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Jamaica, Rasta & Reggea F13

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by

Julie Jenkins

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of Jamaica, Rasta & Reggea F13

Jamaica, Rasta & Reggae
Work all night on a drink of rum
(Daylight come and me wan' go home)
Stack banana till the mornin' come
(Daylight come and me wan' go home)

Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me banana
(Daylight come and me wan' go home)
Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me banana
(Daylight come and me wan' go home)

Uneven economic and political experience & processes of localization
Long history of global integration:
--1494, Christopher Columbus
--Diego Columbus
--establlish Spanish colony (Santiago)
Looking for gold & silver
--used indigenous population, Arawak Indians
--population of 60,000 died b/c of disease & working conditions
--brought over 1st group of African slaves in 1517
British- 1655
--settlers given land to cultivate sugar and cocoa
--relied on import of African slaves for labor
--series of rebellions
--Slavery ended in 1834
--former slaves served as 'apprentices' for 4 years
--full emancipation in 1838
-some former slaves stayed working for plantation owners
-others settled elsewhere and started local trade and subsistence farming
--plantation owners imported Chinese and Indian indentured servants
--small population of both African and European ancestory
Correlation between race & social/economic class
--race still understood as determining one's mental capabilities and successfulness in life
--marginalization of former slaves from accumulation of wealth, education
1900s-
---sugar cultivation decreases
--American corporation starts banana production and export
--lands sold, people had to turn to wage labor in banana production/export
--emergent middle-class through clerical posts
--Affected by Great Depression in 1930s
--increasing unemployment, economic insecurity
--many former slaves lost jobs in banana industry
--didn't have land to go back to for agriculture
--those with jobs-- went on strike in 1938 against low wages and working conditions
British Colonial Admin
--established representative government
--still under control of Britain though
--developed first political party and labor union
Backdrop for Black Nationalist Movement in 1920s
--Marcus Garvey (born 1887)
--vision of black owned businesses

-vs ideology of white elite: black underclass not capable of economic success b/c of biological differences
--"respectable" associated with removing "blackness"
--white ancestry
--adoption of English values/norms
--bleaching creams
1930s- Rastafari Movement
--Haile Selassi I crowned as emperor of Ethiopia
--known as Ras Tafari
--understood by Jamaican activists as a messiah, bringing freedom to all Africans
--Adopted clothing, hairstyle, language to demonstrate rejection of 'middle/upper' class values, capitalism, and wage labor
--economic communalism
--desire to repatriate to Africa
--Not really politically engaged
--but authorities viewed them suspiciously
--compounds raided
--moved into slums of Kingston alongside other lower-class persons
--picked up musical protest
1944-1962
--plans for Jamaican Independence
--initially in terms of suffrage
--by 1957- financial burden on English so relinquished more control
--1962- full Independence, part of British commonwealth
1950-1969 economic changes:
--drop in agriculture
--manufacturing furniture, garments, etc
--leading exporter of Bauxite
--American/Canadian companies invested in Bauxite mining
--didn't process in Jamaica though
--bought more rural lands
--driving small farmers off land
--had to start importing food
increasing economic class disparity
--racialized
--but middle-class more diverse than previously
--lower class: unemployment, food shortages, housing shortages
Oil Crisis in 1970s
--world-wide, price of oil increases b/c OPEC countries bargaining for power
--reduced manufacturing, more food shortages,
--turn to IMF for loans in unstable economy
-receives loans of 75 million in 1977
--comes with conditions: reduce wages, remove price controls on exports, devalue the currency
by 1980s
--worse economically than before
--reduction even further of local farmers
--increased reliance on imported food
--creation of "Free Trade Zone"
--MNC factories- low wages
--Rastas mingling with lower-class in Kingston
--Ska - influenced by American Blues
--Rocksteady - "Rude Boys"
--Around "Dancehall"- social spaces around rigging sound systems to public address systems
Reggae- politically engaged and popular by 1970s
--spread of Rasta faith & music
--political consciousness of "Babylon"
"Babylon"-- oppressive institutions (Jamaican government, capitalism, people motivated by greed, IMF)

--holding people in bondage
Buju Banton "Untold Stories"
“I am living while I am living to the father I will pray
Only him knows how we get through everyday
With all the hike in the price
Arm and leg we have to pay
While our leaders play

All I see people a rip and a rob and a rival
Tief never love fe see tief wid long bag
No love for the people who a sufferin bad
Another toll to the poll may God help we soul
What is to stop the youths from get out of control
Full up of education yet no on no payroll
The clothes on my back have countless eyehole.
I could go on and on the fool has never been thrown

Also get development of Dancehall as style
-becomes popular in 1980s, although developed beforehand
--King Tubby (60s/70s)- "dub versions"
--"toasting"
--initially over live band
--by 1980s toasting over digitized beats
--"Soundsystems"

How does Reggae & Dancehall become popular in Japan?
-Mighty Crown - World Clash 1999
--Nahki -- performing in Jamaica
Why are some people in Japan drawn to Reggae/Dancehall?
Japan-
--direct contact with Portuguese traders in 1543
--followed by others
--1600- expels traders, missionaries, most 'foreigners' (except Dutch & Chinese merchants)
--believed these to be the forerunners of 'Western' conquest
forced to start trading with "West" in 1853
--US Navy
by 1900- just as technologically equipped as Europe/US.
--Built railroads, industrial production in textiles
--students to US/Europe
--teachers brought to Japan

needed resources: colonized Korea, Taiwan, tried to invade China.
After WWII, occupied by US
--since then leaders in car production, electronics manufacturing

-Leader in the global economy
--not contemporarily marginalized like Jamaica, & most countries in South America and Africa.
Why take up reggae?
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