Rita Marley’s Lifetime Commitment to Marcus Garvey

November 16, 2010 § 5 Comments

Rita Marley

Rita Marley, reggae artist and humanitarian, and widow of Reggae icon Bob Marley, sat in regal serenity at the Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala in Washington, DC last week, giving little inkling of the true fighter that she is. For her passion and dedication to social justice and equal rights, she was being honored with the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Caribbean Studies. For Rita Marley – born Alpharita Anderson in Santiago, Cuba, raised in Trench Town, Jamaica and now living in Ghana – there is a special gratification to this honor. 

Dr. Claire Nelson and Rita Marley

A proud follower of Marcus Garvey, she made frequent and emphatic references to that great Jamaican visionary and pioneer during interviews with CaribNation Television and Afrofusion TV (a snippet of which you can watch after the jump.) And once she accepted the award, her humility was evident in the gratitude she offered to her ancestors, pioneers like Rosa Parks and “others who have set a standard and a path for us to follow towards the development of black people and the human beings around the world.” But that sounds just like what Rita Marley has been doing now for years.

CenC' Love Wailer

She founded both the Bob Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation, and is helping the children and the aged in Ghana, Ethiopia and Jamaica. She has adopted 35 children already in Ethiopia, but says that that is not even enough; she would like to adopt several more. The contributions she made to the development of Konkonuru village in Ghana led to her enstooling as a Queen mother, where she is now known as Nana Rita. It was perfectly fitting, as Rita Marley rose to accept her award, that “No Woman, No Cry” was being delivered by CenC’ Love Wailer, the daughter of Bunny Wailer (Bunny Livingston) one of the original Wailers. “In this great future you can’t forget your past,” she sang. And that’s exactly what Rita Marley is making sure of in the positive work she’s doing worldwide. Following is a preview of Rita Marley’s conversation with Riziki of Afrofusion TV, where she talks about her foundation’s work and the significance of the Marcus Garvey award. You can view more photos from the event in our Photo Gallery. Respect. Love. Bless…

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