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RON BOBB-SEMPLE, in 1999, under the auspices of Black Diaspora Magazine of New York, journeyed to Dakar, Senegal, where he presented "The Spirit of Marcus Garvey" on Goree Island, and in November of 2000 returned to the Motherland with the project, this time at the Elmina Castle in Ghana. In addition, Ron is the recipient of the Marcus Garvey Awards from the Jamerican United Nationals Association in 1988, and the Marcus Garvey Celebration Committee in 1991. For Black History Month 2001, Bobb-Semple was the voice of Garvey in the award-winning PBS Special Film, "Marcus Garvey: Look For Me In The Whirlwind." At the inaugural African Heritage Trail Conference 2002 in Bermuda, he was the featured artiste with his cultural and educational presentation on Garvey. In September 2002, Mr. Bobb-Semple appeared at the Philip Sherlock Center at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, as a guest of The Friends of Liberty Hall, who are in the process of restoring and refurbishing The Liberty Hall there, as a living monument.
This Guyanese born actor was a cast member of the World Premiere of OyamO's Famous Orpheus, a production in collaboration with Garth Fagan, winner of the Tony Award for his choreography of The Lion King on Broadway. A few of Bobb-Semple's other stage credits include: Award winning playwright August Wilson's The Piano Lesson and Fences, co-starring with Avery Brooks; South African playwright Athol Fugard's My Children, My Africa!; Bingo!!, a musical directed by Ossie Davis; Pulitzer Prizewinner Derek Walcott's musical, Steel; and Pepe Carille's, Shango de Ima, for which he received the 1994 AUDELCO Award for 'Best Supporting Actor,' in New York.
Ron was the host of CARIBBEAN FORUM, a weekly television program which he produced on WNYE-TV in New York, for which he won the 1995 Caribbean Media Association's Award for 'Best Television Production/Presentation," and the Caribbean news correspondent on the "Tony Brown Empowerment Show" on WWRL 1600AM. His film credits include Nursing Tuskegee, Mental Vengeance, Playing Both Sides, Deep Trouble, Pressure, and just completed filming Lost Money, written and directed by Juney Smith.
One hundred and fifteen years ago God, as it were, sent his begotten son, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, to redeem his people by showing them the only way towards salvation. For reasons unknown only to the Almighty, the little town of St. Ann's bay, situated on the north coast of Jamaica, was chosen as the birthplace of this great prophet, teacher and leader. The date of this modern miracle was August 17th, 1887. Garvey was a man who, in retrospect, was far ahead of his time. This is clearly proven by the fact that his ideologies have resurfaced today and could be considered a major factor in the liberation of African peoples the world over. Garvey sought to revive the spirit of Black people from despair to hope; from lethargy to positive action; from fear to courage; from inertia to assertiveness; from anti-discrimination dodges to manly confrontation. He gave them goals possible to man, the highest creation of God, because he believed with all his heart in the innate abilities of the African race. On August 1, 1914, Garvey launched the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (U.N.I.A & A.C.L) in Jamaica, an organization to advocate the unity and blending of all Negroes into one strong, healthy race.
After the First World War, there was a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan influence in the United States - another decade of racial hatred and open lawlessness had set in, in which Negroes were again prominent among the victims. African people were by this time more than ready for a Moses, and only a Black Man could express the depth of their feelings. Marcus Garvey settled that question for thousands by forming the U.S. branch of the U.N.I.A. & A.C.L. in June 1917.
On June 10, 1940, at the age of 53, MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY died in London of a severe stroke without having set foot in Africa, but his impact there was tremendous. He left a rich legacy of history for us to study and utilize in our continued quest for independence and liberation as a people.
Source: Ron Bobb-Semple
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