July 1 is International Reggae Day

Bob Marley & The Wailing Wailers, Zurich, Hallenstadion, concert. First Bob Marley concert in Switzerland with 10,000 visitors in May 1980. Photo courtesy of Patrick Lüthy.

This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit.

In the late 1960s came a new form of music that would eventually change not only how people viewed their communities but also themselves as individuals.

Classical reggae began with roots from Jamaica and quickly grew into an international movement brimming over with messages about unity and upliftment.

“Don’t care where you come from. As long as you’re a Black man, you’re an African,” Peter Tosh sang on his 1977 album Equal Rights.

The music speaks to the struggle of oppressed people all over the world, and it offers a message of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.


Reggae artists have always used their music to promote social change, and they continue to be a powerful force for good in today’s society. As we face challenging times, we can all learn from the reggae tradition of using music to unite people and bring about positive change.

July 1 is one day every year to celebrate the best of Jamaica’s creativity and its impact on culture worldwide. The event was founded by Andrea Davis, with the aim of creating a yearly global reggae party.

The idea for International Reggae Day came to her following a speech by Winnie Mandela, who talked about the inspiration reggae gave to the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid.

Since its inception, International Reggae Day has grown to include events in over 20 countries, with parties, concerts, and other celebrations taking place across the globe.

On this day, celebrate the music, the culture, the Black diaspora and the positive impact that reggae has had on the world. Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party, because it’s time to celebrate International Reggae Day!

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