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The Honor Rebel Spotlight – Revolutionary Musician Bob Marley

Mortimer Planno, Rastafarian elder and spiritual mentor to Bob Marley among others, gave a speech at the University of West Indies in 2002.  During which he spoke about the concept of the term honorable and how we should honor our rebels.

So in this weeks Rebel Spotlight we would like to highlight the Honor Rebel Berhane Selassie more popularly known as Bob or Robert Nesta Marley.  On May 11, 1981 this world class musician transcended due to cancer.

Bob was amazingly talented and influenced a politically conscious movement through his music.  This soulful singer and crowd rocker was also very famous for the example and courage he displayed at the One Love Peace Concert in 1978 when he asked two men to join him on stage as a sign to the people that unity would come.  The opposing men were Michael Manley, member of the People’s National Party and Prime Minister since 1972 and Edward Seaga, member of the Jamaican Labour Party.  Both had involved heavy gangsters and corrupt police officers to gain power in Jamaica.  Lots of blood was shed and lives lost during this era.   Some of the issues a majority of Jamaicans were concerned about were financial instability and the need for development all over the country.  Bob simply wanted unity and equality for his beloved people.  After some local acts, Jacob “Killer” Miller and Peter Tosh blessed the stage Bob was ready.  While performing the song “Jammin” Manley and Seaga joined Bob on stage.

Bob had well established himself as a revolutionary.  His entire career prepared him for this moment. He was no stranger to injustice or speaking for those who couldn’t. A true striva for the people.  Music was his gun and he used it well to spread the truth about the peoples struggles. Bob spoke out against those who subscribed to oppression.  No matter how much sorrow he expressed, Bob always had a lyric to pull us back up.  The ammunition he has is endless because his music lives on generation after generation through memorable melodies that soothe the soul and motivate us to “push on through.”

Rebel Artistry’s Top Ten list of Bob Marley’s most politically charged and influential songs.

1. War
2. Get Up, Stand Up
3. Wake Up and Live
4. Buffalo Soldier
5. Ambush in the Night

6. Slave Driver
7. Africa Unite
8. Zimbabwe
9. Stiff Necked Fools
10. Concrete Jungle
The Honor Rebel Robert Nesta Marley was a great man and had so many uplifting songs so we thought we’d share the rest of our long list. Enjoy!

Rat Race
Who the Cap Fit
400 Years
Burnin’ and Lootin’
Coming in from the Cold
I Shot the Sheriff
Duppy Conqueror
The Heathen
So Much Trouble in the World
One Love/People Get Ready
No More Trouble
Them Belly Full, But We Hungry
Zion Train


Silence begats violence against women and children!

“When I was 8 years old my uncle started to molest me. He would come in my room late at night while I pretended to be asleep. He would lock the door and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out. He would get into my bed with me and he start fondling me, kissing me and undressing me. Once I started to yell for my mother, he just covered my mouth with his hand and  took off his underpants and raped me. I was bleeding and I just lay in my blood crying. He told me if I told my mother she would think I was a slut. I didn’t know any better so I didn’t say anything. – Felisha”

I can easily tell you who sexual assault affects but we all know someone who has been the victim of sexual violence whether we know it or not.   Sexual violence occurs in all cultures, all countries, all religions, and racial communities. Every time you meet with at least five women, at least one of those women will have been the victim of sexual assault.

The consequences of sexual violence touch every aspect of life -physical, psychological, emotional, social, sexual, financial, and professional. Trust, confidence and self-worth are often shattered.  “A Jamaican woman who was sexually assaulted termed it “the lifetime imprisonment of rape”.

The single greatest risk factor for becoming a victim of sexual assault is being a woman.  But that doesn’t mean men shouldn’t be aware of sexual assault. A culture that doesn’t value a woman’s voice will have a problem, respecting a woman’s right to choose when, where, how and with whom she engages in sexual activity. This type of culture only perpetrates violence against women. Violence against women in Jamaica persists because the country is failing to tackle discrimination against women, allowing social and cultural attitudes that encourage discrimination and violence. Sexual violence is less likely to be reported than other crimes, but, when it is reported, it is less likely to result in charges, prosecution and less likely to lead to conviction.

Families and communities don’t talk about what is happening because they are ashamed or afraid. But this silence is what allows the violence to continue. Silence only helps the abuser to continue hurting more people. There are countless women who have been violated and abused that never tell anyone and never get the chance to heal. I personally know atleast 10 women that have been sexual assaulted as children that have not dealt with it. Suppressing emotions does not make them go away instead they fester within us and manifest into anger, seclusion, promiscuity, suicide and many other negative expressions.  There has to be a positive outlet that women and children can express themselves, talk and begin to heal.

I am deeply inspired by  A Long Walk Home, a non-profit organization that uses art therapy and the visual and performing arts to end violence against girls and women. They inspire social change through community empowerment and public action. They provide programs for adolescent girls to learn how to make healthy sexual and reproductive choices and become youth leaders to end violence against girls and women. As well as an art-based summer program for adolescent boys to prevent violence against girls and women . 

A Long Walk Home

The Sex Crimes Against Black Girls Project began initially as a mixed media exhibition exploring different levels of sexual exploitation and oppression suffered by young Black girls across the African Diaspora. The issues explored range from incest to female circumcision. The purpose of this ehxibt is to create exploratory dialogue in efforts to address and solve the inherent silence that these crimes face. The diverse show ranges from oil on canvas, to some mixed media, from collages and poems, to digital prints. “It’s taboo to talk about sexual identity, because of fear. We don’t want to talk about it because we think it will bring it to life, when in fact, it’s already there. But talking about it helps people understand that they are not alone,” says artist Alexandria Smith. “ZIP” by Frances Bradley 

“ZIP” by Frances Bradley


Ways to end sexual assault:

  • If you see someone in danger of being assaulted step in and help.
  • When you go out with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other frequently and leave together.
  • If someone you know has been assaulted, listen, be patient, help to empower your friend/family member, encourage them to report incident.
  • Support public awareness and education programs challenging the acceptability of violence against women.
  • Request programs and services for women who have been victims of sexual violence: physical and mental care, shelters for when the perpertrator is a family member.
  • End your silence against sexual assault.