4 Ways To Learn About Jamaican History Today

On this day in 1945, Bob Marley was born.

I recently went back to Jamaica for the first time in ten years. Leaving the airport, the intense humidity, the red tile of my grandmother’s house, and the plethora of dark-skinned kids with dreadlocks - so much of it gave me life and joy.

I am currently on submissions for a memoir on my life, activism, and cultural roots, which meant I did a lot of research on Bob Marley. So I’ll leave you all with a few pieces of homework to dive into and appreciate Bob Marley, his legacy, and the Caribbean culture he came from.

The Legacy of Bob Marley and Caribbean Culture

#1 ) A Young Marley Fights for her Grandfather’s Dream of Afro-Solidarity, LEVEL Magazine | A piece that I wrote during the heat of George Floyd protests when I saw Zuri Marley post a clip of Bob Marley and the Wailers performing “Burnin and Lootin”.

#2 ) LIFE AND DEBT | A documentary that “is an unapologetic look at the ‘new world order,’ from the point of view of Jamaican workers, farmers, government and policy officials who see the reality of globalization from the ground up.”

#3 ) "Jamaican Letters" | Marlon James, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Kei Miller in conversation | An enlightening conversation between three Jamaican writers about the nuance of narrative, language, and class in Caribbean life and literature.

#4 ) LOVER’S ROCK (as a part of the SMALL AXE series by Steve McQueen) | I watched this December and doing a podcast interview about this episode of SMALL AXE. Everything from the costumes, the storyline, the romance, and the music blew me away.

#5 ) The Harder They Come, 1972 crime film | One of my favorite Jamaican films because it reminds me of the love that Jamaicans have for westerns and it gets at some of the early cultural images in Jamaica post-independence. And I think someone told me that Jimmy Cliff is a distant family member of mine?

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