The full state honors that reggae music star Bob Marley will receive are an indication of the great influence he had throughout the Caribbean and particularly in his native jamaica.
Monitoring Latin America correspondent James Nelson Goodsell writes that Mr. Marley, who passed on May 11, popularized reggae in the 1960s and '70s -- and was its best-known advocate, Reggae is a slightly offbeat Jamaican rhythm that frequently brings audiences to their feet to sway in mass unison to the reiterated chants of the music.
Linked with the Rastafarian religious movement in Jamaica and the Caribbean, reggae has something of a messianic political message. More than anyone else. Mr. Marley symbolized that message. His music cried out for political, economic , and social change. He once strongly supported former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley and his movement toward socialism, then bec ame disenchanted with Mr. Manley.