Marcus Garvey Jr., son of civil rights chief, dies in Wellington

WELLINGTON – Marcus Garvey Jr., a civil rights activist and son of a Jamaican national hero who led the black nationalist movement in the United States, died in Wellington on December 8, according to media reports, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was 90 years old.

Garvey Jr., who retired to Wellington in 2002 and lived in The Isles neighborhood on Lake Worth Road, continued the work of his father, widely recognized as the forefather of the civil rights movement and the inspiration for personalities like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Garvey Jr. and his wife, Jean, had been married for more than 30 years, she said in a statement to the Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.

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His departure leaves “a void that cannot be filled and he will be greatly missed by numerous family members, friends and colleagues from around the world in many places where he has left indelible marks,” she told The Gleaner.

Garvey Jr. is survived by his wife, according to an obituary from the Palms West funeral home in Royal Palm Beach. Son Colin Garvey; Son Kyle (Sekou) Garvey; Daughter Michelle (Hugh) Morris; Brother dr Julius (Connie) Garvey; Grandsons Merissa (Richard) Garvey-Harris, Amy Garvey, Jaime Garvey, and Carrington Morris; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

According to the funeral home, Garvey will be buried in the cemetery of Our Lady Queen of Peace on Southern Boulevard in Royal Palm Beach.

Garvey Jr. was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and followed in his father’s footsteps for many years. He has lectured in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, The Gleaner reported.

He also worked as an electrical engineer, The Gleaner reported.

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The elder Garvey, who died in England in 1940, was a black nationalist who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Back to Africa movement. He believed that blacks would never experience justice in predominantly white societies and that blacks should return to Africa.

Garvey Sr. and members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association created the Pan-African flag with three thick red, black, and green stripes. The red stands for the common blood of all, the black for the African people and green for the fertility and growth of Africa.

His name is often mentioned in the same breath as Frederick Douglass, Dr. King, Malcolm X and WEB DuBois mentioned.

Garvey Jr. headed the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the 1990s, the Palm Beach Post reported in 2008, when family and friends gathered at Garvey’s Wellington home to see then-US Senator Barack Obama become the first black man President of the United States was elected.

He already had Alzheimer’s then, but his wife told The Post that he saw the importance of the moment.

“He had tears on his cheeks. That told me he really understands the size, ”Jean Garvey told The Post.

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