(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Contrary to media reports, Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination (B-GLAD) said it has no issue with Buju Banton performing in that Caribbean island.
“No one is denouncing Buju. I, like many other Caribbean activists and people have moved on and are looking forward to seeing Buju in concert here in Barbados,” Donnya Piggott, B-GLAD’s executive director, told the Jamaica Observer Monday. (SEE: Barbados LGBT community calls on Buju Banton to publicly denounce ‘Boom Bye Bye’)
Buju Banton is scheduled to perform at the Barbados Reggae Festival at Kensington Oval on April 27.
Several Jamaican and Barbados media entities reported Monday that B-GLAD was calling on the Jamaican deejay to denounce his 1993 anti-gay song Boom Bye Bye.
Piggott said those reports are far from the truth. (SEE: Barbados LGBT community calls on Buju Banton to publicly denounce ‘Boom Bye Bye’)
“Essentially just like Buju, we’re moving on from Boom Bye Bye,” said the executive director.
Piggot said while the lyrics to the song are harsh, the artiste has been influential throughout the region with many positive hits.
She added that Boom Bye Bye was written more than two decades ago when Buju was a teenager and does not define him today.
“Those who don’t know his music can harp on that and let Western narratives dictate the pace about how we should and should not feel about Buju’s music. I am a lesbian, and the song makes me cringe but I’m also black and Caribbean and many young, black gay people are also poor. Before I knew of Boom Bye Bye, I knew of Destiny, Untold Stories, Wanna Be Loved, ‘Til Shiloh and he made a profound impact on my life as a black, dark-skinned Caribbean woman and he was a voice for many poor disenfranchised black people in the Caribbean. I’m not denying the harm that Boom Bye Bye has caused and writing it as a 15-year-old boy, I can only imagine where Buju was at in his life,” she told the Observer.
Buju Banton (given name Mark Myrie) was released from McRae Correctional Centre in Georgia on December 8 after serving a near 10-year conviction for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.
Since his return, he announced that his Long Walk to Freedom tour, begins on March 16 2019 in Jamaica. Other gigs are planned for Trinidad, Antigua and The Bahamas.
Piggott is encouraging members of the public to follow suit and move past the negativity surrounding the controversial song in anticipation for the deejay’s upcoming projects.
“Finally, like Buju has said in his statement shortly before his release, we are going forward with peace and love,” she added.
B-GLAD was founded in 2012. The organisation is dedicated to the promotion of equality for all gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals.
Several attempts to get a comment from Buju Banton or his publicist proved futile.