The Struggle Continues

In all its forms, reggae has united generations to resist cultural cleansing throughout the African Diaspora.Carrying the resistance into and beyond the mainstream of international culture through reggae music. Rastafarian teachings emphasised the value of reliance on the “I” (self) or “I” and “I” (community). Everything that threatened the self, culture or community was denounced as Babylon” a word that transcends time and place, and includes forces of imperialism, colonialism and globalisation propagated by western capitalism.

The sound track to the rude boy-inspired Perry Hensil film, The Harder They Come, featured the international recognition of reggae music. Here, the heroic rude boy character wages a one-man rebellion against an unjust system, dramatizing Tosh's declaration that there will be no peace without equal rights and justice.

Big Youth's Aluta Continuia (The Struggle Continues) follows the trend of declamatory lyrics and hard-edged musical arrangements encouraging social change for the welfare of the world's oppressed peoples, set by Tosh's album Equal Rights. Jamaican artist Osmond Watson's painting Freedom song lends visual substance to Big Youth's cry of liberation. The painting depicts two Rastafarians as if imprisoned by “bars” of light descending from above. Their wide-eyed and wailing expressions suggest a shout for freedom. Along with the title track “Aluta Continuia”, songs such as “KKK” (referring to the Ku Klux Klan) and “Bushmama” (women engaged in the southern African freedom struggles), the cover art conveys the engagement of culture to remind the world of the ongoing battle for social equity.