Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Smile, Haiti

Singer Wyclef Jean, who is a Haitian national, is putting together a relief effort for the people of Haiti, where a series of hurricanes have devastated the tiny Caribbean nation. Hundreds have died in one city alone, and the receding floodwaters are bound to reveal even more destruction as the days go by. Wyclef Jean moves me emotionally with his actions to try and make the world a better place.

It makes me think of Bob Marley's "Smile Jamaica" concert, which took place in 1976 and helped redefine the meaning of "one love". In an attempt to stop the civil unrest in Jamaica with the love of reggae music, Marley organized a concert in Kingston only to be wounded just days before the event, when gunmen broke into his residence and also injured his wife, Rita, and a friend. However, it did not stop him from going on stage for a full performance and bringing a smile to the faces of Jamaicans. I've always thought that Marley would be proud of Wyclef Jean and the Fugees' rendition of "No Woman no Cry" and I feel that without a doubt he would be proud of these efforts, too.

Wyclef's song "million voices" about the Rwandan Genocide gives me chills every time I listen to it.

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