Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bob Marley on September 18, 1980

Before his baptism, Marley was interviewed, along with Alan "Skill" Cole, by Anita Waters, a Columbia University graduate student. Relevant excerpts:

W: What is the connection of Tuff Gong with the Twelve Tribes of Israel?

M: Twelve Tribe organization? Make a man like Skill Cole tell you. (To Skill) The-I tell Jah Rasta.

Skill Cole: Well, you know Jacob had twelve children, thirteen, twelve men and one lady. To complete the human body, because the human body got twelve different functions. So Jacob had twelve sons representing the twelve tribes in Israel, the twelve different manners of people. So that's where the twelve tribes originally come from. It's really the promise that was made to Jacob for his children. A very interesting point to note s that being the twelve manner of people, there's no such thing as color and thing like that, because all of us were born of a different tribe according to the month that you were born.

W: And the organization unites all that?

C: Well, you know, we teach those things-things like, try to tell the people that we must look forward to Africa because we're going to have problems in the west. Because of the Bible, you know, we read the Bible, it teaches us that when we see certain things happening, know that these things will happen, and prepare for that. Like how we identified Christ, in his advent as Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie the First. Because the Bible points us that before the closing of the two thousand years, Christ must reveal again, return to earth, as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elector of God, and him shall be earthright ruler. Because Judah is the lawgiver, that's what the Bible says. Him shall thy brethren praise. You set yourself apart from Judah and the lawgiver between his feet until Shiloh come and unto him shall gather the people we. So Judah now come to gather the people, the descendents of that tribe, the ruler, the Messiah must come. But it's one family, you know, all over the earth, we are families but you have to come to know yourself. Because you know what happen is Rome change up everything from the time of the Roman astrologers, they change everything. Julius Cæsar and Augustus Cæsar come out in July and August, in the history, when the Roman Empire was at its full strength. So they cheated everything, but we learn from the Bible, and that's where everything come from. We identify ourselves from different tribes. The chief in our family is a man named Brother Gad, from the tribe of Gad. It's Rasta, it's Rasta still in you know.

W: Then Twelve Tribes is synonymous with Rasta?

C: Yes....

W: Do you think reggae is a good way of getting the truth across?

M: Reggae is one of the ways, if the lyrics deal with the truth. The music is one way to communicate. The people can communicate. Communication go on, you know. Someone hear the truth, and tell it to someone, next one tell it to the next one. There is not no one man who really tell everyone cause each one a go teach the next one. Like you hear a good advice, you tell someone else. And it go on, you know. As soon as you know I was living in Jamaica a long time, before I did even know. Then, it was there.

W: How long?

M: Maybe about eighteen years, before I really come to the reality of the truth.

W: Did you know it by talking to other people?

M: Well, the advice was always like in me like, so when you see a vision and meet people and talk to them and find like for instance suppose I was talking to a man like Skill Cole, long time that I talked to him, I find that I have the same kind of communication in life, so you become like a family. You become one cause you have the same belief. So Rasta go. Rasta is exactly, is plenty, like me. We just have the same beliefs and we become family....

W: What and who influenced you toward Rasta?

M: Well the bible you know. The bible and Haile Selassie. Never have no influence in that same sense. You know a brethren named Dago? Him used to live in America, him was a draftsman. Him say boy, I'm here and I sight it and come on to Jamaican. That was the same time my mother want me to come to America. I talked to him plenty before I leave. Him show me things. Some of the things when I asked him I said show it to me in the bible, and he looked in the bible and show me. I say Ah, this is not really a wrong.

W: Any connection with Mortimer Planner?

M: I know Mortimer Planner long time, still but Mortimer Planner you know, an influence, but I don't think him have an influence pon me. I still talk to him but not big influence.

W: Besides the bible, what are some other readings that are important?

M: Utterance of His Majesty, that is like bible. You have books of Marcus Garvey. Good book but none like some like Marcus Garvey books Haile Selassie book, is something that is dealing with the Christian tradition.

If the accounts are accurate, a change was gonna come in the next couple of months.


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