August 17, 2012 marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. Geoffrey Philp recently announced that the Rootz Foundation Inc. will mark this milestone anniversary with a presentation by celebrated historian and Garvey disciple Dr. Runoko Rashidi. Dr. Rashidi is an Ambassador for the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the organization Garvey’s founded. The 2012 Rootz Extravaganza will take place on Friday, August 17, 2012 (“Marcus Garvey Appreciation Day”), at the Joseph C. Carter Park, located at 1450 West Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. marcus_garvey_1924-08-05

Activities will include audio-visual screenings, photographic displays, live music by guest artists, and African Dancers. Patrons will be able to sign a petition to President Obama requesting the exoneration of Marcus Garvey.

As Philps writes, “Dr. Rashidi is a public lecturer, research specialist, writer and world traveler who concentrates on the African foundations of world civilizations. His specialty is the African presence in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, and he has coordinated numerous historic educational group tours to locations all over the world.” Dr. Rashidi is the author of Introduction to the Study of African Classical Civilizations and co-editor (with Dr. Ivan Van Sertima) of The African Presence in Early Asia.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero, was born in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica on August 17, 1887. The publisher, orator, journalist and businessman was a black nationalist and Pan African who built the largest mass movement of black people – the United Negro Improvement Association — in history. He called for black unity globally and an end to colonialism. Garvey was jailed in 1925 after being convicted of mail fraud (related to the sale of stock in the Black Star Line), but his sentence was reduced and he was deported to Jamaica two years later. Garvey eventually moved to London, England, where he died in 1940.

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