The Day of Triumph:
A Glimpse in the Life of a Splendid Personality
---by Bilal Morris
The true heroes behind our music are really those first Garifuna fighters who in the 18th. Century on the island of Yurume, St. Vincent, stood up against slavery, colonization, and cultural domination.
Those were the passionate words that a spiritually uplifted Andy Palacio uttered at the World Music Expo, WOMEX, in reception of the internationally acclaimed music prize in Spain in October 2007. He had finally culminated his cultural and musical crusade for the Garifuna people, and laid the seal to the mission to which he was called.
The work of this incredible personality in Belizean history was a life that was lived and not preached. His was the life of a splendid character, whom if you had got to know him and the beliefs that embodied and drove his way of life, was the epitome of a humble revolutionary. He was a man from the inception of his career who had a vision to change the present status quo of what today we call Belizean music. He was the quiet warrior, sometimes quite unpredictable, who sacrificed most of his life for a cause that he truly believed in, the liberation of the Garinagu.
On this Martin Luther King Day here in Los Angeles, the thoughts of Andy Palacio the personality permeated the soul and draw powerful parallels on such a somber day. These peaceful, humble and progressive souls who confronted the challenges of their cause and triumphed, will change the times to come in the spirit of peaceful constructive revolution. The words: “stood up against slavery, colonization, and cultural domination,” lied dormant for many years in the heart of Andy Palacio. But suddenly one day, it erupted like a volcano on the world stage, at the right time and at the right place. It transcended all bounds because it came from a heart that was overflowing with the love he had for his people. The world’s mass media had to take notice. Today, Andy Palacio stood on the mountaintop and the world had to listen.
The brilliant artistry exemplified during his Watina World Tour at the Grand Performances in downtown Los Angeles, was a spectacular world beat performance that will go down as one of the best in the world music history. Such was ‘Andy P’ reunion and farewell to the Los Angeles Belizean community, their Belizean flags flying high that day for a country and a man they love. Andy Palacio brought them pride and honor. He was the ardent vicegerent for the Belizean people.
Peace Be Unto You. As Salam. Alikum.