It was Winnie Mandela who inspired Andrea Davis to create International Reggae Day. When the Mandelas came to Jamaica in 1991, Winnie gave an animated speech to women in which she acknowledged the militant reverberations of reggae music in the anti-apartheid struggle. Songs like Peter Tosh’s 1977 Apartheid motivated South African freedom fighters in the bush.
The imported tools of empire made the young Walcott envious, alienating him from his own culture. He would later claim both English and his own St Lucian Creole as intimate languages to voice his distinctive Caribbean identity.
Instead of deceiving ourselves about the English language competency of most Jamaicans, we should face the facts. English is not being taught efficiently. That's largely because the powers that be assume that the mother language of most Jamaicans isn't actually a language. They insist that it's nothing but a 'corruption' of English. Even so, they don't seem to know how to cure the disease.
One a di ting Obama well know a dis: wen yu talk tu people inna fi dem heart language, yu get nuff forward.
Wan a di ting Obama wel nuo a dis: wen yu taak tu piipl ina fi dem aat langgwij, yu get nof faawad.
One of the things Obama knows all too well is this: when you talk to people in their heart language, you get lots of positive vibes.
I believe that for important national matters like the Budget debates, translators should be employed to turn technical English into accessible Jamaican Creole. All our talk of democracy is pointless if we continue to exclude the majority of Jamaicans from public discourse.
Marley's Redemption Song is both a rejection of evangelical Christian orthodoxy and an affirmation of a new redemptive vision. So, Marley pays tribute to Marcus Garvey, who prophetically declared, "We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind."