“Every man need a woman, every woman needs a man” – Bob Marley
Marlon James, a Jamaican homosexual who could be mistaken for a Rasta, might not believe in the words of Bob Marley but he is very interested in the life of Bob Marley. So much so that is interest in Marley coupled with his brilliant writing, won him the Man Booker Prize for Fiction award. Winning the award was an historical achievement for James as he became the first Jamaican to do so.
So before the award, to most Jamaicans, he was just a homosexual writer that they would be happy if he never claimed Jamaica as the land of his birth. Now that he has won what is a prestigious award on the world stage, Jamaica is more than happy to claim him as her son. So much so that he is being used to give the annual lecture on the king of reggae. A king that would be totally against James’ lifestyle.
It is not unusual for Jamaica to show appreciation for one of her sons only after the world has done so. We have seen it with Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley before.
Jamaica should be proud of her great homosexual writer, however, the question must be asked; Should a homosexual be giving a speech on a Rasta messenger? Rasta is anti-homosexuality, so it is a bit hypocritical that a homosexual is chosen for this speech, regardless of the numbers of award that this homosexual has won.
James’ homosexuality aside, Dr Sonjah Stanley-Niaah who is head of the University of the West Indies, said that choosing James to give this year’s lecture on Bob Marley was an easy decision.
“The Bob Marley Lecture is a commemorative event which celebrates the birth, work and acclaim of Marley and also celebrates the achievement of Jamaican music. The lecture also seeks to showcase the work of scholars and thinkers whose work highlights Jamaican culture, and James fits perfectly as his book has Bob Marley as one of the characters and discusses the events surrounding the attempted assassination, and the ensuing aftermath,” she told a Jamaican publication.
The lecture is scheduled for the Undercroft at 6:00 pm. It is being hosted by the Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit at the UWI.