“…So my first inspiration in writing the book was to add my small voice to the I-dren out there who see the Truth that escapes—and is suppressed by—the mainstream West …”
” …the peoples of the Third World continue to be suppressed by various means despite the fact that legal slavery has long been outlawed …”
“…In Stir It Up the plot revolves around what I believe was the CIA destabilization program against Manley in the 1970s …”
David Cupples, author of the outstanding book Stir it Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government, responds to the question.
What inspired you to write this excellent novel?
Russell, thanks for your question and your interest in my book. The question covers a lot of ground so I hope I can bring it all together for your readers. It might be helpful if I break it into parts so let’s consider this Part One of my response.
The first inspiration for the book of course was the great Bob Marley, considered by many (including me) to be the Musical Artist of the 20th Century. (Let’s give credit too to both incarnations of the Wailers (I, with Peter and Bunny; II, with the I-Three, with Family Man, Carly, Tyrone, Wyah, Junior and various other musicians constituting part of the Wailers’ word, sound and power as well).
For me, Bob was not merely the best musically but was the most important in a more noble sense, as the Voice of the Third World (if the expression may be allowed; I eschew the term “developing nations” because I think it is a euphemism that hides the fact that the West doesn’t really want the economically poorer nations to develop). I believe that both—Bob and the Third World—tend to be dismissed in mainstream Western culture: Bob as a “freaky, ganja-smoking dread” and the Third World as a place that should best remain poor in order to produce cheap goods for American consumption. Pambazuka News: Pan African Voices for Freedom and Justice, an online journal, has published a couple essays I wrote on this topic. See links below.
The reach of the bully
So my first inspiration in writing the book was to add my small voice to the I-dren out there who see the Truth that escapes—and is suppressed by—the mainstream West. That Truth, firstly, as Jack Healey, former head of Amnesty International has noted, is that Bob Marley is the great shining symbol of freedom everywhere around the globe—even three decades and more since his passing. Secondly, that the peoples of the Third World continue to be suppressed by various means despite the fact that legal slavery has long been outlawed. It has been said that no one likes a bully, but that’s not entirely true—the people who benefit from the bully’s actions tend to be quite content with how ting a gwaan. The problem of course is that the reach of the bullies of today is so great that broad swathes of the world’s population are subject to, and subjugated by, their greed lust.
Some of the historical mechanisms of this suppression of the Third World are divide and rule and “destabilization”—i.e, covert operations to overthrow a government (typically one that is democratically elected and at peace but, crucially, is implementing programs intended to achieve economic justice). I believe that this is the case with regard to the government of Michael Manley. In Stir It Up the plot revolves around what I believe was the CIA destabilization program against Manley in the 1970s. Much of the violence and animosity between the two main Jamaican political parties was fueled, in my opinion, by US/CIA divide-and-rule/destabilization. I further believe that this continues to be an obstacle to achieving what Bob cried for time and time again, for Jamaicans and indeed all peoples of pure heart to come together in the One Love vibe of equal rights and justice for all.
End Part One of response to your question.
Thanks brother David.
Of Myth and Man: The Legacy of Bob Marley
Jamaica at 50: A Call for Equal Rights and Justice
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/84057/print [Note that the boxed intro was added by the editors and is somewhat contradictory of the essay’s actual thesis]
David Dusty Cupples
STIR IT UP: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government
(a novel) “Magnificent”… Roger Steffens, Founding Chair, Reggae Grammy Committee
Print / Kindle Ebook on Amazon worldwide: https://www.amazon.com/author/davidcupples
On Facebook www.facebook.com/StirItUpCIAJamaica