Reggae in Alamar Honoring Marcus Garvey

Regina Cano

Marcus Garvey (1924). Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Apparently Alamar residents and everyone else interested will be able to enjoy a reggae concert in honor of the birth of Marcus Garvey.

This tribute, the first to occur in Cuba, will be held at the Alamar Amphitheatre on Friday, August 17, between 8:30 pm and 11:00 pm, with a cover change of 5.00 pesos MN.

This concert will feature a common musical style for groups of musicians from Havana who “have been working in one of the most representative genres in the Caribbean and one of the least promoted in Cuba.”

“Reggae’s influence and contributions to the new generation of popular music are our interests, as well as demonstrating samples of it exponents in Havana,” say the organizers in their promotional materials.

“The homage to the birth of Marcus Garvey” will be performed by “a group of artists and music promoters, and with the collaboration of the East Havana Municipal Department of Culture,” continues the publicity.

Something else…

According to a little known fact, Cuba was included on the route of the ships of the planned Black Star Line, envisioned by Garvey to return of blacks to Africa. This route included Santiago de Cuba and Banes (in Holguin), which were places where lived predominantly Anglo-Caribbean peoples and their descendants. These were places where Garvey’s idea of “Back to Africa” was best accepted when was in Cuba sometime around1921.

Garvey, who created the “Back-to-Africa” movement — a return to the ancestral land — founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the League of African Communities.

The surprising, interesting and good news is that Cuba is celebrating the birthday of Garvey — like in some other countries — to recall the passing through history of an idea, a hope or the illusion which involved blacks from the Americas, both as a protest against those who pulled them from their lands and as a challenge to reconstruct their own destinies.


3 thoughts on “Reggae in Alamar Honoring Marcus Garvey

  • And everything you have said lays at the root of amerikkkn oppression I am Cuban

  • “Garveyism” suffered two devastating historical blows, regarding the idea of returning to Africa. First: when it became public that his admired Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, relished and promoted black slavery in his country, same as any white settler on would do on American soil. Thus, the former Ras Tafari Makonnen, was nipping in the bud the dream of Africa as a land of redemption for his own race, a factor that modern Rastafarians have decided to ignore, their minds clouded by the Lion of Judea’s legend. Another element was the devastating, fratricidal war that engulfed Liberia (founded by former U.S. slaves) on the west coast of Africa, starting in the 80’s, which left a quarter million dead, proving that even in the absence of the white colonialists hatred among blacks could prosper as well. Despite being born with no colonial legacy in 1840, based on a political pattern of representative democracy, 80% of its population is now living below the poverty line, barely recovering from years of strife. Both examples should be sufficient to rule out a return to Africa as a solution to the problem of blacks in the New World. A different and more attainable end should be Garvey’s bet on supporting initiaves that might lead to improving the situation of blacks wordlwide.

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