He stood for love, peace and resistance, but also for Rastafarian orthodoxy. Bob Marley would have been 75 today.
Bob Marley was a musician, political activist, entrepreneur, free thinker and the first artist to call the still young Rastafarian faith out into the world. Marley stood for love, peace, resistance to oppression, black liberation and openness to other people. His residential and commercial building on Hope Road in Kingston was open to people.
“In addition to journalists from all over the world, several dozen people came to us almost every day,” says Tommy Cowan, then manager of Bob Marley, “They came to Bob and asked him about financial help to open a business, the trip to the country to finance the family or just to be able to afford food to survive on the street. There were days when we gave people all the cash we had.”
But politics was also made here. In 1977 Cowan got a call from Marley, who was in exile in London. It was shaken by the violence between supporters of the Socialist People’s National Party and the economically liberal Jamaica Labor Party. With the “One Love Peace” concert, he wanted to bring the supporters of both parties together peacefully.
As a Rastafarian, Marley worshiped Ethiopian King Haile Selassie in 1930 as a living black god. In their belief, it is important for them to return spiritually to their African homeland, Ethiopia. Marley himself visited Ethiopia in 1979 and the village of Shashamane, which Haile Selassie handed over to the Rastafarian community.