From Addis to Capetown, Accra to Nairobi, Poland to New Zealand, and all of them other spaces and places in between, from all them jurisdictions regardless of whomsoever is nominally in charge. No matter.
We all have a favorite Marley song (or two, or three, four or more, maybe even most of them, all of them). Even some of us who don’t even much listen to reggae, we light up when his bright music come drifting through the atmosphere.
Him not come from no great big place with world-power government. Him not born with no silver nothing all up in his mouth. Him British father, him Jamaican mother, him new world prodigy who be old world wise.
Many, many, plenty of us have a Bob Marley story to tell. I saw him at a sound check in New Orleans one day and became a believer. As a journalist, I have been to a bunch of pre-concert prep sessions. Stage hands and lights-man, announcer and roadies running around making sure such and such is righteous. The star usually appears, if he or she even shows up at all, they appear very briefly. Just to make sure the volume is right, the placement, the backstage set, all a ready to roll.
When Marley run on stage, literally come bounding forward, even for the brevity of a perfunctory run through, he was more than all business. I saw the man close his eyes and sing. I saw the man throw his body thrashing about, possessed by a higher power. I saw the man. And I was afeared. Afraid he was going to hurt himself the way he flew through space singing and dancing like this was his last moment in life and he was giving it his all, leaving nothing behind but a small handful of us, our mouths hanging open. We had just witnessed a miracle.
How he was who he was, how he passed this way, made this world merry. Seriously, for real, wasn’t nothing fake. No show business. No look at me, I’m a star. No requesting or demanding special treatment. No entourage of hangers on.
So this is a song in remembrance of him, of what he did for all he a touched, for all of we. Just a little pretty diddy that meant, and continues, to mean so much: No Woman, No Cry. For all the Black women of the world, this is a song for you, whether you know it, have heard it, don’t know it, “who the hell is some, what you call him: Bob Mr. Marley”. Don’t matter. This is your song.
No matter how terrible was yesterday, how bad is today (and, yes, it is bad), how hopeless it seems tomorrow might be, or how, to the contrary, you might just tiny, tiny, tee-na-chie, cross your heart and hope to die, carry forth because you know and will never forget that we be the survivors. The Black survivors. And we shall overcome.
No matter who you be or what you do (or don’t). No matter. Some how, we shout the Marley song. We are convinced. We know, embrace, and act on the profundity of his music.
He is gone but his music is still here. Not just on records and tapes. But here within us. Deep. All up inside us. Ears. Eyes. Heart. Skin. He and we. I & I believe. Marley made the world a better place when he sang. When we listened to him. Everything. This is a Bob Marley song for all the women of the world, letting you know that there are some men dedicated to the proposition of our empowerment, to the making of a better world, to the promise: every little thing is going to be alright.