Marley’s desire to see an end to the violence resulted in one of Jamaica’s most important moments. In 1978, during a concert in the capital city of Kingston, Jamaica’s two rival political leaders, prime minister Michael Manley and opposition leader Edward Seaga, joined hands with Marley on stage that resulted in a relative truce.
“It’s difficult to think of a U.S. artist who has such influence,” said Tanner.
The United Nations recognized that influence, presenting Marley with the Peace Medal in 1978 while on tour in America. In November 1979, Marley performed at The Fox Theater in a show described by The Atlanta Constitution as a “rousing success.”
Marley died two years later from cancer.
His music, and his message, has continued through the work of other performers, particularly hip hop artists.
Public Enemy’s classic “Fight The Power,” a song synonymous with Black empowerment, includes a sample from Marley’s 1973 protest song “I Shot The Sheriff,” one of his biggest hits. Jay-Z said in a published report he hopes to be someday compared to Marley. The metro Atlanta-based Migos also used his music.
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires,” Marley once said, “but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”