In Jamaica, Effecting Change by Returning to Reggae’s Roots

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Above: Damion Crawford, State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Reggae must once again play a role in effecting change in society, according to Damion Crawford, Jamaica State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment.

“The music needs to become, once again, aimed at effecting a change in the society that makes people understand that this is a society that we want to [advance],” he said. “I think that the exponents of Reggae music have a responsibility to [use it to] organize and coordinate the people, so that they can overcome some of the realities that we are facing.”

Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna said the country must also derive the greatest benefit from its foremost art form.

“We have an open-door policy to make sure that we take [the steps] that are necessary to make this an industry where Jamaicans can benefit, both locally and internationally, in terms of revenue generation, tax reform and, certainly, seeing those projects on the ground that we can all be proud of,” she said. “We are a reggae nation and we need to reclaim our position as a cultural capital of the world.”

Hanna was speaking Monday at the launch of Reggae Month 2012 at the Bob Marley Museum in St Andrew.

“I am willing to ensure that the policies of the government facilitate the advancement of the music,” Crawford said.