On December 3, 1976, an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life. His concert was scheduled for December 5 after a president candidate’s election rally. Some believe the attempt was executed by the US government in fear that Marley would sway the vote. Marley received two gun shot wounds. He, however, still played the show. When asked why he did not rest, he responded, “The people who are making this world worse don’t take a day off, how can I”? Bob Marley’s persistence, bravery, and courage can be correlated to the Civil Rights Movement.
Marley’s bravery symbolizes the persistence and determination of the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans were constantly being told that they were inferior, constantly being held back, constantly thrown under the bus. They, however, did not give up. They continued to protest, to participate in freedom rides, to engage in sit-ins, and to march the streets for their rights. They were relentless in the battle just as their opposition was. In Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” track, he proclaims, “Most people think great God will come from the skies, take away everything, and make everybody feel high. But if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth: and now see you the light, you stand up for your rights.” Just as Marley states, equality will not be given to African Americans. They are to fight for it, to earn it. The only way to earn that is to campaign and give voice to their cause. The persistence of the Civil Rights Movement never ceases to amaze me. The brutality and unfairness that African Americans met seemed to be never-ending. To counter that, they, too, put forth a never-ending fight until they received their rights. They continued to move on and find progress where they could. There were no immediate results, but little by little, improvements were gained. Although African Americans were seeing friends, family, and co-workers beaten down, they kept pushing forward.
Do you agree with my correlation between the Civil Rights Movement and Bob Marley? Can you think of specific instances in which an African American was denied time and time again, yet continued to pursue his or her goals? Do you feel like you would have given up at a certain point, or would you have continued to fight for your rights despite the consequences that might ensue?