At a recent launch, Dr. Clinton Hutton, co-editor of the special double issue of the Jamaica Journal on popular Jamaican music, stated that the Journal needs to be marketed to young people in Jamaica so that they can see a reflection of themselves and their cultural, creative, and aesthetic traditions, not only in the realms of dance and painting and music, but in the sciences as well. He added that “when all is said and done, as Marley puts it, ‘all I ever had is redemption song’. Our culture is our redemption song. That is what our forbearers used… the general cultural ethos is what they developed to cope with their enslavement… and that legacy needs to be developed.” He stressed that the type of education that our children need, is one in which they are firmly rooted in their cultural ethos, so that they are able to see the world in this way.
Hutton explained, “I started reading the Jamaica Journal as a little boy. And it’s one of the publications that shaped who I am today. It was different from all the other things I used to read. And I suspect that it will affect some young people in the same way. And we need to consciously market the journal in schools to students who are doing CXC.”
In this the second full music issue of the journal, the flagship publication of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) articles are of their usual expository nature, featuring educational and innovative research and covering issues on life and history, the arts, science and technology and literature. It features, among other articles, “Bob Marley, the Power of Philosophy in His Music;” “The Pioneering Role of Reggae Sunsplash in Local Entertainment;” “The Evolution of the Jamaican Dub Plate;” and “Chris Blackwell and the Internationalization of Reggae.” This issue also features tributes to Professor Rex Nettleford, Sonny Bradshaw, and Pam O’Gorman.
“We are going to be 50 next year as a country,” Dr. Hutton noted, “and the identity of a country is shaped by its people and in particular by its creative expressions, by its artistes, by its intellectual community. And sometimes there is probably some gap between the intellectuals and culture, but for me there is no gap. But we really need to take the intellectual culture of this space, the Caribbean space, very seriously. That’s our signature. That is really our marker, and if we do that well, we don’t have to worry about something called cultural imperialism.”