Analyzing Bob Marley's Redemption Song

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I was never born to be a number; I was born to be a human to--hopefully--have an everlasting positive influence on the world around me. But that quickly turned out to be a path I missed. I, along with this generation, have turned into numbers, not humans. Once set in a direction, we have no motivation for change. We have lost faith in our abilities to individually influence anything. Every day we have and propose ideas, but I warn of its drawbacks: they create false senses of security because while ideas are of immense importance, ideas will not change the world. People who are acting on ideas will. I was thus able to empathize and understand Bob Marley’s advice in his “Redemption Song”: emancipate yourselves. Throughout “Redemption Song” Marley asks the reader to overcome past barriers to free oneself from one’s inertia of protracted custom: prior enslavement. Marley starts the song with a glimpse of his situation: “They rob I; / Sold I…show more content…
Calling slavery “mental,” Marley emphasizes that although physical evidence of slavery is long gone, its roots are still ingrained in minds. When he says “have no fear for atomic energy / ‘Cause none of them can stop the time” (16-17), Marley argues that threats should not hold the capacity to stop anyone. He insists that those who have been oppressed must act and not give away to “mental slavery.” But Marley does question the public of its ability to take action: “How long shall they kill our prophets / while we stand aside and look” (31-32). He realizes the lack of motivation to take action. He calls out to the oppressed to “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / none but ourselves can free our minds” (13-14). He wishes for action and change, a redemption, rather than the old road back to slavery. Marley emphasizes that it is no longer the oppressors’ duty to free those oppressed, but it is the oppressed themselves who need to free
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