LIFE IS ONE BIG ROAD WITH LOTS OF SIGNS…CAN YOU READ THEM?

When I first heard Bob Marley singing “Life is one big road with lots of signs…” I was young and only of the impression that he was being poetic.  It never occurred to me he was giving a lesson.  When I was growing up most entertainers were eight to ten years older then me unlike today it appears most musical entertainers are chronological peers of their audience.  But, Bob Marley was teaching.

Life is one big road with lots of signs.  I wonder though, as to how many of us can read them or understand the signs set before us.  We live in an age that requires that we evolve, else we will stagnate and perish.   During the Civil Rights era we were faced with a visible and common enemy.  Out right and blatant racism.  Old customs hung over from the Jim Crow era folding into a coming age.  The age of television sounded the death knell of the time of Jim Crow.  Television offered scenes of brutality to the world, showing America eating her own.  These were the images spread around the world.  Jim Crow had to go.  America could not afford to be the leader of the free world with images of black bodies being destroyed spreading across the globe.

The world was changing.  A shift had taken place and our vaunted black leaders of the time Malcolm Shabazz and Dr. Martin Luther King, also shifted and rotated with the cycle.  By 1964 brotha Malcolm had come to see it was not racism that was the actual enemy of black people in the States and black people world wide, but something bigger appeared to be the problem.  As he had sat with men of every color in peace and harmony during the time he had made the hajj and becoming El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. It seems he came to know that it was the lack of unity rather than racism that was a real culprit.

The lack of a unified force, an international black unified force, that was our problem.  If Afro Americans could organize and link with black people of other American nations, then an international force would be a force to recon with and could be mounted against the U.S. government starting in the U.N.  Black people in the States could use that force to enter into the political system and run our neighborhoods and communities ourselves using the political system already in place.  Thus he founded the Organization of African American Unity the OAAU, modeled after the Organization of African Unity.  However,  it was the hubris of the white man in the States that held racial hatred rather than the white world at large as he had come to realize.  Mr. Shabazz rightly held that he would defend himself against white hatred, but he understood what the ailment truly was that held us back.

By 1967 brother Rev.  Dr. King had come to see that something else greater than racism was at play in our collective .  Rev. Dr King also had the opportunity to travel the world, spending much of his time on the island of Jamaica to contemplate and to write.  During these times of sitting still and analyzing the war in Viet Nam, Dr. King began to see there was a something deeper was at play  and not simply racism…

To be continued…

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When Will Songs of Love and Uplift Penetrate Hearts of Fear?

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Reggae music is one of my favorite forms of music.  I’m sure you can see this for yourself upon visits to this site.  I was attracted to reggae because of the positive messages in the music and the inspiring words so often sang on behalf of the less fortunate in our communities and our world.  Not only do reggae artist sing for the uplift of humanity, but many other artist contribute vocally to our betterment.  Even today’s gospel music is producing artistes and songs that are taking on a world view in the lyrics. But things seem to be going the opposite direction.  I’m aware not all people listen to reggae music, but shouldn’t the fact that these words being sang, like prayers, into the realm of the unseen, begin to produce a better society?

Words are the seeds of creation, a song enhances the creative process.  The bible teaches that in the beginning was the Word.  Many traditions teach that the Creator sang a song of creation and the sound became light.  So then, with so many songs of Love/Enlightenment/Uplift being spread around the world why are we not beginning to see healing?  Why are we seeing such malicious violence being wrought on humanity?  Is it fear producing such actions?  Are we living in such times that we really have succumbed to the (M/L) formula?  Material over life-love. 

Two things have recently occured in my life that causes me to  think, to really ruminate on the idea of words of power being sung into the ethers.  One is a news event coming out of Jamaica and the other is a personal event I’m experiencing.  Back in April of this year a news story was released in the Jamaica Observer, noting that nearly one million people in Jamaica are squatters, living in over 700 squatter camps across the tiny island of 2.7 million people.  What was even more startiling was the fact that the ministers in Parliament expressed surprise about the news reported by Dr. Horace Chang to Parliament.  Jamaica is not some sprawling metropolis where the Ministers of Parliament can drive and live without ever seeing such living conditions.  How can they express surprise at a living  situation that’s been going on for years?  This expresses the basic comtempt for their fellow Jamaicans and fellow human beings.  Squatting occurs in the land where reggae music was born and grew.  Those in charge and in goverment on the island must be plagued with fear of “not enough” overwhelming, the calls of songs for unconditional love for its people.  Bob Marley sang “…the brotherly love, the sisterly love I feel this morning, this morning.”  I wonder where that feeling went.

Fear of “not enough”, not only tears nations, towns and communities apart, but destroys families.  In recent years I have experienced a family memeber dying and the result has been the destruction of what seemed to be inpenetrable love.  Yet, these deaths have opened a sleeping volcano of greed that I thought didn’t exist within he hearts of these family members.  This most recent death has exposed the fearful heart of a loved one, causing a chasm to develop within the family.  How could one that expressed so much love of family, express so much love for his god, now expose himself as such an expert liar and possible thief?  Apparently, this being, is no better than the beings he arrests and sends to prison.  No better than the liars, thieves, murderers and rapist he holds in so much contempt.  Maybe Sigmund Freud was correct when he said police officers and criminals are twigs off the same branch.

In any event we must continue to sing songs of uplift for humanity.  Sing songs of unconditional love like prayers going into the unseen for a better tomorrow, for a better day.  I am determined not to succumb to fear.  I will continue to do as one Bob Marley songs suggests “…Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy.”  Fear is manifest in many ways including anger, stealing, hate, rape, glutoney, mischief, jealousy and much more.  Fear is a mind killer. I guess some family members feel their need superseeds the needs and wants of others much like a drug addict in the need of drugs.   Their fear is expressed in their addiction, as we know a junky will lie, cheat and steal what they know is not rightfully theirs.

Georgia Sunday Afternoon SupremeUltimate Boxing #5

There are just some songs that are classics.  They are relavent no matter the decade, time period or era, they can still touch that infinite timless part of all humanity, our Soul.  The part of us very few of us acknowledge, but most of us, know exist.  The Goddess (God) inside each and every living entity on this planet.  That part of us.