Cultural icon Bob Marley died of skin cancer in 1981, and the legend would have been 69 years old on February 6th. Beginning this year, embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has decided to honor the late singer with a day of tribute on this special date.
Marley’s music and influence have impacted millions of people over the years, and Ford is apparently enamored with the late musician as well. Mayor Ford formally declared February 6th ‘Bob Marley Day’ in the city of Toronto.
The official proclamation reads as follows:
“WHEREAS each year on February 6, we honour the legacy of Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley, an influential musician, advocate for human rights and international ambassador of peace.
His early career began with friends, the legendary Wailers, ‘Bob Marley and the Wailers.’ His music captivated people of all cultures, broke music barriers and helped introduce reggae music to the world.
Bob Marley became one of the greatest ambassadors of peace the world has seen. He used music to tear down the walls of apartheid and promoted African unity, culture and world peace both at home and internationally, with songs like One Love and Africa Unite. Today, his music continues to be loved by many and is instantly recognized around the world.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 6, 2014 as ‘Bob Marley Day’ in the City of Toronto.”
I think we are all on board with this sentiment. Marley was so much more than a musician, transcending that narrow definition with his humanitarian effects and demonstrating the power music can wield in society. The legend’s influence is even impacting kids today, as the children’s musical “Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds” is currently playing in New York.
It seems that Ford is quite the Marley enthusiast. In December, the fun-loving mayor turned an ordinary city council meeting into an impromptu dance party, grooving to the Marley classic One Love with some of his government brethren. I don’t imagine there was much legislating taking place that day, although everyone appears to be having a good time, as the following clip will attest.
Of course, Ford certainly had his share of difficulties this past year. His problems with drugs and corruption have been well documented and very public, but the colorful mayor remains defiant in the face of calls for his resignation. The ‘Bob Marley Day’ announcement is a refreshing change from the usual Rob Ford news.