One World Tribe spreads message of tolerance, unity and diversity
One World Tribe rocked the Berkeley Springs High School auditorium with pulsating, powerful rhythms of reggae, blues, hip hop and world music on Friday, March 2.
The band brought their message of unity, cultural diversity, tolerance and peace to the high school’s 10th grade students. They also performed at Paw Paw High School on Thursday, March 1 for grades 7-12.
The Morgan Arts Council sponsored the Adopt-a-School performances as part of local anti-bullying efforts.
Songs included “The Welcome Song” from Nigeria, Bob Marley’s “War,” and Fela Kuti’s “Zombie.”
Lead singer Preach Freedom said that young people are the key to the future, which was the theme of a song from South Africa that they sang in the language of Mali.
Freedom said that before hip hop music started on the streets of New York that it began as they beat out the rhythms on school lunchroom tables.
Music saved his life when drugs and gangs were everywhere, he said. Freedom joined the Army and took hip hop with him. When he returned, the music was a tool for everyone.
Freedom said in the Army he had all kinds of friends from everywhere. He listened to all types of music—Credence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, Motown—anything that got “my behind shaking and my feet going.”
He urged students to get their education, be creative and to “keep your minds right.” Freedom noted that some would be going off to college and meeting other people and that they would be bringing back what they learned to their communities. He stressed living in harmony and being tolerant of different types of people.
“It’s not about where you’re from,” he said.
Freedom talked about Fela Kuti, an outspoken Nigerian musician, who fought injustice with his music. His song “Zombie” categorized the military regime as zombies and inspired riots. In retaliation, Fela was severely beaten and his mother was thrown out a window. She died from the fall, he said.
Members of One World Tribe hailed from New Jersey, Africa, Jamaica and from all over the world, Freedom told students in a question and answer session. The band had been performing together for 18 years. Most were Americans. The band was based in Erie, Pennsylvania.
While Bob Marley wasn’t his idol, Freedom said his songs were infectious and universal. He also liked their spirituality.
“He was fearless with what he wrote,” he said of Marley.
The band’s favorite artists included John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, Kiss, Earth Wind & Fire and One World Tribe.
They wrapped up their concert with Bob Marley’s “Cheer Up” and “No Woman No Cry” and a bluesy “That’s My Friend.” Freedom told students that friends were important and to “keep your friends.”
“You’re the future. We expect great things from you. Keep your light shining,” Freedom said in closing.