Bob Marley’s Spiritual Rhetoric, the Spread of Jamaican Culture and Rastafarianism

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Bob Marley’s Spiritual Rhetoric, the Spread of Jamaican Culture and
Rastafarianism

By
Mark Haner

Senior Seminar: Hst 499
Professor John L. Rector
Western Oregon University
June 16, 2007
Readers
Professor John L. Rector
Professor Kimberly Jensen
Copyright © Mark Haner, 2007

The spread of Jamaican culture and Rastafarianism can be accredited to many events and technical advances in communication. Bob Marley is one of the main influences the spread of Jamaican culture and Rastafarianism due to the lyrical rhetoric used in his popular music. Growing up as an impoverished youth, Marley struggled to create a music career where his voice as well as others could be heard globally.
Bob Marley’s lyrics contributed to the
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Gilroy defines Marley calling him the greatest man in reggae music and the greatest leader and proponent of the spread of the Rasta religion. This article poses
Marley “as an icon for the struggle for justice, peace and human rights” 5 not just another musician or pop icon.
Although opposed to many established governmental policies, Marley was not an anti-establishment advocate. He was an individual that believed governments and everyday people, such as those who may not be involved in politics, needed to look out for their fellow humans and treat all people equally regardless of ethnicity and income.
Marley used his music to bring many social issues to the forefront that had previously been suppressed. Many of these issues were not suppressed because of their nature, but because of the lack of influence Jamaica had on the world.
The country of Jamaica is highly dependant on tourism and agricultural exports such as raw sugar. By-products of the raw sugar production are molasses and rum. Due to these limited industries, most citizens of Jamaica are of the working class and this
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Gilroy, Paul. “Could You Be Loved? Bob Marley, Anti-Politics and Universal Sufferation.” Critical
Quarterly 47.1/(Spring 2005): 226-245.
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Gilroy, 232.

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creates a service and now, product-based economy typical of the developing world.
Marley focuses on the situations he experienced both in his

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