Reggae legend Freddie McGregor became the first recipient of the “Black History Month meets Reggae Icon Award,” which was presented to him during a Reggae Icons awards ceremony, in Miramar, Florida recently.
“I feel really honored to be the recipient of this award… It was a really special evening,” the Big Ship artiste said in an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. The Reggae Icons awards ceremony was held at the Miramar Cultural Banquet Centre, under the patronage of Jamaica’s Entertainment Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
“I just sat there soaking it all up, and it hit me that if I were dead I wouldn’t get to experience this moment,” McGregor said in outlining how awed he was by the moment.
McGregor also expressed satisfaction that Reggae Month is now fully recognized, with a myriad of quality activities throughout the period.
“When I looked and saw the amount of things happening for Reggae Month, all I could say is, bwoy, this year mek the ting look like Jamaica really have something going on in the month of February… This is a good look,” he said.
In her address, Grange, who is a former manager of Shabba Ranks, said it is important for all to play a part in the enhancement of Reggae, particularly at a time when the United Nations is commemorating the International Decade for People of African Descent.
The years 2015 to 2024, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in a Resolution as the International Decade for People of African Descent on 23 December 2013. The theme of the commemoration is “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.”
Grange said within the Diaspora, the efforts have been placed on engaging stakeholders responsible for the promotion of shows and events, to enable Reggae music to continue providing opportunities for income generation, wealth creation, and the promotion of Black Pride.
The Minister also said her Ministry is putting plans in place to extend activities to New York, Washington, Los Angeles, the UK, and Toronto for next year’s staging of Reggae Month.