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Every Wednesday at 4pm the North 103.3 highlights global artists during Northland Afternoon

World Music Wednesday: Black Uhuru

Reggae band is jammin' with dancing, drums, and the Black Uhuru poster in the background
Official website
Official website

World Music Wednesday is a weekly segment on The North 103.3 FM. Every Wednesday at 4pm on Northland Afternoon, we will feature a brand-new release or a significantly important past work from our vast library of music from around the world.

Support for World Music Wednesday comes from Simply Ballroom in Duluth's Craft District.

Founded in 1972, Black Uhuru is the second most successful Reggae group outside of Bob Marley and the Wailers. They hail from Kingston, Jamaica and was the winner of the very first Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1985 for their album Anthem. The term “uhuru” is actually Swahili for “freedom,” and the band was simply known as that until 1977 when they took the name Black Sounds Uhuru, ultimately shortening it once again to Black Uhuru later that year. Numerous musicians have been a part of the band including Garth Dennis, Don Carlos, Errol Nelson, Sandra Jones, Michael Rose, Junior Reid, and Janet Reid, but Derrick “Duckie” Simpson has been constant throughout the years.

The Album Now was released in 1991 following a reunion between original Uhuru members Don Carlos, Garth Dennis and Duckie Simpson. In 2012 Black Uhuru was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Music by the City of Las Vegas where they were handed the key to the city. Along with that recognition, August 31st is officially Black Uhuru Day in Las Vegas. In 2022, Duckie Simpson received the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award where he said, to quote Black Uhuru’s website, "Wi know di history [of Marcus Garvey] 'cause wi get di Rasta teaching, an' yuh know Rasta respect Marcus to di bone.”

Black Uhuru has released 13 albums since 1980 with most of those releases occurring between 1980 and 1994. In 2018, As the World Turns was released after being rerecorded following a production disaster ruined the original masters from a few years before. In 2022, Black Uhuru released their 13th album New Day, and in 2023 they release the single Teaching of HIS Majesty which featured Jah Mason. Teaching of HIS Majesty is a reference to Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and the founding of Rastafari, the Abrahamic religion developed in the 1930s that goes hand in hand with Jamica and Reggae music.

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