In 1645, British imperialists established colonial rule over Jamaica and exploited enslaved African to capitalize on the islands’ rich resources. An estimated 700,000 descendants of Africa were subjugated to slavery and shipped to Jamaica over the course of the following two centuries. Additionally, civilizations of indigenous people were destroyed, pre-Columbian economies were eliminated, and New World ideologies, particularly racial stratification, were established. Transatlantic slave trade was discontinued by Britain in 1807, yet, slavery continued to thrive in Jamaica until August 1, 1834 when Parliament sanctioned an indenture system that required all slaves over the age of six years to complete an involuntary four – six year term of apprenticeship prior to being granted their freedom. This system was comparatively as disparaging to blacks as slavery because oppressors sought to utilize this timeframe to further weaken and or diminish the morale of blacks before they gained their freedom. The wrath of colonization and slavery completely debilitated the black community in Jamaica and inhibited their ability to establish self-sovereignty until 1958. In 1962 Jamaica finally gained independence from Britain, yet, to this day, the economic, social, and political infrastructure of Jamaica remains dilapidated and the nation struggles to establish itself above the grade of a third world country.
Legendary reggae artist, Robert Nesta Marley, played an influential role in agitating change on behalf of disenfranchised descendants of Africa by using his music as a voice and outlet to spread awareness of the social and financial problems afflicting his people. His grassroots band, Bob Marley and the Wailers, was founded in the
indescribably impoverished ghetto of Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica in 1962. And though majority of their instruments were second hand and/or outdated, they managed to innovate a fusion between rock n’ roll with Caribbean-roots music to produce a new sound of reggae music. The revamped reggae that Bob Marley and the Wailers created immediately gained considerable regional recognition and, thereon, reshaped reggae music and the course of history from that point forward.
In 1967, the tremendously successful reception for the bands second album, Rastaman Vibration, gained Bob Marley and the Wailers international notoriety. This year also marked the commencement of Bob Marley prominent role as a worldwide humanitarian, revolutionary, and activist for the political and social change for oppressed people around the global. Bob Marley held a free concert called Simile Jamaica to lift his people’s morale and to promote sense of solidarity and peace during a period of tremendous political unrest in Jamaica. Just two days before the concert Bob Marley, his wife Rita Marley and manger Ron Taylor suffered gun shoot wounds to the head, chest, and body during a failed assassination tempt at 56 Hope Road, an estate located in Kingston that...