Reggae Legend Burning Spear Gives Back to His Alma Mater in Jamaica

by Howard Campbell

ST. ANN, Jamaica – Reggae legend Burning Spear returned to his hometown here on December 12 to assist a cash-strapped school.

The 77 year-old singer/songwriter donated sports kits and blazers to Marcus Garvey Technical High School for their sports teams.

Reggae Legend Burning Spear Gives Back to His Alma Mater
Burning Spear – Photo Credit: BurningSpear.com

Annonia Hunter-Jones,  principal of the school, is overjoyed at the gesture. She said administrators are looking forward to a longterm relationship with Spear who was born in St. Ann’s Bay, a coastal region in northeastern Jamaica where the institution is located.

“We are extremely in need,” Hunter-Jones stressed.

Marcus Garvey Technical High School has 1,734 students, spread over two campuses. Much of its welfare programme assists students who cannot afford transportation to school, purchase shoes or hygienic products.

Burning Spear, whose real name is Winston Rodney, started his career in the late 1960s at Studio One in Kingston with producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd. His two albums for that label were critically-acclaimed but attracted only an underground following.

Frustrated, he returned to St. Ann where he met producer Lawrence “Jack Ruby” Lindo. Jack Ruby produced his 1975 album, Marcus Garvey,  which remains his signature work.

The 77 year-old singer/songwriter has won two Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album. After a 10-year break, he made a successful comeback to touring, performing on the United States West Coast, Rototom Sunsplash in Spain and the United Kingdom.


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