I have always loved Bob Marley and this song was always stirring. Recently, I took the time to learn the true meaning behind the lyrics. They are somewhat prophetic and have become transcendent of race alone.
“We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind…”
Those lines were taken from a speech given by Marcus Garvey in Nova Scotia during October 1937 and published in his Black Man magazine
Bob Marley made them iconic in 1979…
“I carried Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to every meeting I had with a politician, prime minister, or president. It was for me a prophetic utterance or as Bob would say ‘the small ax that could fell the big tree.’ The song reminded me that freedom always comes with a cost, but for those who would prepare to pay it, maybe ‘emancipation from mental slavery’ would be our reward.”
— Bono of U2
Learn. Pray. Hope. Fight. Love. Learn