The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have declared that the music genre Reggae is a national treasure.
Reggae music, which emerged from Jamaica in the 1960s, was added to UNESCO’s global Intangible Cultural Heritage list on the 30th of November.
This deserved appreciation for Afro- Caribbeans music may be a nice gift but is it too late, for a genre of music that created waves throughout the world and played a significant part in changing opinions.
UNESCO has declared Reggae “The Jamaican music that spread across the world with its calls for social justice, peace and love, to be a global treasure that must be safe-guarded.”
Although not all reactions has been positive towards this news as many people from the Afro – Caribbean community feel insulted as they do not need an organisation which knows little about their culture telling them that their music is worthy.
Also Jamaicans do not need the UN to endorse the soundtrack of their lives. They do not need UNESCO to tell them that reggae is “cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual”. Jamaicans know that already.
They have known for half a century that the reggae beat is their nation’s heartbeat and that it’s lyrics are the soul and conscience of its people – from Burning Spear’s Slavery Days to Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock.
We took to the local streets of Brixton, which has one of the largest Afro – Caribbean communities in London too ask for their thoughts and opinions on the accolade.
While there may be a difference of a opinion between people regarding the issue there is no doubt that this accolade was overdue, the joy and happiness that reggae music brought to the world should never be forgotten.