Bob Marley's Fans Celebrate What Would Have Been His 68th Birthday
Bob Marley’s memory was honored in Jamaica on Wednesday, celebrating what would have been the reggae artist’s 68th birthday.
Tourists and locals, family and fans gathered around Marley’s old home in Kingston, Jamaica, to remember together the music of the inspiring late musician. People danced and chanted outside the house, which now serves as a museum run by his family. Inside can be seen Marley’s guitar, clothing and other personal items. The crowds enjoyed the sounds of his music blaring into the streets, while they blew marijuana smoke into the skies.
One of the family members present at the festivities was Marley’s granddaughter, Donisha Predergast, who works as a documentary filmmaker. While she reveres her grandfather’s music, specifically the lyrics pertaining to “one love,” peace and social justice, she feels that his message is largely lost among the people of Jamaica.
“I don’t think most people here are really hearing it, you know? They know that his music is around and they are proud of it, but they don’t live it. Because if they did, then we would be a stronger people, we would be stronger characters,” Prendergast told the Washington Post.
Muabaruka, a Rastafarian dub poet who was also present in the streets of Kingston, mused on how Marley’s lyrics are still relevant since his passing. “It’s the same struggle now as when he was alive. So his music, when you hear it, it’s like he’s singing today even though he died some 30 odd years ago,” he said.
While the younger generation of Jamaicans often turns their ears to reggae-rap mixes and other more modern forms of music, they still enjoy Marley’s collection of songs. They've lived on through three decades, and across countries. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 1999, Time Magazine named “Exodus” as the greatest album of the 20th century. Just last year a documentary of his life, Marley, was released on, what other date but 4/20. — Chelsea Regan
Watch the trailer for the documentary below: