17 August 1983
MIKEY SMITH’s brutal murder on 17 August, 1983 robbed Jamaica of one of its most visionary and talented poets. His album Mi Cyaan Believe It is a classic, and in my opinion, one of the greatest reggae-dub poetry albums ever made.
07 August 1981
RAS HU-I was a celebrated Rasta doctor whose clinic was located near the D&G bottling plant in Reading, just outside Montego Bay. When Merrise and I were in Jamaica in 1981, we were staying only a mile or so from his clinic. I wanted to go to try to interview him, but, to be honest, I was getting a little worn down by the constant interrogation which accompanied my every interaction with Rastas. Also, I was still coming to terms with the idea that I was a Backra man. Merrise occasionally suffered from migraine so I suggested that she might go and interview Ras Hu-I about his natural remedies. So she did. The quotes which follow are from the tape she brought back that day.
18 August 1921
“THE GREAT problem of the Negro for the last 500 years,” Marcus Garvey observes in this rousing speech, “has been that of disunity. No one or no organization ever succeeded in uniting the Negro race. But within the last four years, the Universal Negro Improvement Association has worked wonders. It is bringing together in one fold four million organized Negroes who are scattered in all parts of the world.”