NATION of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan yesterday visited National Heroes Park in Kingston to lay wreaths at the monuments of the country’s national heroes.
Farrakhan, who is in the island for Sunday’s 19th anniversary celebration of the Million Man March,’ which he started, said it was an honour for him to visit the site as the heroes have been a inspiration to him and a major influence on his life’s journey.
“To visit the tomb of those who have passed on, whose memories some may forget but whose legacy the wise will always remember, is an honour,” declared Farrakhan.
The Nation of Islam leader said that he was inspired, in particular, by the teachings of Marcus Garvey — Jamaica’s first national hero and leader of the renowned United Negro Improvement Association.
“Mr Garvey said to look for him, he will be back in the whirlwind and we represent that whirlwind,” said Farrakhan, as he addressed scores of people, including schoolchildren, who had gathered at National Heroes Park.
Farrakhan, whose father grew up in downtown Kingston, said he remains convinced that, while many leaders are in their own way continuing the work of Garvey, the children — with proper guidance — will be able to complete Garvey’s vision of a united black people.
Some 2,000 visitors are expected to converge in Kingston for the anniversary celebration. The capital city is projected to earn up to $150 million from the event.
The first march, which was held in 1995, was described as “one of the most historic organising and mobilising events in the history of black people in the United States”.
Jamaica will be hosting the event for the first time.