The Seven Books That Changed My Life

Kush Asher is a Jamaican storyteller and perpetual student of the film inspired by the Most High. He is based in Kingston, Jamaica but he has traveled around Africa telling stories and spent six months in Kenya making movies. He has done music videos for Grammy winners Sean Paul, Damian Marley, and Reggae legends Big Youth and the Mystic Revealers. His television work includes a fashion reality show, Mission Catwalk, and a business reality show, NCB Capital Quest (Produced by the LAB International; based in Kingston). Kush has also made a series of films with Spielworks Media, an independent film, and production company based in Kenya. His most recent project is a feature film called 50 Days in Afrika. These are the books that influenced his life and work as a storyteller.

The Awakened Man. 10 Lessons From Old Marcus Garvey

The first time I heard the name Marcus, was in the lyrics of a Burning Spear song in high school from my two natty dread friends. They hailed Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Burning Spear as demigods, gifts to mankind and invariably we all became converts of roots and conscious reggae music.  They had one mixed tape, that they played over again and it served as my introduction to the reggae elders.

On slow Saturday nights, usually past 11, when everyone was broke and bored out of their minds, they sneaked in a battery power cassette player and entertained the massive. The musical offering was lean and as sure as the sun would set, they would play two iconic songs from Burning Spear and Bob Marley on repeat. The volume was never loud, so as not to attract the attention of nosy teachers and envious prefects but on those silent nights, when half the dorm was asleep, it was seductive.

As soon as the trumpets sounded at the start of the song, Old Marcus Garvey, we would anticipate the gruff voice of Burning Spear, ready to join in chorus…

No one remember, old Marcus Garvey
No one remember, old Marcus Garveeey