Marcus Garvey Rootz Extravaganza presents Lifetime Achievement Award

By Dr. Marcia Magnus

LAUDERDALE LAKES – “Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will!” are some of the most often quoted words of Marcus Garvey.  When the 22-month old drummer, fully bedecked in her pamper took the stage, she delighted the Garveyites in attendance at the 2017 Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday August 17, 2017.

Marcus Garvey scholar and University of the West Indies (UWI) Emeritus Professor Rupert Lewis, was presented with the 2017 Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award at the Marcus Garvey Rootz Extravaganza on Thursday, August 17, 2017.

The 70-year old UWI professor and author earned the Lifetime Achievement Award for his longstanding contribution to the literary scholarship about Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero.

Marcus Garvey Rootz Extravaganza presents Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Rupert Lewis (C) receiving his Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award from Rootz Foundation President Douggie Smith (R) and Vice President I. Jabulani Tafari (L)
(Photo credit Uriah Bennett)

Professor Lewis is the author and editor of some eight books and numerous articles about Marcus Garvey and the Garvey movement.  He is Chairman of the Friends of Liberty Hall, the historic site of Garvey’s Jamaican headquarters at 76 King Street in Kingston; and he is also a member of the Council of the Institute of Jamaica.

Besides being the guest honoree, Professor Lewis was also the main speaker at the 2017 Rootz Extravaganza which was held at the Lauderdale Lakes Cultural and Library and Educational Center in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.

The patron of the event was Jamaican Consul General in Miami, Mr. Franz Hall, who warmly welcomed Professor Lewis (his former Lecturer) to Florida and greeted the full-capacity audience on behalf of the Jamaican government.

After a montage featuring over thirty previous Rootz Extravaganza awardees, the four 2017 Marcus Garvey Community Service awardees were announced. They were clinical social worker Keachia Bowers; community activists Jynsen Henry and Hope Gary; and retired nurse manager Carol Gordon.

One of the emotional highlights of the Marcus Garvey Rootz Extravaganza was the screening of an audio-visual presentation entitled “100 Years of Racial Lynching”, which graphically illustrated some of the lynching, burning, bombing and other forms of racial terrorism inflicted upon African/Black people in America, Africa and the Caribbean.

Entertainment for the Marcus Garvey birthday celebration was provided by vocalist Kristine Alicia, veteran guitarist Eugene Grey, the up and coming soloist Revalation, and Drumming Fingers – a children’s drum and dance troupe.

The youngest members of the Drumming Fingers drum and dance troupe performing at the 2017 Marcus Garvey Rootz Extravaganza (Photo credit – Gail Zucker)

The Rootz Extravaganza is an annual celebration of the birth of Marcus Garvey has been presented in South Florida for over 10 years.  This year’s celebration marks the 130th birthday of Jamaica’s first national hero.  The tribute was staged by the Fort Lauderdale-based Rootz Foundation Inc. in association with the City of Lauderdale Lakes.

Dr. Marcia Magnus is the Founder and Chairperson of the Caribbean American Politically Active Citizens since 2000


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