Marcus Garvey', which will be used to educate students islandwide about Jamaica's first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
The production was launched at Palace Cineplex, Sovereign Centre, St Andrew yesterday ahead of a special cinema viewing slated for students from schools across the island.
The video chronicles the life and work of Marcus Garvey, his early years spent in St Ann's Bay through to his exploits in Kingston, where he came to seek employment and began his work of advocating for the coloured, poor and less-fortunate persons in Jamaica.
It also highlights his travels to Central America and the United States, where he continued to work for improvement in the lives of black people. The resistance Garvey encountered from the constituted authorities in Jamaica and abroad is also chronicled.
At the launch, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Sharon Hay Webster, said utilising a video to educate the current generation about Garvey will not only enlighten them about his history but teach identity, contribute to character building, provide courage, harness leadership skills and inspire youth to overcome challenges, among other attributes.
“More stories need to be told, and this starts a whole set of conversations that the Ministry of Education is engaging in by being associated with this, not just in terms of ensuring that the matter is recorded… but (by starting) a process of ensuring that our students recognise that our sense of history is not just about knowing the names of our heroes but more their life story,” Mrs. Hay Webster said.
She added that with the advancement of technology, the Ministry has adjusted its mandate for curriculum delivery to incorporate the use of video technology.
“The spaces in our classrooms have had to re-engage civics (and) re-engage our history, and this is why this project is so important. We need to understand where we are coming from, and that is the most important message coming out of this,” Hay Webster said.
Additionally, she said arising from the partnership involving the Ministry, NIA and the United States Agency for International Development, “we are starting to tell the story of our history, of our heroes and heroines ourselves”.
“We are taking on the narrative. We are doing our own research and allowing our own young people to tell that story together,” Hay Webster added.
Executive Director, NIA, Professor Trevor Munroe, said the video's launch was timely, as the commemoration of February as 'Black History Month' culminates.
“This is (also) most appropriate… taking place in the month of February in which Bob Marley was born…. the month in which, we in Jamaica, and so many countries around the world, celebrate the adversities, the achievements and the aspirations of black people. It's also appropriate that this function is taking place a few days after Jamaica Day, when our schools celebrated our culture and our history,” he said.
Professor Munroe expressed the hope the video will inspire Jamaica's youth to overcome challenges and choose right over wrong as Marcus Garvey did.
“Marcus pushed himself from a trajectory of possible failure to become a national and international hero. Garvey, as a youth, like so many of our youth today, had to develop a belief in himself, he had to read widely, he learned from his mistakes (and although) he was treated unfairly so often… he never gave up.,” the executive director said.
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