|Photograph by Michael Lease|
Rastafarians have a theory of language called Wordsound: a word should sound like what it means. So 'oppressor' doesn't make sense -- you can't start a negative term with the "up" sound. Rasta says 'downpressor' instead, giving you the image of a man with his knee on your neck, pressing down.
In these times, it's incumbent on all of us to choose: Am I an uplifter or a downpressor? I don't think there's an in-between.
Also this week (Monday June 8, 3:00-5:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site), Global A Go-Go uplifts you with a song by Idir, who brought Algerian Kabyle music to the world; women of cumbia; Igbo Afrobeat from Nigeria; the first ever international release from Djibouti; and a Balkan beats dance party.