Most of the youths love Bob Marly, a Jamaican singer's songs and I also like the lyrics.
Good to know that the lyrics from "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley: "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery," without being aware that they are the words from a speech given by Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator
"We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind ..."
The words of Marcus Garvey have influenced nearly every prominent reggae songwriter, including Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, The Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, Garnett Silk, Lucky Dube, and Culture
We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind ...
The words of Marcus Garvey have influenced nearly every prominent reggae songwriter, including Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, The Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, Garnett Silk, Lucky Dube, and Culture. To go back even further, Marcus Garvey is regarded as a prophet of Rastafari and a pillar of the Pan-African movement.
Marcus Garvey is known as a leading political figure because of his determination to fight for the unity of African Americans by creating the Universal Negro Improvement Association and rallying to gather supporters to fight. With this group he touched upon many topics such as education,the economy and independence. An important aspect of his career was his thoughts of communism. Garvey felt that communism would be more beneficial for Whites by solving their own political and economic problems but would further limit the success of blacks rising together. He believed that the communist party wanted to use the African American vote "to smash and overthrow" the capitalistic white majority to "put their majority group or race still in power, not only as communists but as white men" (Jacques-Garvey, 1969).
The Communist party wanted to have as many supporters as possible, even if it meant having Blacks but Garvey discouraged this. He still had the idea that communists were only White men who wanted to manipulate Blacks so they could continue to have control over them. Garvey says "It is a dangerous theory of economic and political reformation because it seeks to put government in the hands of an ignorant white mass who have not been able to destroy their natural prejudices towards Negroes and other non-white people. While it may be a good thing for them, it will be a bad thing for the Negroes who will fall under the government of the most ignorant, prejudiced class of the white race" (Nolan, 1951).
Garvey’s work was multi-dimensional. He instituted cultural symbols which captured the essence of a nationalistic philosophy; his mind was sharp and geared to the media. As a media manipulator, growing from his years as a journalist and printer, Garvey knew how to communicate with his audience. Garveyism was a popular philosophy, understood from the least to the most sophisticated person in his audience. His sweeping images captivated the journalists who observed the movement. They seemed taken with the eloquence of his symbols and the substance of his messages. Garvey emphasized the belief in the One God, the God of Africa, who should be visualized through black eyes. He preached to black people to become familiar with their ancient history and their rich cultural heritage. He called for pride in the black race—for example; he made black dolls for black children. His was the first voice to clearly demand black power. It was he who said, "A race without authority and power is a race without respect." The Garvey movement was the greatest international movement of African peoples in modern times. At its peak, from 1922 to 1924, the movement counted more than eight million followers. The youngest members of the movement were taken in at five years of age and, as they grew older, they graduated to the sections for older children.
Here is a partial list of some of the writers, leaders, and artists who have been influenced by Marcus Garvey:
Leopold Sedar Senghor
Henrietta Vinton Davis
Martin Luther King Jr
Alhaji Ahmed Sekou Toure
Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Amy Jacques Garvey
M. L. T. De Mena
Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael)