Bob Marley- The Spark That Lit The Rastafarian flame
A martyr in my opinion is one who willingly suffers death suffers death rather than renounce his/ her religion. Bob Marley, born Robert Nesta Marley, is certainly an icon that personifies this definition of a martyr as he willingly gave his life as a sign of commitment to his beloved Rastafari movement. The Rastafari movement is a monotheistic, new religion that originated in Trenchtown, the main ghetto of Kingston. A Rasta, follower of the Rastafari movement, also regards Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as God incarnate of the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and regards Africa or “Zion” as the original birthplace of all mankind. Early Rastas believed in black supremacy but since Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia explicitly condemned racism; Rastas disregard racial animosities with peace and harmony being common themes. In this study, I hope to demonstrate that Bob Marley’s decision to deem the tenets of the Rastafari movement more significant than life itself characterize him as a martyr.
Bob Marley was born a Christian, but he was drawn to the Rastafari Movement when he was away from his mother’s influence. Marley’s faith in the Rastafari movement and Haile Selassie meant that he was a promoter of peace and harmony that divergently contradicted the violent socio-political conditions in Jamaica. Consequently Marley identified Reggae music as his weapon his combat this violence and hence based songs such as “War” and “No More Trouble” on promotiong peace and condemning wars such as the Vietnam War. Marley also disregarded race as a means of distinction once famously stating, “Me don’t dip on nobody’s side. Me don’t dip on the black man’s side or the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side” thus illustrating his sincere and wholehearted commitment to the Rastafari movement. Bob Marley also used his music to spread the teachings of the Rastafari movement through songs such as “Iron Lion Zion” promote his Rasta belief...
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