Stepping Out of Line

garvey

Marcus Garvey: 1887-1940

By: Susan Bea Good

(the Apostle Paul) “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. (I Corinthians 9:19/ESV)

Marcus Garvey’s family is seeking a posthumous pardon from President Obama for their father, a civil rights leader whom Martin Luther King Jr. called, “the first man of color to lead and develop a mass movement. He was the first man on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny. And make the Negro feel he was somebody.”

Not everyone spoke well of Garvey. He was also called, “the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America” by the then president of the NAACP, and “a notorious negro agitator” by the then FBI Director J Edgar Hoover. Garvey’s outspoken support of an unpopular cause got him two years in prison for mail fraud followed by a deportation to Jamaica…but his real crime was that he stepped out of line and encouraged others to do the same.

Society has always rewarded those who stayed in line. Groups and individuals are told they must hold the clearly proscribed and furiously protected policies of the powerful majority. Though policies may be corrupt, erroneous, or unbiblical, the only accepted location for those who want to remain inside man’s power structures is IN LINE!

The effect Marcus Garvey had on MLK is notable but the more valued commendation for this brave man came from his mother, who said her son was  “severe, firm, determined, bold, and strong, refusing to yield even to superior forces if he believed he was right.”

The world is in desperate need of men and women who will stand for deeply held and often unpopular principles. This need includes mothers who would bravely commend their children when they stand in a place that is “out of line.”

“This blogger’s hope is to be an encouragement to faithful Christ-followers as they recognize God’s Big Picture and purpose to participate in it. Adonai Eloheinu!”

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