Joseph Robert Love was born in the Bahamas on October 2, 1839. He started out as a teacher and then went to Florida in the United States where he was involved with the Episcopalian Church. He also studied medicine at the University of Buffalo and received an M.D. degree. Love was also an admirer of Toussaint L’Ouverture and spent 10 years in Haiti, where he was appointed to a high executive post in the Medical Department. While in Haiti, he continued his work as an Anglican Clergyman and became a Rector of a church in Port au Prince.
In 1889, Robert Love came to Jamaica where he started his Jamaica Advocate newspaper. Robert Love’s journalism tackled the poor social conditions black people in Jamaica. This included advocating education that was from the perspective of black people. He also stressed that people cannot rise above the standards of its womanhood and he encouraged black people to develop self-esteem and pride in their African heritage. Together with H. Sylvester Williams, Robert Love established a Pan-African Association in Jamaica.
Robert Love also published two works, “Romanism is not Christianity” in 1892 and “St. Peter’s true position in the church, clearly traced in the Bible” in 1897. He became sick in 1906 and was forced to end his political career in 1910. Robert Love died on 21, November 1914 and was buried in the Parish Churchyard at Half Way Tree. Love was also a huge influence on Marcus Garvey. Garvey wrote:
“One cannot read his Jamaica Advocate without getting race consciousness…if Dr. Love was alive and in robust health, you would not be attacking me, you would be attacking him…”