush. I am giving Bill Clinton an honorary pass only because many jokingly refer to him as the 1st Black president.
While I think Presidents Day is unnecessary, I guess if I were a government worker I would love it just for the day off.
With this said; I celebrate Presidents Day 2007 in the name of Civil Rights Pioneer & Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey!
Go and Win
Ye Negroes of the world, another day has come,?To test your worth of racial character;?Your lives and homes, you see, are threatened everywhere;?The time is now for you to do and then to dare.?Your youth must struggle with the facts as they are seen,?And blaze the trail for home and life redeemed:?Your hope, I claim, is in the courage of the time,?So go ye forth and win the battle that’s sublime. — 1933 Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey Bio (in case you are not aware):
Marcus Mosiah Aurelius Garvey, Jr. was born in St. Ann’s Bay, on the northern coast of Jamaica on August 17, 1887. A short, stocky, largely self-educated but supremely confident black man. Garvey spent most of his years as a printer. He established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), August 1, 1914. The motto became: “One God, One Aim, One Destiny.” With the need for financial funding and the desire to meet other black leaders, Marcus set his eyes on America. Garvey arrived in Harlem on March 23, 1916. He soon established UNIA branch in the states. At its peak, the UNIA boasted a membership of over 4 million strong. The Black Star Line was one of Garvey’s goal. Here was an enterprise belonging to blacks, operated by and for them, that gave even the poorest black the chance to become a stockholder in a big business enterprise.
This was unheard of during these times, yet Garvey, always a visionary, pushed ahead. The Black Star Line was established as a commercial venture, and Garvey did not intend, as his critics sometimes claimed, that the Line would merely be a vehicle for the transportation of all Negroes back to their African homeland. With such large following and such ambitious ventures, Marcus soon became a threat to other more well established “black” leaders.
Garvey was deemed a threat to the “system”, he was soon convicted on trumped up mail fraud charges. After serving a brief tenure in prison he was deported back to Jamaica in early December 1927. He spent his last years traveling the Caribbean and Europe, always preaching about Black Pride. He Died in England on June 10, 1940…….he was only “53 years old.” Marcus Garvey’s is buried in the Marcus Garvey Memorial, National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Check out this story done today on the NPR Program News & Notes that ranked the Amreican Presidents based on a racial view point. Race and Ranking the Best and Worst Presidencies