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Award Winner: Robert Nesta Marley

Robert Nesta MarleyWe honour Bob Marley as he was more generally known, with an Intermix Positive Contribution Award for the wonderful legacy of music and words he left behind. He is an inspiration to the oppressed, a brother to the sufferer and a friend to the lonely,
a shining light to the people. Robert Nesta Marley, you will never be forgotten.

Bob Marley, can easily claim the title as the most famous mixed-race individual of the 20th Century. Whether he would ever have described himself as mixed-race will never be known, Yet, he certainly was affected by his mixed racial heritage and there are still people today who do not know of Bob’s dual heritage.

Robert Nesta Marley was born to a Jamaican mother and a Scottish father. His father, however, deserted the family shortly after his son was born. As a half-white child in Jamaica, Bob was not easily accepted in the local community. He was often considered to be white. This was a legacy from colonialism whereby those with lighter skin were often more privileged than their darker counterparts. It is known today as shadism. Bob's white blood would cause him much pain in his early youth, especially compounded by the fact that his father played no part in his life. He had been known to curse the white blood that ran through his veins.

His wife Rita Marley, commented, 'Bob had to put up with a lot of resistance in Trench Town. If he hadn't been so strong in himself, he wouldn't have become what he is today. He'd be down-trodden and seen as another half-caste who could never make it.

His teacher, Clarice Bushay said, 'Bob was shy at school, he required constant reassurance.’ She felt she should moderate the amount of attention she gave him. 'Because he was light skinned, other children would become jealous of him getting so much of my time.'

Despite his humble beginnings, Bob would grow up to be the most well known Reggae artist to date and is credited with bringing Reggae music and the Rastafarian religion to the western world. During his lifetime, Bob Marley and the Wailers released 11 albums in Britain and although he never attained number one here whilst he was alive, his name and music is known throughout the world.

There were those close to him that attributed Bob's success to his having a Scottish father and the sacrifices that Bob made in his teenage years for being half-white have never been acknowledged. Despite the rejection of his white family and some members of the black community, Bob did not harbour any negative racial assumptions and deplored anything classed as otherness: apart from the human race.

Unity is the world's key, and racial harmony. Until the white man stop calling himself white and the black man stop calling himself black, we will not see it. All the people on the earth are just one family, and so my music defends righteousness. If you’re black and you're wrong, you're wrong; if you're white and you're wrong, you're wrong; if you're Indian and you're wrong, you're wrong. It's universal.' Bob Marley.



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