Jamaica's 59th year of Independence Honored in Miami with a Call for Healing the Community through the Vibrations of Sound System Culture.

MIAMI— Miami Reggae Festival celebrates Jamaica’s Independence weekend on Saturday, August 7th and Sunday, August 8 th, 2021. In their seventh year of presenting Miami Reggae Festival, AfriKin goes back to basics with a shift toward Jamaica’s Sound System Culture in solidarity, building on the foundation of the positive vibrations of Reggae. This is a family fun-filled festival. Families are invited to bring the children to learn about the culture. This year the festival celebrates Caribbean American Heritage and the 59th year of Jamaica's Independence with a call for peace, unity and healing in the community as it features some of the very best of Sound Systems globally (in alphabetical order): Adonai Sound, Bass Odyssey, Big Life Sound, Downbeat The Ruler, King Addies International, King Champion, King Waggy Tee, Ontrack Disco, Overproof Movements, Poison Dart, Rocksteadyy, Soul Supreme, Stone Love, Super Storm, Warrior Sound International and hosted by Mutabaruka.  

Miami Reggae Festival is an Annual Charitable Music and Arts Festival with a 2021 focus on Healing the Community to gain the mental strength needed to renew a sense of oneness through this next phase of the global health crises and to increase awareness on the need to bring an end to the gun violence epidemic in local communities.  Sound Systems have brought many displaced persons together since the 1950s in the Caribbean and abroad.  Miami Reggae Festival 2021 is setting the stage for one of the world’s most relevant and timely festivals highlighting the Sound System for healing and building communities through impactful music.  People are reminded of the ingenuity and strength of kinfolk during this June, 2021 of Caribbean American Heritage Month. The resourcefulness of the Sound System represents each individual's contribution and how the effort and energy of each one makes for family.

Miami Reggae Festival 2021 positions itself as a gathering for healing the community.  In this current world climate of armed conflicts, mass shootings and gun violence, AfriKin is taking a moment to focus on what a harmonious and peaceful existence within neighborhoods would be like and how it can be experienced together for encouragement through the arts and positive cultural influences. AfriKin is opening the lines of communication with civic organizations, law enforcement and public officials to increase awareness, and engage in problem solving regarding the “alarming increase” in gun violence.  Miami-Dade County officials are in the process of creating new educational and social services to decrease gun-related violence in local municipalities with its Summer Heat Program.  After the mass shooting that occurred on Memorial Day Weekend 2021, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted that she is working closely with public safety officials to “bring criminals to justice” and fight violence at the root with strategies aimed at prevention & intervention.” She went on further to tweet “We must create alternate pathways for at-risk youth and we must build safer, more prosperous neighborhoods to stem the tide of violence,” “Enough is enough ­–– no more innocent lives lost.”

In 2019, a Scientific American article by David Noonan reported on a study by Daniel Kim of Northwestern University showing that U.S. Counties with higher rates of gun homicides had an almost stagnant level of social mobility.  Kim stated the following: “My study suggests that gun violence has root social causes such as our ability to climb the economic ladder … These root causes can be modified through policies, and this and future related research could give policy makers additional tools to address the gun violence epidemic in America.”.   The Scientific American article went on to report findings showing reductions of gun homicide rates in conjunction with an increase in social mobility, trust in government, corporate institutions and media, and from a rise in spending on social programs including unemployment insurance.

Throughout the unfolding of the current global health crises and the numerous outbreaks of violence, there is now a cultural shift taking place.  Worldwide, there is a reevaluation, and for some a discovery, of the concepts of self-determination and self-reliance.  There is a learning to see the value of each member of the global family -- how remarkable and wonderful a human life truly is and how necessary and worthwhile supporting each other has become within communities.  This is a time to learn and grow -- to become more caring and loving preservers and sustainers of life with a renewed sense of purpose and guardianship, so that the young ones can look forward to the future without fear and in love for one another.   

Alfonso Brooks, stated that, “Miami Reggae Festival 2021 celebrates life, and the beauty and creativity that people are.   With this initiative the time is taken to reflect on the current culture that is permeated with violence and ask that when each one of us sees a need to assist another with embracing a way of harmony and tranquility, that we take the initiative to be pursuers of peace in the form of honest, patient and respectful discussion, mentoring and programming.  Pro-action saves lives more than debates on firearms.  The trauma caused to communities affects generations. Please never underestimate the importance of your positive and upbuilding influence on others.  Bob Marley asked us many years ago to take heed of the need for “One Love,” and to get together and feel alright.”  Let’s keep this conversation going ...

In recognition of COVID-19 regulations we continue to practice safety precautions.  Miami Reggae Festival 2021 will continue to keep fundamentals in place – temperature checking, masking, distancing, EPA approved disinfecting, CDC food service guidelines, and staying home when sick to protect all residents and visitors.  Free disposable masks are available at the gate and throughout the venue on event days.  Miami Reggae Festival enforces the continuance of practicing social distancing and the need to keep safe during public gatherings.  

Miami Reggae Festival 2021 takes place on Saturday, August 7th and Sunday, August 8th with doors opening at 3:00 PM (EDT) at the brand-new Opa-Locka Marketplace, 12691 NW 42nd Avenue, Opa-Locka, FL  33054 (next to the Opa-Locka Flea Market). Tickets start at $25 in advance plus a mandatory minimum two non-perishable food items for entry.  Miami Reggae Festival is family-friendly with children under 12 admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Miami Reggae Festival is accessible to individuals with disabilities through designated gate entrance, parking and restrooms. Tickets are available online at: http://miamireggaefestival.com