When Music is the Message

How Reggae Built Understanding for Rastafarianism

Enchanting Calypso melodies can instantly transport a listener to the palm-lined shores of a Caribbean island. But reggae is so much more than just a beat, or a bass line. It is about a socio-religious movement known as Rastafarianism, founded some 80 years ago in the slums of Jamaica and made famous by performers like Bob Marley and Matisyahu. It is also a culture, a way of life, that—with its dreadlocks, cannabis, and bright colored clothing—is both mystical and a mystery to those in Western culture.

Instead of using mass media, the Rastafarians have primarily spread their messages through music. Reggae has not only become its medium for communicating; it ...

Get Public Relations for the Public Good now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.