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Relaxing Reggae Music


Jah Cure

How do I feel about reggae music?

Mixed feelings… it’s the music I grew up listening to but it’s also a genre of music that I have distanced myself from for some time. Going back to my roots – while it channels some very great memories, reggae music also brings back very unfortunate ones.

Even so, I can’t deny my love for reggae music, it was my own ‘relax, study, sleep’ kind of music: for a peace of mind, I listened to reggae music to revitalize my sense of hope and purpose.

Some of my favorite reggae artist, if you want to check them out includes Chronixx, Damian Marley, Protje, Etana, Jah Cure, Tanya Stephens, Jimi Cliff and more popular, Bob Marley.


Protoje

"From the Outside Looking In"

“Everyone’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Jamaicans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.”

This is a quote by the very historic American writer and playwright, James Baldwin… In the quote, I replaced the term, ‘Americans’ with ‘Jamaicans’.
Baldwin in my opinion was first and foremost a human being BUT in his time, he was merely BLACK and GAY. The sociopolitical stigma and prejudice that encompassed the topic of color and sexuality forced him to migrate to France in the 1940s. Though still evolving, France was one of the more liberal countries at the time (and currently is).

Referencing back to the quote above, bear in mind that 20th century America represented the ‘Egypt’ of Baldwin’s lifetime and it does make you wonder what life was really like in America in the 1940s.

Still yet, we can look to Jamaican society for a firsthand experience.

On the other hand, America today, for people like myself represents the ‘Canaan’ of what France was for Baldwin in the 1940s.

A man without roots, without a country to call home. James Baldwin used his experience to unveil what it looks like beyond being BLACK,
beyond being GAY and even more, beyond being an IMMIGRANT, a line of thought that is still unfathomable to many people in our lifetime;
in this day and age.

Baldwin superseded labels – in my opinion, Baldwin was neither BLACK nor GAY, nor was he an immigrant,
he was a human being who was denied his rights.

I’ve been inspired by James Baldwin.

What does prejudice look like in America from the perspective of a French lifestyle?
What does hope look like in France from the perspective of an American lifestyle?

These are questions Baldwin may have possibly asked himself.

The following poem is by Warsaw Shire [the poet behind Beyoncé’s recent album] – she explains what she thinks of home amidst prejudice and fighting shame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6t78c_5aR4

Gaycation!

As a ‘must see’, I would recommend a new docuseries by Ellen Page and her best friend, Ian Daniel, called Gaycation which explores LGBT culture around the world. I’ve been watching some of these videos over the last few days and at times it has been heartbreaking but at other times uplifting.

So far she has been to Jamaica, Brazil and Japan… these videos can be found on YouTube/VICELAND.

From the dancehall scene in Jamaica, the carnival parades in Brazil to a son coming out to his mother in Japan, it’s really eye opening and humbling.
Ellen Page came out in 2014, in a very inspiring speech at HRCF’s Time to Strive Conference…

And it’s always inspiring to see a childhood star, who has been through similar struggles, come out and stand up in a bold way for something that matters a lot to you.

Gaycation is just one among the great projects that she has been doing… she was in Jamaica last year for the country’s very first gay pride – something I’m still at awe about.
It was a very small celebration but it sends a very strong message to the people in a very homophobic country, that we are still alive and proud. Some of the scenes from that pride event are shown in the documentary she did in Jamaica.

She also spoke with a very homophobic politician and a serial killer in Brazil, who of course, refused to show his face. His unquestionable hate for gay people is really sad!

Please check out this series and share your thoughts!