Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Get Up, Stand Up"

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?


  1. I absolutely believe that there is a correlation between Bob Marley and the Civil Rights Movement. However, I do not believe that everyone in the Civil Rights Movement had that same great mentality of, "The people who are making this world worse don't take a day off, how can I?" This is the type of mindset that African Americans SHOULD HAVE HAD during the Civil Rights Movement. While a lot of them did, and a lot of Blacks did fight for their rights and stand by one another, there was a large mass of the population who had given up, or sold themselves out. They were letting those who make the world worse completely ruin their own lives and they had no idea how they were ruining it for themselves in the long run.