In honor of Earth Day 2021, Damian “Jr Gong” Marley shares a very powerful new music video for “Life Is A Circle.” Watch it HERE via Rolling Stone. The video was notably shot at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, FL and directed by B+.
The music video shows the power of black activists who stood up to forces beyond their control in order to build a haven for both their communities and the environment as well. It’s a call-to-action to honor their tireless fight against systemic oppression, dating back centuries. “Life Is A Circle” tells a relevant story that began in the 1940s but remains relevant to this day, if not more than ever…
During segregation, black Americans were forbidden from most beaches. With the support of a local NAACP chapter, seven civil rights activists staged a “wade-in” at a whites’ only beach in Dade County. As a result, Virginia Key Beach opened in 1945 as Miami’s first “Colored Only” beach. Over the years, this land endured storms, vandalism, the insurgence of foreign plants and animals, and a corrupt corporate city plot to sell its development rights. Once again, the people spoke. Grassroots organizers known as the Virginia Key Beach Trust fought against this commercial encroachment and vied for total restoration. Finally, Historic Virginia Key Beach Park opened in 2008 consisting of 82.5 acres and “the largest Mangrove Wetland in the State of Florida.”
In the video, Damian pays homage to the spirit of those activists. Walking around Historic Virginia Key Beach Park with eyes wide and his heart open, he sings at the edge of the water as sparse cinematic piano chords ring out. The clip intercuts footage of Damian with classic black-and-white photos of visitors to Virginia Key Beach.
Said Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, “The video needed to have some hope in it. The song has a darkish feel, but it says ‘God is always with us…’ Don’t forget that. And I wanted the video somehow to have that hope, because there’s always hope.”
Added Director B+, “We had stumbled on an important piece of history and one that actually has a good ending. One that seemed beautifully emblematic of another kind of America.”
“Life Is A Circle” original appeared on Ghetto Youth International’s 2020 compilation record, Set Up Shop, Vol. 4. Receiving plugs from Dance Hall Mag and more, OKAYPLAYER described it as “introspective.” Meanwhile, it has generated nearly half-a-million plays on the static audio.
Damian Marley’s most recent studio album was his 2017 opus, Stony Hill. In addition to becoming his second consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums Chart, it garnered the 2018 GRAMMY® Award in the category of “Best Reggae Album,” marking his fourth career GRAMMY®. The record also inspired widespread acclaim from Mojo, Rolling Stone, and more, while he delivered a standout set for NPR’s Tiny Desk.
Today, honor the earth, because “life is a circle.”