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Will there be a pardon for Marcus Garvey?

PARDON: Garvey was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to five years in prison

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s pardon for boxing’s first black heavyweight champ has given fresh impetus to calls to offer a similar pardon to black civil rights hero Marcus Garvey.

Last week President Trump announced a pardon for Jack Johnson, who was the world heavyweight champion from 1908 until 1915.

Johnson was arrested in 1912 after taking his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron, across state lines.

He was convicted in 1913, but Cameron would later go on become his wife.

President Trump said the move corrected a historic US wrong to Jack Johnson.
He said: “I’ve issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon posthumously to Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. He served 10 months for what many view as a racially motivated injustice.”

However following Trump’s pardon of Johnson leading academics and equality campaigners took to social media saying that President Trump should also consider giving a similar pardon to Marcus Garvey.

Writing on Twitter, Greg Carr, chair of Howard University Department of Afro American Studies said: “Don’t be surprised, since Trump really hates Obama, if he might move to pardon Marcus Garvey and use that to trash Obama and trash the FBI for infiltrating the UNIA and for railroading Garvey on trumped-up charges in the first place.”

The black civil rights hero, inset left, arrived in the United States from Jamaica in 1916 having already founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association, which had millions of followers.

Garvey preached that the problems faced by black people all over the world could only be solved through black pride and self-reliance.

To ferry black people and cargo to Africa, Garvey launched a steam- ship line, which he called the Black Star Line.

The company sold stock for $5 (£3.80) a share, allowing black people to own a piece of the business.

However, the sale attracted the attention of the FBI after a newspaper article claimed that the US Department of Commerce had no re- cord of those ships.
Garvey, his treasurer and secretary were arrested and charged with using the Postal Service to defraud stockholders.

He was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to five years in prison.
Hopes were high last year among campaigners that former US President Barack Obama would issue a pardon to Garvey as one of his last acts of office, but this did not happen.

His son, Julius Garvey, who has long campaigned for a pardon for his father has said previously that the then-FBI Director J Edgar Hoover’s had an “obsession to neutralise the rise of a black liberator”.

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