- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: ‘Jesus Christ is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
- Josh Romney swipes Harry Reid with photo tweet of dad paying taxes — ‘your paycheck’
- Despite Obamacare problems, some Dems want Sebelius to run for Senate: report
- Angry New Yorkers shred gun registrations in deadline day protests
- Uninsured rate dropping faster in places that embraced pillars of Obamacare, survey shows
- Hawaii, D.C. give residents two more weeks to sign up under Obamacare
- Climate change causing fish to lose their minds, researchers say
- Great Britain tops World’s Most Sexist Nation list
- Aaron Hernandez investigated for threatening to kill prison guard
Jamaicans pack a park to watch Marley documentary
KINGSTON, JAMAICA (AP) - Thousand reggae fans crowded a Kingston park late Thursday to watch a screening of a documentary about Bob Marley, the charismatic icon of reggae music who brought the Jamaican musical genre to every corner of the globe.
“Marley,” which will be released worldwide on Friday, premiered in his Caribbean homeland to high praise from Jamaicans who marveled at footage showing the late singer’s impassioned interviews, family life and loose-limbed stage presence.
Drummers with their long dreadlocks tucked into crocheted caps performed traditional rhythms and chants before the film in homage to Marley’s Rastafarian faith, the homegrown religion that reveres Ethiopia’s deceased Emperor Haile Selassie as a god and considers black people living outside Africa as captives in a foreign land.
Alvin “Seeco” Patterson was one of several reggae luminaries who sat in a VIP section with former prime ministers, ambassadors, and businessmen before a big movie screen in Kingston’s Emancipation Park. Marley’s widow, Rita, and other family members also joined the celebration.
“We started the music together. As he got bigger, he didn’t change that much. Always stayed a very nice guy,” said Patterson, a close friend of the singer’s and a longtime percussionist in Bob Marley & The Wailers.
Others spoke in reverential tones about Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36.
The documentary, a long-in-the-works project authorized by the Marley family, takes a linear, biographic approach that takes nearly 2 1/2 hours to tell the Jamaican songwriter’s life story through friends and relatives.
Born in rural St. Ann parish in 1945, Marley rose from the gritty Kingston slum of Trench Town to global stardom in the 1970s with hits like “No Woman, No Cry,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” and “I Shot the Sheriff.” His lyrics promoting social justice and African unity made him an icon in Jamaica and other developing countries.
Some even consider the musician a prophet, saying his lyrics promoting peace, “one love” and social justice have resonance today as Jamaica continues to struggle with violent crime and poverty.
Under pressure to choose between Michael Manley’s People’s National Party and Edward Seaga’s Jamaica Labor Party, most reggae stars remained neutral. They moved among Kingston’s chessboard of warring communities and chronicled the suffering.
Following a deadly 1978 military ambush of gang members allied to the opposition, Jamaica’s reggae stars took the stage at a Kingston concert to support peace. But the concert’s highlight _ a moment that has become immortalized in Jamaican consciousness _ was when Marley made Seaga and Manley clasp hands over his head and promise an end to the violence.
It didn’t, and Jamaica saw years more of political violence.
TWT Video Picks
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes