Jamaican businesswoman, fashion mogul, philanthropist and author Cedella Marley attended the Source Booksellers-hosted virtual event – aptly titled “Redemption: Creating a Better World Tour with Cedella Marley” – to introduce her latest curation, Redemption: Reflections on Creating a Better World. The inspirational literature confers a collection of dicta from late reggae legend Robert ‘Bob’ Nesta Marley.
“This year marks daddy’s (Bob Marley) 75th ‘earthstrong’…and the 40th anniversary of Redemption Song, this was my way of honouring his life…[and] one of his most enduring songs,” remarked Cedella, to the event’s host, regarding what cultivated the impetus for the book.
Redemption Song, Cedella continued, “calls out systematic oppression… it’s giving us a message of how we can move forward.” The multihyphenate then added that Redemption Song is as relevant in 2020 as it was when it was written four decades ago.
“Redemption is a universal theme… (founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Jamaica’s first National Hero) Marcus Garvey’s words are there… daddy took those words and made a timeless piece… two geniuses coming together, Garvey and Marley,” Cedella further explained to retired educator Janet Webster Jones, owner of the Detroit-based Source Booksellers outfit.
The Grammy award-winning performer adduced that Redemption: Reflections on Creating a Better World – which was conceptualised before the Covid-19 pandemic struck – is a timely guide for navigating the challenges being faced in the current global climate. “We all have a responsibility to the planet. The people, the planet…we are all interconnected…until we are all free, none of us are free,” she responded to Webster Jones’ affirmation that the pandemic has caused everything and everyone to “be still,” which involuntarily incites a period of reflection.
Cedella recounted a conversation she recently had with Julius Garvey regarding how affective his father’s words are and how they resonated with her father to inspire him to create a song like Redemption Song, that then became the catalyst for her book.
“Daddy was very solution oriented,” Cedella highlighted, adding that her father would be on the front line, united with the people who have been marching and using their voices to speak out against oppression around the world. Cedella noted, to Webster Jones, that “he (Bob) would be disappointed that there is still so much trouble in the world.”
“‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery’ those are the words that stick in my head… How did we get here? Why are we still here? What happened? I just didn’t think I’d be in a world, [where] I am scared…I am telling them (her children) how to act when they go out… (but), we cannot allow fear to take over. No more mind control for us,” Cedella responded to OAJ’s pre-submitted question: ‘Which quote from the book best informs your life’s mantra? And, why?
Redemption: Reflections on Creating a Better World is designed by Andie Reid with illustrations by Mariah Fox.
Lyrics from the following songs Positive Vibration, written by Vincent Ford; Small Axe, written by Bob Marley; Talkin’ Blues, written by Carleton Barrett and Lecon Cogill; Rastaman Live Up, written by Bob Marley and Rainford Hugh Perry,
with additional publishing credit to Universal Songs of Polygram Inc; Rat Race, written by Rita Marley; Redemption Song, written by Bob Marley; and One Love, written by Bob Marley are used in the collection.