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Contextualizing Marcus Garvey’s influence on the 21st century

FeaturesContextualizing Marcus Garvey’s influence on the 21st century

by Emerson Guild

To: Horace Campbell

CC: Self-Help News

Sun. Feb. 4, 2024

Greetings, Brother Horace Campbell!

I pray that you and all your relations are well.

Many years ago, I had asked Ambassador Adalbert Tucker to contextualize Garvey’s influence on the 21st century. Time did not allow him to answer the question, but just before he died he deferred to you, and asked me to seek your advice on the CONTEXTUALIZATION OF MARCUS GARVEY’S INFLUENCE ON THE 21st CENTURY. I didn’t do it then, and he is an ancestor now. Please allow me to pose that question to you at this time, and thank you in advance for your consideration. 

Please allow me to pose my own understanding and to contextualize the influence of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA-ACL on the African Descendant story in Belize. I will quote from Amandala newspaper editor Evan X Hyde’s editorial of Wednesday, April 19th, 2006, as a rationale: “This country and its educational institutions simply accepted Hayne’s lyrics without delving further into who this prolific British Honduran was. In so doing, a grave injustice was done to this man, his work and the philosophy of black internationalism that he espoused under the banner of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).” How much longer is it going to be before the Belizean People and Government of Belize take on the mantle of our contributions to BLACK INTERNATIONALISM THEN AND NOW???  

It has taken us some time, but in the final year 2024 of the United Nations declared “DECADE OF AFRICAN DESCENDANTS 2015-2024,” we now better understand, and are better able to use the processes of the international platform to aid us in using the methodology of Resolution (68/237), adopted on 23 December 2013. The theme of the International Decade is: “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development” in Belize. Marcus Garvey disciples in Belize are actively engaged in the work of re-establishment of Marcus Garvey’s UNIA-ACL in its global ONE UNIA-ACL initiative. In Belize we have done and will continue to do everything to share information and gain the respect of the Belizean People and Government of Belize. Based on the record of our work we have been ignored, but we are expecting that under our current understanding of the United Nations mandates, that this will change. 

The continuing controversy surrounding the Isaiah Morter estate – the squatters at the Belize Liberty Hall million-dollar property at #86 Barrack Road in Belize City and the Isaiah Morter legacy as described in E. David Cronon’s book, “Black Moses,” is unacceptable.  Isaiah Morter bequeathed in his last will and testament to the UNIA-ACL an estate consisting of a banana and coconut plantation of 210 square miles, and 21 pieces of improved real estate in Belize, at the time valued at [US] $300,000. The result of my research leads me to pose some questions:

Because Marcus Garvey’s widow, Mrs. Amy Jacques Garvey, wrote the following in GARVEY & GARVEYISM, published in 1970 by The MacMillan Company (pages 260, 261):

“In September of 1939, the Supreme Court of British Honduras gave its final decision in the celebrated Isaiah Morter will case, which had its beginning in 1922 when Mr. Morter came from Belize for the convention and for medical attention. When he died, he left a will in which he bequeathed almost all his estate to the U.N.I.A. for African redemption. The question whether African redemption involved improper activities had such a bearing on the whole case, that it went from court to court for over twelve years, even after the will was probated. Finally, the court awarded judgement in favor of a U.N.I.A. Inc. of New York City, which was represented by one man, without members, and with no program for African redemption.”

Was the Trinidadian, Dr. Lionel Francis, who from the 1940s to 1961 headed the UNIA, the same person who later is a member of the colonialist National Party that opposed the anti-colonialist movement and People’s United Party, and was a part of J. EDGAR HOOVER’S (Colonial) PLOT TO WRECK GARVEY AND THE UNIA-ACL??

Was Sir Herbert Kortright McDonnell Sisnett (1862–3 June 1937), the British lawyer and colonial judge also a part of the PLOT TO WRECK MARCUS GARVEY AND THE UNIA-ACL??

As we review history, we see that Judge Sisnett was the son of G. W. Sisnett, Rector of St. George’s, Barbados; educated in Barbados at The Lodge School and Harrison College, before being called to the English bar by the Inner Temple in 1896. He was Registrar General and District Commissioner, Belize, British Honduras, in 1907–12; he also acted as Attorney General and Chief Justice of British Honduras on several occasions, including the time of the1919 EX-SERVICES MEN RIOTS; leaves British Honduras to become the Stipendiary Magistrate in British Guiana, and also acted as Attorney General of British Guiana in 1920–21. This is an interesting man, because he was also senior Puisne Judge in Jamaica during 1921–22, before coming back to British Honduras, and being appointed Chief Justice of British Honduras in 1922. Was this a calculated appointment to secure this judgement? 
He was knighted in 1927 for his works and retired in 1931.

We the representatives of the UNIA-ACL in Belize – Acting UNIA-ACL President, Ms. Karen Taylor, and UNIA-ACL’s 3rd Assistant President General, L. Emerson Guild – are now looking forward to GOB’s and its Supreme Court’s assistance in righting the wrong of British Honduras Supreme Court Judge Sissnet’s decision in the case, “Universal Negro Improvement Association, Inc. , and others – Appellant Versus Ann Rebecca Morter – Respondent, decided in 1928, overturned by the Privy Council in England.” We have presented The UNIA-ACL President General, Mr. Cleophus Miller, Jr. with his credentials and historic documents of the UNIA-ACL Unification Conference Process 2007-2010 to Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History. Since this current People’s United Party Government came to power, we have made appointments through hand delivered notices by myself to the NICH office, and are yet to receive a response.  

It has taken us fifteen years, but we have officially started the process to get the state to help us to evict non-UNIA members from the UNIA Liberty Hall in Belize. Finally, after many years of research, we in Belize are moving forward. Doing Garvey.

I continue to pray that we remain strong and committed to our LIBERATION STRUGGLE – forward ever!!!

We can all see that Marcus Garvey’s WHIRLWIND IS BLOWING STRONGER AND STRONGER. The African and Indigenous Family in Belize are engaged in a difficult but organic, peaceful process – “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development”.

The redeemed living man, woman and our children, doing the work to reclaim and maintain our human rights and dignity intact, must not be feared as we pose questions, because every assumption we hold about WHO AND WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW, IS NOW SUSPECT.

I have added two short but historic presentations by Professor Robert Hill as information sharing and encouragement for the Belizeans who may not have known of Belize’s contribution to Garveyism and the global Pan-African movement. As we look at these videos, we can all reflect and remind Belize and Belizeans of the birth of the People’s United Party as an anti-colonial movement. The Belizean People’s story of resistance to colonialism is founded in the politics of national, social and cultural organizations – the People’s United Party, which fractures into two and creates the Philip Goldson led National Independence Party and the George Price led People’s United Party; the Evan X Hyde led United Black Association for Development; We The People; and NGOs such as the National Garifuna Council, National Kriol Council.

This story must be told to our children, so that they can transfer that culture and intelligence to their children. The Belizean People at home and abroad of African and Indigenous ancestry and everybody nationalized in Belize must become purposeful.

You all know those who are doing the work for self-determined, sustainable social and economic development, and have been swimming upstream for years. It is time to work shoulder to shoulder in the 21st century.



L. Emerson Guild
Marcus Garvey Disciple
One God One Aim One Destiny!!!

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