by Howard Campbell
[WELLINGTON] – Being the first child of an icon, and one who bore his name, Marcus Garvey III had enormous shoes to fill. But that he did admirably, according to professor Rupert Lewis, his longtime friend.
Garvey, whose father Marcus senior founded the Pan African movement, died in Wellington, Florida on December 8 at age 90. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for 10 years.
A mathematician and physicist who lived in the United States for over 40 years, he established himself in those fields. Lewis, professor emeritus of political thought at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, stated that he was just as committed to preserving his father’s legacy of black empowerment.
“He was very much into black consciousness and carrying on his father’s work especially in a post-colonial context. He used Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana as reference points of what Marcus Garvey envisioned for Africa,” said Lewis.
Born in St. Ann parish, Jamaica, Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Kingston in 1914. He was its president at inception and until his death in London in 1940 at age 52.
Marcus Junior was born in Kingston in 1930, three years after his father was deported from the United States where he served two years in prison for mail fraud. His mother, Amy Jacques, was his father’s second wife.
He attended Calabar High School and earned a Arts degree from the University of London. His Master’s in Physics was from the University of the West Indies.
In the early 1970s, Marcus Garvey III published Black Man, a magazine that addressed issues affecting people of color.
He is survived by his wife Jean, brother Julius, two sons, a stepdaughter and four grandchildren.