As thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the National Action Network’s?March Against Police Violence, the estate of Jamaican reggae icon and Grammy-winning musician Peter Tosh last week announced that throughout 2015, 10% of all net?income from streaming and downloads of the 1977 Tosh song “Equal Rights” will be donated to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Brown and Garner were the slain victims of recent police brutality in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY that has caused nationwide protests.
“Brown and Garner are symbols of an issue that needs to be urgently addressed in America,” Brian Latture, manager of the Peter Tosh brand and CEO of entertainment management firm The MegaSource Group, told TNJ.com. “These cases of racially-motivated police brutality, and the no-indictment rulings for the cops, set off a movement of all ages and races demanding criminal justice reform. The time has come to re-energize the pursuit of equal rights through music, and I know that if Peter were physically with us he’d want to, in some way, help support the relatives of those that were killed in the line of living.”
In the song, Tosh pleads, “I don’t want peace, I want equal rights and justice,” an accurate description of the growing incidents of deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of police officers these days. In many of these cases, the police officers are not charged.?? ?
Tosh was a founding member of Bob Marley and the Wailers, as well as a successful solo artist. He is credited as one of the most outspoken of Jamaica’s reggae music pioneers. As a musician and writer, Tosh earned the respect of popular music’s greatest artists, including the Rolling Stones, who signed him to their label in 1978. He opened for the Stones throughout its 1978 US tour. He would have turned 70 this year.