SOAD’s Inaugural Marcus Garvey Day Celebration a Success


In the aftermath of the Marcus Garvey Day (August 17), which is now on the State of the African Diaspora (SOAD) official calendar, we would like to thank Ambassador Sharon Parris-Chambers, who organized the event, which was a great success.

The day was marked by many highlights such as the panel discussion on women in the Back to Africa movement, the panel discussion on the Exodus Alliance, the alliance working to return to Africa, the documentary by RJ Mahdi and the presentation of the latest issue of the Label Diplomatique, the Pan-African magazine, which will also publish the panel presentations.

Musical interludes animated the meeting. Furthermore, as commemoration should not be a substitute for action, but rather a springboard for action, several concrete announcements were made, such as the trips to Africa organized by Lady Yaa, the Minister of Tourism of the State of the African Diaspora, trips that are naturally in line with the “Back to Africa” vision championed by Marcus Garvey.

But the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the message delivered by Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, and an Ambassador-at-Large of the State of the Diaspora.

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Marcus Garvey Bust will be placed in the African Union Headquarters


The State of the African Diaspora expresses its gratitude to His Excellency, Chief Charumbira, President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) of the African Union (AU), who has accepted to have a representation of Marcus Garvey in Ethiopia and in South Africa, Headquarters of the AU and of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

As a matter of fact, the campaign was initiated by Dr Julius Garvey, Marcus Garvey’s son, a few months ago. Being an ambassador at large of the State of the African Diaspora (SOAD), Dr Garvey asked Dr Tin, Prime Minister of SOAD, to also support this initiative. During the Marcus Garvey Day, celebrated on August 17th, Dr Tin officially endorsed the campaign, and the day after, wrote to Chief Charumbira, who is also the co-chair of the Royal Chamber of SOAD.

Chief Charumbira’s answer to Dr Tin was very quick and very positive. First of all, he paid a tribute to the Pan-African spirit delivered by the great Marcus Garvey. Indeed, Marcus Garvey is great not only for his vision that created the movement  “Back to Africa”, but also for his capacity to mobilise. His organisation had more than 6 millions members in more than 40 countries, in Africa and in the Diaspora. It was the biggest black organisation ever.

Chief Charumbira made it very clear : "Please count me and Pan-African Parliament as having accepted the posting both at AU and PAP of the portrait of Marcus Garvey."

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House committee approves bill to study slavery reparations for first time


By Savanna Berhmann - USA Today

WASHINGTON – Legislation to create a commission to study slavery reparations for Black Americans cleared a House committee Wednesday in a historic vote — making its way to the full House for the first time more than three decades after it was initially introduced. 

The legislation, HR 40, was first introduced 30 years ago, and now faces a full House vote. Should it pass the House, the measure would go to the evenly divided Senate. 

The House Judiciary Committee voted 25-17 Wednesday to advance the bill.

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Is Jamaica and the Wider Caribbean Rejecting the Cuban Vaccine?


Que Pasa con el Caribe y Africa? By Felipe Noguera, Deputy Coordinator of the Caribbean Regional Coordinating Committee of the Pan Africanist and Indigenous Movement.

"Love gives and forgives. Selfishness gets and forgets."

In which category do we, the people of Africa and the Caribbean fall? Can we express loving appreciation or do we consign ourselves to selfish ingratitude?

Has any country in modern history, outside of the continent of Africa, sacrificed more in life, time, blood, and resources for the liberation of Africa from the shackles of apartheid and domestic settler colonialism than Cuba?

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Music is Not the Only Monster


It has sauntered to many people’s doorsteps and others sit in terror as they hope that they will never one day be as unfortunate. The hope is that luck will not run out on that 84 year old grandmother or a relative trying to enjoy a church service. Theorists like Emile Durkheim and Robert Merton have posited that a certain amount of crime can be beneficial to society since it has the ability to improve social integration and social regulation. Whatever cap the sociologists thought of, it appears to have already been exceeded. Therefore, in an attempt to safeguard life and livelihoods, home and business owners try to protect their properties with cameras and authorities prolong ZOSOs, but none seems to be a perfect fix. When options have ran out, blame is casted, sometimes not as accurately as it should. As such, music, particularly dancehall music, has been considered the scapegoat in the issue, as the cause of crime.

Professor Donna Hope, artistes and loyal fans of the music have made attempts to salvage the reputation of the genre. The professor posited that crime and violence goes well beyond dancehall - “The problem why the music is always blamed is because dancehall has that connection with the hardcore lifestyle of Jamaica that involves guns. Dancehall comes from the garrisons, the ghettos where the guns play a big part. A lot of artistes grew up in these communities where they saw a lot of the things, they sing about playing out before their eyes.” The statement above may be suggestive that the music is a reflection of what is already happening and not the other way around.

The professor, in another instance assured that dancehall artistes are not role models for her son. “His role modelling was first of all within the family.” Artistes have said they are just entertainers and should not be considered as agents of socialization and role models.  Recording artiste Konshens, in an interview conducted by the Loop group, “mi shy weh from it because is a whole heap a responsibility fi tek on a role like dat or fi she dat dis is yuh title, icon or role model.” Really, is it the artiste who decides if he is a role model, or is it his fans who make that decision? According to Ding Dong, another recording artiste, “yuh cannot view yuhself as a icon or role model. It is supn weh yuh get it from di love a di people or yuh circle if somebody look up to yuh its based on what yuh doing.” It is likely that despite who the artiste thinks he is, the audience’s perception of him decides how he is seen and perhaps how his music is used. The artiste does not have direct control over this, but does it mean the potency of his influence is lessened?

If it is to be agreed upon that the music and an artiste does not have an impact on societies’ beliefs and actions, it might also be agreeing that gospel songs cannot set the tone for worship, love songs have no romantic effect and that Dexta Daps’ concerts that have had women fawning over him, are not attributable to his sexually explicit music. Perhaps farther in memory is the rise in demand for the Clarks brand which many believed to have been because of Vybz Kartel’s ‘Clarks’ song.

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Defending Our Women, Girls and Children!


Kingston, Jamaica: Womanbition celebrates March, not just as International Women's Day, but a month where we are appealing to all women starting in Jamaica to come together and take a stand against crime and violence against our women and children.

Furthermore, this appeal comes in the wake of the murder of 20-year-old Accounting Clerk Khanice Jackson, missing 13-year-old Camperdown High School student Lameka Lamount since March 26, 2021, and visually impaired student Jasmine Dean who is still missing.

"Enough is enough; if our men can't protect us, if our government can't protect us, we MUST protect ourselves by whatever means necessary. We are the mothers, the caregivers, the sisters, the wives, the women who feel the pain from giving birth to burying in the dirt!"

These sentiments were uttered by an outraged mother who herself had been a victim of abuse. It is alarming to see that as women are being celebrated, they are also being killed. With this years' Women's Day theme "Choose To Challenge", Womanbition have chosen to challenge crime and violence, rape and any other form of abuse directed at women and children. We dare to do so through organized activism, awareness and standing up for justice.

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Montego Bay, St James (February 8, 2021). Woman shot in church while worshipping. 87 year old grandmother shot dead in Kingston. A little four year old shot to death in Trelawny due to a family dispute. All these fell crimes committed in a little country with a population of just about 3 million people. Lives lost daily due to the horrific disease of crime. Crime has a devastating impact on the families that are directly impacted, but by extension on the country as a whole. Crime impacts the country’s tourism product and leaves tourists frightened and scared to visit Jamaica. 

In an article in 2018, tourists from the United States of America were warned not to visit Jamaica, because of how dangerous it was and if they came, they were encouraged to stay within the confines of their hotels. 

This cripples the industry as many industries that are linked to tourists coming and exploring Jamaica will be directly impacted and impeded. Tourists who are adventurous and like to walk on the streets and interact with citizens who sell craft items or fruits will be scared to complete these activities as they believe they might be robbed or may be preyed upon. This causes the local citizens to lose funds as tourists stay within the walls of the hotels and make purchases through gift shops which shortens the value chain and reduces the income local artisans earn.

Other tourist attractions are also impacted as instead of utilizing outside tours, they utilize the activities that are established by the hotel. The original marketing tag line from My Jamaica Travel  had a warm appeal to lure visitors - “ Feel it, Taste It and Explore Jamaica.” There has been a paradigm shift in how visitors will experience our Paradise and it falls woefully short of the open invitation above.

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