Do you remember the U.N.I.A. and The Garveys?
The song goes “Do you remember old Marcus Garvey?” and for far too many of us the response is “no.” And yet this man—as well as two remarkable sisters, Amy Ashwood and Amy Jacques—played a critical role in organizing what history has recorded as the largest international political movement of people of African descent. For twenty-three years, Africans on the Move has struggled to continue to spread the unifying message of the Universal Negro Improvement Association that we are one people with one history and one destiny.
This year’s GarveyFest celebration will be held on Fri., Aug. 19 and Sat., Aug. 20 at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center Street. ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. The theme for this GarveyFest is “Capitalism is the Disease!” The theme is an indictment of the capitalist system as the source of today’s political, economic and social crisis that is intensifying and destroying the quality of life of African-American people and the poor. This economic system’s motto is greed and not need. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Simultaneously, we must intensify the harnessing of our energies and embrace a socio-political- economic system that seeks to serve the welfare of the masses. And for African people in particular, a united socialist Africa is the cure!
On Friday, Aug. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., a video clip on the systemic crisis plaguing our youths and their families will be shown. Organizations such as Running Rebels, Campaign Against Violence, NAACP, The Black Health Coalition of WI, League of Youth Voters, Socialist Workers Party, Urban Underground, Compassion Ministries, Sistaz with Voicez, Welfare Warriors and the Pan-African Revolutionary Socialist Party will discuss the many problems that affect our people and pose solutions for them.
On Saturday, Aug. 20 GarveyFest kicks off with a parade at 1 p.m. followed by cultural performances by Nefertari Dancers and Drummers, Vodun/Hip Hop Aerobics, King Kamonzi, Viva Fidel, Young Sisters of YLA, Fiery Phoenix, Eric Disembwa and more. Included also will be a children’s corner of activities, an African Marketplace, and an African history jeopardy.