Like many I’ve grown up with a love for Bob Marley and reggae music. But I never knew too much about him outside of his music career. When I picked up “No Woman No Cry” by Rita Marley I was hooked.
“Rita Marley…? Who is that? Why have I never heard of her before?” now, after reading, I almost feel bad for not knowing. But, who could blame me? For many years she was practically hidden. Bob even told people she was his sister when asked about her.
Although she remained married to Bob until his death in 1981 Rita never let her husband’s success or numerous affairs slow her down. “No Woman No Cry” touches on more then just music, and more then just her life with Bob. Rita tells her own story.
“I was always able to reserve Rita, because this is how I’d started out, being called ‘blackie tootus’ and being forced to say I’m gonna be somebody. So I was not giving anyone the privilege to totally destroy Rita. Rita meant something, Rita came for a purpose. Rita had life to live.”
“No Woman No Cry” is in many ways a love story, not just between Rita and Bob, but Rita and herself. Rita experiences the life challenges and struggles of a black woman growing up in the rough neighborhood of Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica where she faced poverty, violence and racism as well as her struggles as a young mother.
Rita shares her memories of falling in love with Bob Marley and their beginning life together. “No Woman No Cry” provides a unique perspective of Bob you couldn’t get anywhere, or from anyone else. Through Rita you see another side of him, one that is loving, comforting, and forever generous yet at many times controlling, possessive and jealous. You will not believe her strength throughout their relationship and will marvel at her spiritual mindset.
Young women will admire the way Rita refuses to let any of her life circumstances get the best of her. Women will also be inspired by the way she created a life and career for herself outside of her husband’s. As well as the way she remained focused and loving even when she was hurt.
With finishing this book I gained a new female role model as I believe other readers will too. This book will leave you moved, and motivate you to change the way you think about yourself as well as others. You will be left encouraged to improve the life you live and do the things you love.
“Wealth and fame are things that I see as added, not given. What is given is life, and for whatever is added, give thanks.” -Rita Marley
And with that, I will leave you with my reggae playlist.