Jamaican Music a Catalyst for Social Change ( Do you Agree?)

           I agreement with the statement”Jamaican music is a catalyst for social change”. Music is a very dynamic factor in highlighting social issues. According to Dr. Donna Hope in a presentation , Image result for dancehall musicshe highlighted that” the introduction of Dancehall music was a result of the social frustrations faced by Jamaicans”. Persons of a lower class used this avenue to voice their concerns and issues. The music highlighted  their problems. The lyrics used were a representation of the experiences they have.

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The argument may be there that dancehall promotes negativity, as the lyrics have negativity and highlights the drastic  means of survival. Our behavior based off society may influence us to do drastic things. Too much assumptions cannot be placed on dancehall, as to say, it is the reason why there is so much violence around. Image result for dancehall music

Even though there has been negativity in dancehall music it also helps in bringing across our feeling. After surfacing in the late 1960’s into 70’s, Reggae became a catalyst not only locally but also internationally. Jamaican music influenced and inspired freedom fighters and developed the life style of many individuals. Needless to say in my opinion Jamaican music has done more good than harm in becoming a catalyst for social change. What do you think?????


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Issues of Caribbean Identity

“…Jamaica thorough out its post Columbian history, has witnessed a counterpoint of allegiance: rejection of blackness and Africa on one hand, assertion on the other” (Alleyne, M., 2003, p.39).

The Caribbean is full  with persons from many races and ethnic groups. It is diverse varying with persons from African and Asian descents. In my opinion I agree with this statement that “Jamaica through-out its post Columbian history, has witnessed a counterpoint of alligence…” (Alleyne,M,2003,p.39). With this diversity of culture in the Caribbean it has helped in the rejection of blackness and Africa.

Many persons today do not consider themselves African. Firstly the geographical location is way far from Jamaica and secondly they don’t see the link. Most individuals are products of multi-racial relationship and hence the rejection of being an African is rejected. Africa is represented by the color black and so they see the blacks as at the bottom at the social structure (At the next stage of evolution, black or negro …became synonymous with slaves).  When Africans arrived to the “New World” they were forced to let go of their norms, values, cultures and adapt the Europeans way of life. The question of ‘Who am I?’ is a question asked but in a different way. ‘ what is my skin color?’ this is just a way to identify if you are an African Indian etc. I think persons are much quicker to accept being black better than been considered Africans(By using ‘black’ rather than African to represent themselves). The most current example I can give of Jamaicans rejecting the blackness and Africa is the most popular issue of skin bleaching and hair extension.

The rejection comes in many forms. The popular traditions that link us to our roots are being replaced by the use of new media. Many religions has attested to the mis-conceptions around that influence this ideology. We have left our traditions to follow other cultures, instead of embracing what we believe in. The question is how do we get rid of the mind-set that black is wrong and deal with the issue of how we can appreciate it.

How does Ivan construct his identity as a man throughout the movie?

Identity refers to a  person’s conception and expression of their own and others individuality or group affiliation.

In the movie ” The Harder they come” ,Ivan, the major character  in the movie shows his identity as a man through out the movie from the beginning. Ivan a country man arriving to town with determination to make it in the music industry. Unable to reside with his mother he seeks other avenues to be able to stay in town. Throughout his difficulty he meets Elsa, his new girlfriend and tries to prove to her that he is a man who is worthy to be with her. By doing all this he became a choir member, takes a  job from the Pastor and starts attending church.

Later in the movie we are retracted to the life Ivan chooses to take on when he decides to construct a new identity. He became the ” Jamaican Badman” after viewing a movie at the then popular Rialto. The images that he saw inspired his sudden change of lifestyle and so he became the image. The choice of his image was lead due to his rip of from the producer. After Ivan recorded his song  the producer sold it to him for a small amount. As a man without money he decided to seek another way to survive, by becoming a gunman as he had seen in the film. this was another way Ivan chose to highlight being a man.

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