Commemorations and Livications

Yes Mi Irieites,

Today we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of one of Spike Lee’s most recognized movies, “Do The Right Thing.”

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Spike has been known for several films throughout the years that have enlightened the world on the racial divide in the USA. He depicts stories and experiences that are timeless and remain current –  just look at  the everyday news incidents of today.

Well done, Spike for waking up the world and letting us all be aware that the planet will one day grind to a halt without Universal Love.

This is also the 15th anniversary, since the death of Zimbabwe’s national hero, Joshua Nkomo; the man that might have made a difference in the southern African country’s future.

In regards to other special events: Mike Tyson’s birthday is today. You should go out and read his awesome autobiography: Undisputed Truth.

Also our dear friend and business associate, Cassandra Goins, “Happy Birthday,” girl.

And last but by no means least, Sister Faybienne Miranda, whose earth day is today but passed late last year. Protection to you family continually, dear.

5 Years On: Remembering Michael Jackson

Hail Mi Irieites,

I’ve been reflecting on Michael Jackson and his artistic legacy.  He was a true son of music and a dedicated artist whose work we are only just beginning to appreciate.  The Michael Jackson experience was a result of his passionate love for music, for dance, for truth and justice.  It was Michael himself who said that he felt that art was the union of the physical with the spiritual.

Here is a clip of a rehearsal:

Michael truly was an unstoppable force, a talent few have ever seen in the world. When I see or hear the outtakes of his work, I feel a real sense of loss – for what might have been.  Still, we are blessed to have had him trod with us at all.

“Play the music, he cyan’t dead.”

Jah Bless.

P.S. – if you missed it, take a look at Spike Lee’s documentary.

Juneteenth: Freedom Day in the USA

Hail Mi Irieites,

I trust you’ve taken time out to acknowledge Juneteenth which is celebrated on the 19th of June since 1865. It commemorates the day when slavery’s abolition was put into its true effect despite the fact, that the Emancipation Proclamation was declared 30 months before, in 1865.

Here are the details:

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

So here is a day of true liberation that we will never forget.

Blessings to you all….

A Kauai Style Celebration

Yes Mi Irieites,

This is a big shout out to all our fans, especially those that attended the show in Kauai, at the Kilohana Plantation. It is not often that Father’s Day and my birthday land on the same day. Nevertheless, we tried to make the most of it. Yes, we did.

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From the moment we landed in Kauai, we were entertained Hawaiian style; serenaded by 4 beautifully spirited people. Some of us stopped behind and took pics.

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Then there was the show, but prior to that, the band and crew chipped in on a watch that I have had my eye on, ever since we performed in Peru, a few months ago. Thanks bros and sister. That was a pleasant surprise. Not having a cake presented to me on stage this time round, was a surprise too. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it.  Now I have something to match my “redder than dread” outfit and my red “Ray Ban” sunglasses, that I’ve been sporting recently.  But enough talk of material things.

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Once again, many thanks to everybody on the Hawaiian islands that have supported the band through thick and thin throughout the years. We acknowledge there is now a new generation of Pulsers, since our first arrival, back in 1986.

And just as I am overcoming my jet-lag, we have to do a 180 degrees back to our designated countries, until we meet again.

Give thanks for life…..

Farewell Mother Sister

Hail Mi Irieites,

Let’s take a minute to pause and remember Ruby Dee – civil rights activist first and actress second.

Dee and her late husband Ozzie Davis were well-known civil rights activists.  She was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Both Dee and Davis were both friends of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcolm X’s funeral in 1965. In 1970, she won the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League. In 1999, Dee and Davis were arrested at the headquarters of the New York Police Department, protesting the police shooting of Amadou Diallo.

Steel Pulse were honored to share a moment where our lives intersected – through Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.

Bless you Mother Sister… R.I.P.

 

A Visit to Pearl Harbor

Yes Mi Irierites, 

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With a day to spare before our next gig in Honolulu, we were fortunate to get the opportunity to see the historical memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I say fortunate, because since our very first visit to Hawaii, back in 1986, there has never been a relaxing moment to take time out and make this visit.
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Collectively speaking, we thought it would be a real shame if we were ever to mention to our children and grand children that we have been coming to Hawaii for almost 30 years and have never seen the site that experienced such a catastrophic event which the USA still regards, even to this day, as one of the most significant of events in their almost three century history.Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 1.19.07 AM
It was an enlightening observation.  Being here, had me connecting the dots on how the world was at that time.  Not that anything has really changed over the decades, but it showed me how hungry countries were in the struggle for power.  With Japan wanting China and the rest of Asia, Europe wanting all of Africa, and Russia’s spread of Communism, all of this created the inevitability of war.  It is no wonder that the legacy of imperialism and racism is what it is today.
Anyway, with 2,341 dying during the incident on Dec 7th, 1941, many that have survived have chosen to be buried among those that lost their lives that day.  The most recent joined the ranks in 2013.
Eight known survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack are still alive.  Two have already pointed out that when they die they wish to be buried among the rest of the victims.
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“All we are saying, is give peace a chance” – John Lennon.

Wha’ Gwaan, Guam?

Yes Mi Irieites,

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.35.49 PMGuam 2014: Stylin’ in the Limo

After 3 days of travelling from the Caribbean, to the South Pacific, we have finally landed in Guam…. And got : “leid!” (pronounced laid). Yes, it really took us that long to get here.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.36.09 PMGuam 2014: Baruch and David Dread

The reception has been warm as usual, with that incredible looking limo waiting for us once more outside the airport.

Why can’t everyday be a Guam day?

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 2.36.31 PMGuam 2014: Roman, Dread, and Veronica

As tired as we were, we all went out to the “Jamaican Grill” restaurant. There we met two of our youngest ardent admirers, 13 year old Roman, and Veronica. These two guys were filling me in on the culture on the island.

To begin with I had no idea after coming here, for what must be the fourth or fifth time, that the country had been strongly influenced by the Spanish language and culture, for the past three and a half centuries. The formal name of the indigenous people are the “Chamorros,” who have called the island home for the past 4,000 years. Then it became a strategic point for the US before WWII. Japan occupied the place for a few years during the attack on Pearl Harbour. Now today, it is one of the many islands across the globe that has “Ragge Music” as their back bone and link to the world.

“Ferdinand Magellan and a Captain Crook
Pirates of the ocean glorified
Written in your books….”

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.15.04 PMFond Memories: Guam 2012