I join all Jamaicans, and many persons from around the world in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the birth of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley, OM.
It is fitting that Jamaica is celebrating Bob Marley’s 70th birthday at the same time that we are observing Reggae Month under the theme: “The Journey is the Destination.”
As we reflect on the amazing journey of Reggae Music over the years, we are mindful that, in keeping with our history, we must Get Up, Stand Up for our rights. Bob Marley was a musical giant whose voice in the wilderness rang out loud and strong during a very difficult time in our national and global journey.
* He encouraged us be strong as a people, singing the well-known anthem of resilience, No Woman No Cry.
* He assured the peoples of the world that Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright!
The ‘legendary’ Bob Marley represents us as a people of great strength, endless talent, creative genius, and advocates against oppression and injustice.
Bob Marley’s philosophies live on among us.His music has remained the eternal conscience of our nation and the world:
* teaching us the glorious history of the Black race,
* encouraging us to overcome our struggles,
* making us uncomfortable with poverty and injustice, and
* urging us to correct these ills.
So much of Bob Marley’s work continues to carry the profound message of National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey who taught us that “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
As a global icon, Bob Marley transcended local issues. He was a global ‘buffalo soldier, but one rooted in what has come to be known as Jamaican ‘livity’; that uplifting way of being which is uniquely Jamaican, and had always been the inspiration for his positive message-music.
Voices of the world continue to sing Marley’s prolific workuntil this very day. This demonstrates Reggae music’s role as:
* a balm that heals our souls as a people;
* the pulsating beat in the fight against oppression and poverty; and
* the sweet drum, bass and melody that enrich our culture and give global prominence to our language and our way of life.
Today, I pay tribute to Bob Marley, his family and all our Reggae ambassadors.
Let us remember the foundation message of the music in the immortal words of Robert NestaMarley:
“One love! One heart! Let’s get together and feel alright.”
Happy Birthday to the Gong! Happy ‘earth strong’, Bob Marley.
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