Racialicious got me thinking…about Peter Tosh

By Malena Amusa Jul 18, 2007

I jumped over to Racialicious today and saw Carmen posted a nice ode to one of the guiltiest pleasures in hip-hop–ya’ll know what I’m talking about–the song "Walk it Out." It’s infectious on many levels, the tune, the sound, and the fact that anybody and their mom can walk it out—which is basically two-step 2.0. So it all got me thinking about the music that moves me like “Walk it Out” does. I immediately came up with reggae legend Peter Tosh who I’ve been watching a lot of on Youtube recently. Actually, Tosh is part of the reason I began writing about race in Brazil. Read: "The thing about Brazil, a follow-up." As a Nigerian and Black American, I felt born again when I heard Tosh singing “no matter where you come from, as long as you’re a black man, you’re an African." But also, uncertainties about the song I had grown up hearing my father play, loomed. After talking to some folks, I saw that Tosh’s maxim, though provocative, may deny others an identity that is tangible and based in a nationhood. Take a look: These days, I’m really interested in exploring transcontinental identities in building solidarity movements. So if you have some thoughts, drop them by. Meanwhile, here are my favorite lyrics in the song:

No mind your nationality You’ve got the identity of an African ‘Cause if you come Trinidad And if you come from Nassau And if you come from Cuba You’re an African CHORUS No mind your complexion There is no rejection You’re an African ‘Cause if your plexion High(3x) If your complexion low, low, low And if your plexion in between You’re an African