Jamaican Politics and Bob Marley One Love Peace Concert

Jamaican Politics and Bob Marley One Love Peace Concert

Following the success of ’Smile Jamaica’ two of Jamaica’s most notorious ’area leaders’ tried to organize a concert that, in their estimation would aid in the decreased amount of killings that were taking place between rival gangs and seemingly only benefiting the politicians.

Therefore in 1978 the One Love Peace Concert was held at this momentous occasion Bob requested the two leaders of the rival parties to join him on stage and to join hands in an attempt to show the people of Jamaica their commitment to the betterment of the society including decreasing political rivalry and the struggle between capitalism and socialism.

Bob Marley and His Influence on Jamaican Politics

The Manley administration however used this historic One Love Peace concert to their political advantage, and within a few weeks called for an election in which there was a landslide victory for the PNP.

Many thought that Bob Marley's One Love Peace Concert had swayed the election. Manley as a politician utilized reggae artists like Bob Marley to validate his connection with Jamaican sufferers and Rastafarians and this aided at least in part the respect he received form those who called themselves sufferers.

The continued shifts in power Jamaica cause it to remain the most politically dynamic and culturally diversified in the Caribbean. States of emergency and political unrest are somehow signals of a struggling sovereignty’s attempt to rectify disparities between race, class, and color and instead create a space where the motto can be exemplified.

‘Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and totally discredited and abandoned; that until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation; until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; that until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race; that until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.

And until the ignoble and unhappy regime that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique, in South Africa, in sub-human bondage, have been toppled, utterly destroyed; until that day the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight we find it necessary. And we know we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil. (These words adopted directly from a speech made by Haile Selassie I)

The definition of the Babylon system and the need to defeat this system places Rastafarians in position to influence the impact of neo-colonialism on their society. Rastafarians see themselves as agents of Babylon’s destruction.

Their solution to “beating down Babylon” resonates among the dispossessed and is shown political dissonance and cultural resistance;

1)developing a mentality of Blackness,

2)eradicating racism,


4)and negative stereotypes of both blacks, poor and Rastafarians, attacking social problems with the abilities they have which finds itself in music.

Reggae restores self-awareness to people . According to Linden F. Lewis, “reggae is the Rastafarian vehicle for political, cultural, moral, and religious purposes and protests because it sets the stage for a departure from Babylonian lifestyle and eventual demolition of its system”.

Reggae music therefore was used as a tool for change from the top echelons of the very ghettos that he tried to liberate with his cry of not only mental liberation but also a intense support for the struggles of all Africans and blacks around the world.

Rasta and Politics are Inextricably Linked.

Though vehemently opposed to the “shitsym”, they were a body mass that created and sustained the single most powerful aspect of Jamaican culture. The use of cultural politics as it is practiced in Jamaica ensured that there is a place to use and abuse all aspects of the society.

Marley should be seen as an example of how culture is use by the system to out their message. The people recognized the inequity of the system, as it afforded them no say directly in the politics of the time, they therefore used their music to send their message to both politicians as well as the downtrodden.

It has been said that the music of Bob Marley allowed South Africans to deal with the Apartheid system.

It allowed them to demand a change and when such change was not fore coming from their governments then they went ahead and took control of the situation themselves and aid in bringing an end to the Apartheid system in South Africa.

Therefore Bob Marley has not only affected the politics of Jamaica but also international systems particularly those political struggles in Africa.

Indeed were a part of Marley’s political agenda even within Jamaica, the game of 'politricks' was not just regulated to Jamaica but also on the African Continent in "Burnin' and Lootin'" we get a picture of the police state:

This morning I woke up in a curfew Oh god, I was a prisoner too - yeah Could not recognise the faces standing over me They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality

Bob Marley and Jamaican Politics

Bob Marley and Jamaica Politics:Michael Manley

Return from One Love Peace Concert to home of Rasta Man Vibration