Father Raphael of Jamaica

Something I had missed before . . .

Father Raphael vs Marcus Garvey

In 1916 Jamaicans  heard a little more of Father Raphael in an exchange in the Gleaner, which is printed below.

Daily Gleaner, October 4, 1916, page 14


Sir; - We the undersigned Jamaicans residents of the United States for several years, beg permission to call to your attention and the public of Jamaica a matter affecting the welfare of Jamaicans at home and abroad.

Under the caption of Journalist and President of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Jamaica, W.I., one Marcus Garvey, Jr., is giving an extended series of lectures in this country, pertaining to the social and economic conditions of Jamaica.

We, having .attended his lectures found them to be pernicious., misleading, and derogatory to the prestige of the Government and people.

Among the many assertions of the speaker are the following: -

1. Governmental misrule, causing economic depression, poverty and misery with their detrimental consequences.

2. The falsity and hypocrisy of the existing social condition between the white and black races - to wit: Absorption by intermarriage of the intellectually superior and advanced blacks with whites, with .the view of estranging end nullifying their usefulness to their race.

Result - Acquiescence, arrogance and unapproachableness, on the part of these blacks who intermarry. The white wife tires. There is an ultimate separation. Wife returns to her native land. Husband in Jamaica contributes to her support abroad.

3. The Governmental and commercial interests connive to keep the scale of wages so low that the labouring classes are unable to meet the necessary demands to sustain their needs and wants. The girls of Jamaica are resorting to vice and immorality through lack of industrial opportunities and poor economicconditions: Praedial larceny is rampant and the jails are filled. Education is restricted and limited to the children of the poorer classes causing intellectual deficiency to the masses.

4. He drew a deplorable picture of the prejudice of the Englishman in Jamaica against the blacks, portraying hypocrisy and deceit of his attitude towards the blacks, and stated his preference for the prejudice of the American to that of the Englishman.

Mr. Editor, the above are only a few of the damaging statements being disseminated by the aforesaid Marcus Garvey Jr., among the American public.

Further details would be a repetition of the demoralising utterances of the speaker.

The bad effects of these lectures on the minds of the American public are deplorable and are causing great indignatlon among Jamaicans here, who feel greatly humiliated.

Thanking you for space and hoping through this medium Jamaicans will be enlightened on the seriousness of this matter.

We are.

Father Raphael, O.C.G., Priest-Apostolic; the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church, Dr. Uriah Smith, Ernest P. Duncan, Ernest R. Jones, H, S. Boulin, Phillip Hemmings, Joseph Vassal. Henry H. Harper, S. C. Box, Aldred Campbell, Hubert Barclay, John Moore. Victor Monroe, Henry Booth, and many others,

Philadelphia, P.A. U.S.A.

September 19th, 1916

Daily Gleaner, November 14, 1916, page 13



Mr Marcus Garvey jnr., “Founder and President of the Negro Improvement Association of Jamaica”, writing from New York to the Editor of this journal, replies to the letter from Philadelphia, written by Father Raphael, the priest of the Greek Orthodox Church and thirteen other Jamaicans, which appeared In the Gleaner of the 4th October.

In that letter, the signatories complained of the harm Mr. Garvey was doing Jamaica and its people by his lectures.

Mr. Garvey said, that the letter which is a concoction and a gross fabrication, was written by his enemies in Jamaica and sent to Philadelphia to be transmitted to the Gleaner, for the purpose of prejudicing him in the eyes of the Government and those who have always wished him well in his efforts in Jamaica, as well as with the intention of interfering with his success in America.
He tells of a threat by a physician practising here to use his influence to "make things warm" for him (Mr. Garvey) in Philadelphia, and his reply to same: and after swearing allegiance to his "half-fed, poorly clothed, barefooted, semi-illiterate, morally depraved and poorly housed brothers and sisters," for whom he is out as a reformer, concludes: - "My influence among my own people in Jamaica would have been better understood if the country and Empire were not undergoing the handicap of this great war, and my love for and loyalty to the people prevented me from speaking in Jamaica on any other subject save the war which should be uppermost among  those who can read the "Clock of Fate". But I shall speak one day when war is no more.”
 Site authored by Joy Lumsden, MA (Cantab), PhD (UWI).

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Please contact me if you have any further information on this interesting Jamaican, and also if you spot errors of any sort on this site. Joy Lumsden

I have further material I received from two researchers in the USA who have done work on Father Raphael's career in the Greek Orthodox Church. I should have included some of that information on the site long ago; I will try to make up for my neglect shortly!

July 14, 2008