Marcus Garvey Flag Speech Re-Imagined Competition

City of Toronto

The Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit and Youth Development Unit of Social Development Finance & Administration Division at the City of Toronto have partnered to deliver the Marcus Garvey Flag Speech Re-Imagined Competition.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey was one of the most significant leaders in history. In the early part of the 20th century, he led one of the largest civil rights movements in history. His organization named the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) managed to amass a worldwide membership of over 5 million people.

Marcus Garvey was directly responsible for giving Black people a level of self pride and dignity following the freedom from enslavement. One of the lasting legacies of Garvey was the founding, designing and popularizing the now famous Liberation Flag, also known as the Pan-African Flag, designed in 1920. In a 1921 speech Marcus Garvey said “Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride.” Amy Jacques Garvey, the wife of Marcus Garvey, wrote an official Ode to the flag.

The purpose of this competition is to re-imagine this Ode to the Flag into the voice of today’s youth. The City invites talented youth (aged 16-29) who are poets, spoken word artists, singers, rappers or writers to submit their new and current Ode to the Flag for this competition.

Prizes consist of the following:

  • 1st place: $300 AND the opportunity to deliver your rendition of your Ode to the Flag at the Emancipation Month Flag Raising with Dr. Julius Garvey (son of Marcus Garvey) at the North York Civic Centre on August 4, 2023 at 1:00PM AND the opportunity to deliver your rendition at the R.I.S.E. Edutainment Emancipation Month Event on August 14, 2023 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM at the CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals located at 75 Thermos Road in Scarborough.
  • 2nd Place: $150
  • 3rd Place: $100

The deadline to apply has been extended to July 30, 2023.

Click the Learn More link to read the original Ode to the flag and to apply.


July 30, 2023 11:59 pm

Learn More

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