Prince Buster on His Persecution as a Muslim

prince buster

What better way to celebrate an election in Jamaica than with the ruler of them all, Prince Buster?! I recently came across this Swing Magazine dated January 1969 in which Prince Buster appears on the cover of the digest-sized magazine and the small feature cover story details, among other subjects, his recent rise to the top of the music charts, the characteristics of ska and rocksteady and the potential of Desmond Dekker & the Aces, and his brief boxing career (read more on Prince Buster’s boxing career here). Perhaps most interesting in this short article, however, is the discussion of Prince Buster’s conversion to Islam and troubles with the Jamaican authorities in becoming a member of the faith. When we think of religious persecution in Jamaica during this time, we tend to think of the Rastafari oppression at the hands of the government and colonial people, but little do we think of those members of other religions as well, such as Nation of Islam, to which Prince Buster converted after meeting Muhammad Ali during his travels to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York with the Jamaican delegation. Here Prince Buster had gone to promote his country’s culture and celebrate his dedication and pride in his country, yet the authorities in that country in turn harassed him for his own culture. I in no way single out the Jamaican government for being at fault in this, as I recognize any group or authoritative body is likely to persecute the unknown until there is enlightenment. Let us hope that we as a society evolve closer to a sense of humanism and acceptance within our lifetimes. The article is below:

prince buster 2More on Prince Buster in Foundation Ska can be found on the links below:

Prince Buster Interview

Prince Buster Boxing

Prince Buster and Federal Records

Prince Buster Takes on the Beatles

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