2/7/14 Black History Hero: Peter Tosh

Peter Tosh was born into this world without a father or mother with the responsibility, or the time to raise young Peter. He was raised by his aunt, although Peter’s personality would have you believe that he raised himself. An extremely self-reliant, self-dependent entity, Tosh fought for those who could not fight themselves. He was a voice for those who had not the means, nor the ability to speak to a worldwide audience. While those with power on the island of Jamaica saw Peter as a threat to the existing regime (A regime comprised of corrupt ‘politricksters’ who ally with Jamaica’s small, wealthy, land owning class), the people saw Peter as a rebel hero. A champion of human rights, throughout his life Peter fought against the vampires and the duppies and all evil spirits, the spirits which Peter himself feared more than anything. Peter Tosh was a saint. Not a saint in the conventional, religious definition, but insofar as that he was put on this earth with a purpose. He was to expose the filth and corruption and expunge the wickedness of the ghosts which haunted him his entire life. Peter was a savior, sent to liberate the people of Jamaica, both physically and mentally. 

As for the majority of Jamaicans, life was spent scrounging for a dollar, struggling to put food on their children’s table, and a roof over their head; That was if you can find some brush or metal with which to build one. It was difficult to find employment, and many of those that were employed were done so temporarily. Peter had greater visions for the Island of Jamaica. He was upset with the treatment of his people, and he did nothing to hide his feelings. It is believed by many that this is the very character trait which led to Tosh’s murder. The voice of the people was eliminated by three supposed robbers who stole not one material object. At the tender age of forty three, Peter Tosh was silenced, as were the hopes of many Jamaicans. 

On October ninth, 1944 Winston Hubert McIntosh was born into this world. The only child of Alvera Coke, a resident of Church Lincoln, Westmoreland on the island of Jamaica. Winston’s father, James McIntosh was the preacher at the local church in Savanna-la-Mar, which Alvera attended. However, Winston was just one of the many children which James McIntosh fathered and neglected to help care for. He played no role in Winston’s life, refusing even to acknowledge that he was the father. In fact, Winston did not even meet his father until he was ten years of age. When asked about his father Winston had this to say:”My father, James McIntosh, is a bad boy, a rascal. That’s what him do for a living. He just go around and have a million-and-one children! Right now me have many brothers that me don’t know” (Chang and Chen, Reggae Routes 142). Neither his father nor his mother had the responsibility to care for Winston. Instead, Winston was raised by his aunt, in Savanna-la-Mar. Once Peter was asked if his aunt who raised him had a lot of influence in his life, to which Tosh responded: “No. No. Never (Holmes and Steffens, Reasoning With Tosh 3).”Tosh continued on to say this: 

“See, I was three years in size, but fifty years old in the mind, seen? Because I was born with matured mind, and born with a concept of creativity, and any time there’s a controversy within me, it create an inner conflict, seen? And any time that inner conflict is created, something is wrong, so you must internally investigate it. And with that mind, I grew up with that mind. I like, and I love everything that is right. seen? I was born, raised in righteousness, not to say that my parents was righteous, because they did not know righteousness. They were being led away to a shitstem, or being deceived by deceivers, you see, because they wanted to know what was righteousness (Holmes and Steffens, Reasoning With Tosh 3).




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