Kingston, 5 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has given the following statement on the passing of Queen Mother Marianne Samad.
“It with sadness that I learned of the passing of Queen Mother Marianne Samad, Jamaica’s best-known link to National Hero Marcus Garvey, on Thursday, September 5 — only three days after celebrating her 99th birthday.
She was well respected and admired by Garveyites, Pan-Africanists and Rastafari in Jamaica and around the African Diaspora; and will be missed by all who saw her as a shining example of and link to one of Jamaica’s most beloved sons.
Sister Samad was born in New York, USA to staunch Garveyites who raised her in keeping with Garvey’s philosophy of Black self-pride, African nationalism and economic self-reliance.
When she married Clarence Thomas, a Jamaican who had moved to the United States, she was already a member of the Garvey Legion. In 1965, she came to visit her husband's country and was dismayed to discover that blackness had no value in the land of Garvey's birth. She determined to change that.
For three decades Sister Samad made Jamaica her home and became a noted raconteur of stories of Marcus Garvey’s life and his work. She taught and lived Garveyism all her life.
Her passing leaves a void and I offer condolences to her family and friends across the world.”