Calls for a Marcus Garvey Square

Calls for a Marcus Garvey Square
Danielle Jones

The Jamaica Progressive League is calling for the renaming of the Williams Bridge Square to be known as Marcus Garvey Square, which is located at the junction of the Gun Hill and White Plains roads.

On Saturday, Aug. 19 in the Bronx, New York, there was a rededication and recommitment for the Marcus Garvey legacy to be reignited.

The League is seeking petitions from residents to have the area called the Marcus Garvey Square, with full signage at all corners of the square. President of the Bronx based, Jamaica Progressive League, Sadie Campbell, said the impact Garvey’s work has on Black people and the oppressed in the world are reasons why the Jamaica Progressive League seeks this change, that the William Bridge Square should be renamed. In addition, times have changed she noted and “the community is now strongly Caribbean and African American so let it be a reflection of us.” Campbell stated in her opening remarks to those who gathered for the event at the Williams Bridge Square.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey was certainly one of the most influential persons of his time. He was a Pan Africanist who believed in education for the Black race across the globe. Marcus Garvey also established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) which is dedicated to racial pride and economic-self reliance, an organization which still functions. Now, after the hundred and thirtieth year of his birth, in St. Ann, Jamaica, several people are calling for the rekindling of his work and that his legacy should continue.

Also participating were some Bronx state and New York City officials which included Bronx NY state Senator, Jamaal Bailey, who commended the idea as an excellent one and sees the move as being vibrant for the community. He called for the support of the petition, acknowledging that it is a step in helping to establish the Marcus Garvey Square. “Set the trend to get the next generation involved. Nothing that is reflective of us is in the community the signage would be a reminder to us of Garvey’s work and legacy,” Senator Bailey announced.

Brian Milford, special assistant to Bronx City Councilman, Andy King representing the 12th District, also pleaded to the community residents to sign the petition. “The signage is needed to help propel the work of Marcus Garvey,” he said. Milford added, “the education on the work of Marcus Garvey should continue especially for the young” Milford noted. Danielle Jones, representative from the office of the New York State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli was also in attendance and endorsed the call for the signage for a Marcus Garvey Square.

Some stalwarts from the Marcus Garvey Movement who believe that Garvey’s work should live on included businessman and attorney at law, Hugh Campbell; Jose Richards, vice president of the Jamaica Progressive League and principal of the Garvey School in Coop City, Bronx, June O’Conner. The drive for the petitioning will continue through the office of the Jamaica Progressive League.