Searching for the grave of Amy Ashwood Garvey

John C. Walter, Afro-Americans in New York Life and History writes,

Tony Martin, the distinguished professor of African American and Caribbean history at Wellesley College is determined to rescue Amy Ashwood Garvey from obscurity and place her not only at the forefront of the Marcus Garvey pantheon but also in the feminist and Pan-African movements of the twentieth century.

His book, Amy Ashwood Garvey: Pan-Africanist, Feminist, and Mrs. Marcus Garvey No. 1, Or, A Tale of Two Amies is, indeed, a marvel of scholarship.

He tells us that he worked on this book for some twenty-seven years, and it shows. The number of references alone is enough to inspire awe.

Martin has done everything and has been everywhere, in the quest to present Amy Ashwood Garvey as a real person, bereft of any unnecessary sociological or psychological encrustations. In doing so, Martin also presents facts and insights on the life of Marcus Garvey hitherto unknown….

Professor Martin has brought to life, and in such fine detail, a charismatic and driven woman who not many would emulate, but most likely would appreciate.

Amy Ashwood Garvey was the first wife of Marcus Garvey. With him, she co-founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

She became director of the Black Star Line Shipping Co. and established a ladies auxiliary of the UNIA. She also helped plan an industrial school and helped establish the UNIA’s newspaper The Negro World.

In October 1919 at the UNIA offices in Harlem, Ashwood risked her life to shield Garvey from the bullets of attempted killer George Tyler. Despite her heroism, the marriage began to deteriorate after that incident. They divorced in 1922.

Garvey subsequently married Amy Jacques, who had been Ashwood’s maid of honor.

In 1935, Ashwood moved to London and established the Florence Mills Nightclub, a popular meeting place for the city’s black intellectuals. Ten years later in 1945, Ashwood helped organize the 5th Pan-African Congress which met in Manchester, England. Ashwood lived in West Africa for three years between 1946 and 1949.

However, she returned to her native Jamaica where she died in 1969. Throughout her life, Amy Ashwood Garvey campaigned for the liberation of the entire continent and in particular for the rights of African women.

Today, many historians are perplexed about the location of Garvey’s grave. According to Wikipedia, and sourced from Tony Martin, she was buried on Sunday, 11 May 1969, in Kingston’s Calvary cemetery.

Many historians, including Rhone Frazier, believe that Amy Ashwood Garvey should actually be recognized as a national hero for her contribution to the worldwide anti-colonial movement across the Caribbean and Africa.

Though many know the subsequent location of Amy’s grave, it was never formally marked with a headstone.

Do you or someone you know have any idea where the actual grave is?

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