In Remembrance: A Glimpse in the Life of a World Cultural Icon
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 had you known him and his beliefs, was the epitome of a humble cultural revolutionary. From the inception of his
career, he had a vision to change the present status quo of what we now call Belizean culture and 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.
Reflecting on Andy Palacio, his personality permeated the soul and drew powerful parallels to those who came before him. This
peaceful, humble and progressive soul who confronted the challenges of a cause and triumphed will change the times to come in the
spirit of cultural preservation. The words, “stood up against slavery, colonization, and cultural domination,” lied dormant for many years
in the heart of Andy Palacio. But suddenly at the right time and the right place, it erupted like a volcano on the world stage transcending
all bounds. It came from his heart; overflowing with the love he had for his people -- the world’s mass media had to take notice. That
day, Andy Palacio, stood on the mountaintop and the world listened.
The brilliant artistry exemplified during his Watina World Tour was a spectacular world beat performance. With our Belizean flags flying
high, needless to say this would be ‘Andy P’ farewell to the Belizean communities in the diaspora. Andy Palacio brought us pride and
honor – a reunion short lived between a man and the country he loved. He was the true cultural icon and vicegerent for the Belizean
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