The Best of Bob Marley – Part 3: The Movement by Rohan Marley

Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 at 9:20 am
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Today we’re bringing you the last part in our “Best of Bob Marley” series (Part 1Part 2), taking a closer look at the Rastafari movement he brought out of obscurity and into the international lime light. He became the leader of a generation in Jamaica that felt change was necessary, and used the Rastafari movement to build a new society for impoverished Jamaicans living in slums. Songs such as “Chant Down Babylon,” “Exodus,” “Buffalo Soldier,” and “Redemption Song” called for action against the evils of society.  Bob Marley reflected on his work saying, “Me see myself as a revolutionary who don’t have no help and take no bribe from no one, and fight it single-handed with music.”


Founded in 1930 when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was crowned king, the Rasta movement found much support in the slums of Jamaica. It drew on the imagery and ideals of Christianity, but advocated social and political change with messages of black pride, freedom from oppression, and the hope of return to the African homeland (also  referred to as their own “Zion,” or promised land).  Rastafarians believe in a god called Jah, and reject the idea of an afterlife, instead looking to Africa as heaven on earth. Rastafarians also believe in the concept of “I and I” (said in place of “you and I”) emphasizing the unity between humans and Jah as well as equality among all humans.


The movement itself has gained notoriety for its unconventional practices, including its use of dreadlocks, marijuana, and symbolic Rasta colors. Most Rastafarians, including the late Bob Marley, wear their hair in dreadlocks. They don’t cut their hair, quoting the book of Numbers in the Bible: “No razor shall come upon his head,” (Numbers 6:5).  They believe the dreads  reflect a naturalness and simplicity associated with Africa. Rastas are also known for their habitual smoking of marijuana. Bob Marley was a huge advocate of marijuana, praising its medicinal and peaceful attributes and often seen with a joint in his hands. The other main Rasta symbols are the colors of red, gold, and green: Red stands for the blood of the martyrs in the black struggle for liberation, gold represents the wealth of the African homeland, and green symbolizes Ethiopia’s lush vegetation.


Ital food comes from the phrase “vital food” and describes 100% natural, pure, and clean food. For Rastafarians it means no chemicals, blood, meat, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. Along with these characteristics, Ital foods tend to avoid salt, oil, and meat. For the Rastafarians food is a way to harmonize with nature and organically rid the body of harmful toxins.

Marley Coffee prides itself on offering Ital coffee beans. These organic and chemical-free coffees are rich in flavor and antioxidants, Look for the “Ital” label on your coffee.

Read more about Bob Marley.

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