Bob Marley was much more than the King of Reggae - it’s quite hard to qualify or quantify the impact someone like him had on afro culture all over the globe. Marley was a pioneer, a legend, a messenger of peace, a passionate musician, and a unifier of the highest degree. For example, his song, “Africa Unite,” was a call to action decades in the making, but it took someone like Marley to create an atmosphere in which that could happen.
He was spreading the gospel, not just of love - but of racial harmony, understanding, and protesting injustice (which he had experienced all around him, growing up in Trenchtown).
As a member of the Rastafari movement, Marley was pivotal in getting the message out - according to an article from ThisIsAfrica, “The Rastafarian movement can be described as one of the most profound attempts at celebrating Africa’s contribution to humanity and increasing consciousness, and it spread from the Caribbean to different parts of the world”. In fact, his song, “War,” was written directly from the text of the speech made in 1963 by the movement’s spiritual leader, King Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, at the United Nations.
Marley wielded his music as a weapon, but like he said, “one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain”. No list of Black icons is complete without Bob Marley, and Up Close and Personal is a documentary investigating the man behind the myth. Highlighting classic performance footage, the documentary features interviews with those who were closest to the man, including his eldest son Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, his charismatic manager Don Taylor, Bruno Tilley, the creative director of Island Records, and more.
Watch Bob Marley - Up Close and Personal on Qello Concerts.
Discover our Black History Month series here!