I was a bit hesitant to talk about this subject matter because anything challenging the hypocrisy in the Black community at times is met with ridicule and criticism and backlash of the most ignorant form. I use to like the music and lyrics of Mr. Robert Nesta Marley (Bob Marley), I liked how he sang about the slavery of Black people story of 400 years, I also like his lyrics empowering us Black folk to free ourselves from mental slavery. But, at the same time as imaging himself as some ganja smoking pot head, I am not sure that I am all for his message of liberation through economic and cultural empowerment, who was he speaking to really?
I am not sure if I am supportive of his message to free ourselves from slavery, because at the same time as talking about ways to empower ourselves from slavery violences, Mr. Robert Nesta Marley, was very disrespectful to his dark-skin wife. During those times, in Jamaica, I just can’t imagine what life was like, this is what I have to say and question about Mr. Robert Nesta Marley.
I decided to question who this Bob Marley cat was and what the deal was about him. He was a light-skin Black man with a good voice, great lyrics and I could see how he had some sex appeal. But at the same time as being married to a dark-skinned Afro kink hair woman, he made the choice to have child after child; people are not even sure, but have counted 8 or 9 other women, in addition to marrying his wife. How can you even be married and think to have more children while you are married? How can you be married and think to share your sacred jewels and have sex even with white women when singing against white enslavement oppression? What about sexually transmitted diseases and sharing spiritual bodily fluids indiscriminately?
I began to ask questions about Mr. Marley and was sickened to learn that he even had sex with white women. This must have really troubled his dark-skin wife, why did he even marry her in the first place, if he had no connection to her soul or intention to romance her for the entirety of his human life? Maybe there was a reason why he died so young, maybe he really died of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDs, or maybe he was murdered, who knows? I would love to see his medical records and follow closer the most private experiences in his life. After all, he is speaking to us, so don’t we have to right to know more?
I just tend to side with Black women in relationships with their Black soul mate because, at the same time as trying to understand what position to take, I also am exploring different angles and view points to understand more about the meaning of ‘conscious’ in Mr. Marley’s music. Mr. Livingston, in various sources of commentary, also pointed out that Bob Marley’s wife was not to be trusted and was a sexually slack opportunist, but what was life really like for a dark-skin Black woman in Jamaica? It was also reported that Bob Marley’s mother never liked Alpharita Constantia Anderson (Rita Marley), there was just something that stunk about the sexual prowess in this Black relationship, how do you sing about emancipation from slavery and self respect and show none to your own dark-skin wife?
This also for me brought up the topic that Black men deserve to have Black women that love them. Too many times, often, we as Black woman are lambasted with imaging informing us that we are not desired and left to be alone. But, this is not the case then every woman in the world wants to be like a Black woman, however much they want, they will never have our swagger and strength. We as Black women also think about finding our Black soul mate, our rock in times of challenges and also our source of recharge in times of various forms of temperment. We Black women long for that experience to be romanced and proposed to, we don’t long for romance and a life supported by morals supporting the white picket fence and domination of the supremacy of whiteness. But, there was something very wrong and disrespectful about the way that Bob Marley treated Rita Marley, I wonder if Rita would ever come out and talk about how she feels Black women must be respected.
Also, I have been reading some articles and ordered some books about this Bob and Rita love affair, there is still more to learn. But, at the same time as praising their god, it seems like something was not quite right with even this following called Rastafarianism. How come Bob Marley could not control his sexual prowess tendencies isn’t that what this fraternity called ‘religion’ is suppose to teach you? From what I have come to understand, sexual prowess is a form of violence against women, it is also a way for very insecure men to play out their sexual problems and self esteem challenges. This aggression needs to be addressed because while I write this as a Black woman myself, I think all the Sistas deserve a Black man to love them and romance them in order to mutually experience bliss to the depths and mysteries of the universe, there is still more to learn.
At the end of the day, when I began to investigate this sexual prowess with Mr. Robert Nesta Marley, it made me feel let down to think and feel that the music that I so trusted to shape me as a person and shape my experiences in life, also, to make them experiences of empowerment, could have also been recorded to make fun our plight and esteem the ways of the oppressor. My point is to question ‘authenticity’, if one does not walk their talk in the conveyance of their music lyrics, then, how could this even be classified as conscious soul music?
At the end of the day I will preliminarily side with Rita Marley because she must have been deeply hurt by the lack of sexual and spiritual discipline by her husband Bob Marley. Creating a sacred bond and experiencing that for the rest of ones human life, must be the greatest feeling on earth. But, not to dismiss the need to address sexual and spiritual violence against Black women, we have to question what Mr. Robert Nesta Marley was boldly saying to us Black women. If he could not hold his own in his personal life, then yes, we have to question if this Bob Marley dope smoking pot head was really emancipated from mental and sexual slavery himself.