Brooklyn Unveils "Bob Marley Boulevard"
Thu, 06 Jul 2006 17:41:31
Eleven blocks of Church Avenue in Brooklyn have been renamed "Bob Marley Boulevard" in tribute to the Jamaican reggae giant who, even 25 years after his death, remains the best-known musical export from the Caribbean. The newly named stretch of road appropriately runs right through the heart of a Caribbean district in New York; the first street sign was unveiled in a ceremony on Wednesday at the corner of Church and Remsen Avenues in East Flatbush.
"We give thanks to the people of Brooklyn, the people of New York, the people of America in general, you know," said son Rohan Marley, who was on hand for the ceremony. "Looking forward for this day, long time." Rohan was joined by hundreds of fans, along with NYC and Jamaican dignitaries.
In addition to paying tribute to Marley, community members are hoping the new street encourages tourists to do some paying of their own. "We know that Bob sells tourism in Jamaica," said Michael Russell, who spearheaded the name change. "And we're hoping it would do the same for this strip, one of the epicenters of the Caribbean community here."
Aside from being the most successful artist to popularize reggae in America, Marley is best remembered for his songs that spread a message of peace while encouraging the downtrodden to stand up for themselves. He has also enjoyed a posthumous life as a hero for pot smokers, and his face has graced the walls of a million American dorm rooms. His best-known collection, Legend, continues to be a presence on sales charts.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff