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February 1, 2022



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Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, (NY-09) issued the following statement on the petition kick-off drive for the exoneration of The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Sr. in partnership with The New York Carib News Community Foundation:

“They say Marcus Garvey came to America to turn Black people’s wishbone into a backbone. And so, today, it is upon Black people to be the backbone for Marcus Garvey by demanding the full exoneration of all the unjust charges cast against him by the U.S. government. Garvey took on the battle to help liberate Black people from the clutches of an oppressive and racist world. He was an inspirational teacher, journalist, entrepreneur and moving orator who defied the onslaught of a hostile world, to help steer the fight for Black freedom, pride, self-determination, including the pursuit of justice and equality.” said Congresswoman Clarke.

“Marcus Garvey was the critical link in the national struggle for human rights, the Master Teacher of self love and self respect and a World Leader like no other. I was raised under the teachings of Marcus Garvey and Pan-Africanism. I was raised to believe that we must come together to do the necessary work to improve our communities. And I was raised with the Garvey commitment to social service, including an abundance of faith in God. Black people stand with a strong backbone today, as dreams of our ancestors, because of the teaching of the great Marcus Garvey. Garvey taught us to love ourselves and to honor our contributions to civilization, and reclaim our legacy as a people. It’s time to reclaim his legacy. It’s time we set the records straight and tell the truth about his legacy and love for Black people.”

“In 1922, six years after Marcus Garvey arrived in America, America turned against him. The FBI had grown fearful of Garvey gaining influence and galvanizing ideas of Black liberation and advancement. On a politically motivated charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, he was arrested. His trial’s racist jurors and judge left no opportunity for innocence. Marcus Garvey died in 1940, a convicted criminal in the eyes of American justice, or lack thereof. Like so many innocent Black men before him, and so many innocent Black men after: American justice has been unjust.”

“Last year, I introduced a Resolution, H.Res. 148 to highlight Garvey’s accomplishments as a human rights activist before Congress, America, and the world. This resolution exonerates Garvey of his unfounded charges and calls upon President Biden to recognize and denounce the racist smears against him and his legacy. The world deserves to know the truth about Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The world deserves to know the truth about our African American history. And the world deserves to know the truth about Black history. America must right these wrongs and restore Garvey’s legacy. And the time to do it is now,” concluded Clarke.


Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Taskforce on Immigration, a Senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and a Senior Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

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