The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday January 19th

Carrboro man honors Bob Marley's 70th birthday

Robert Roskind, the founder of Oasis coffee shop in Carrboro, leads a meeting on Tuesday night. Roskind is recruiting volunteers for his Global Call to Love event which will take place on February 6th, Bob Marley's 70th Birthday, in the San Francisco area. Roskind decided to teach love after being inspired by Bob Marley and his own trip to Jamaica.
Buy Photos Robert Roskind, the founder of Oasis coffee shop in Carrboro, leads a meeting on Tuesday night. Roskind is recruiting volunteers for his Global Call to Love event which will take place on February 6th, Bob Marley's 70th Birthday, in the San Francisco area. Roskind decided to teach love after being inspired by Bob Marley and his own trip to Jamaica.

But for the owner of Oasis in Carr Mill, the answer is something he laughingly told former Prime Minister of Jamaica P.J. Patterson at a press conference in 2005, “Jah sent white. I don’t know why, but Jah sent white.”

Roskind is the visionary behind A Global Call to Love Concert, which will be held on Feb. 7 in Santa Cruz, Calif., and streamed for free worldwide.

He met Wednesday with several people interested in helping spread the word about the event.

“Everyone gets one seven-billionth of the job to heal the planet,” he said.

Roskind opened the meeting with a YouTube clip of Marley performing. He explained that love allowed Marley to go from a gang leader in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, to one of the top-selling artists of all time.

“Everything that came out of that man’s mouth was conscious, and because of that he’s now known for more than his music,” Roskind said. “He’s a symbol for a movement towards love.”

Roskind has written 11 books, all of which center around the message of love.

When he published his first book, “Rasta Heart” in 2001, he introduced it at Marley’s house in Kingston on what would have been his 57th birthday. He got 11 “teachers of love” in Jamaica, many of them reggae artists, to speak and perform at the event and even got the permission of Marley’s mother, Mama B, to host an event at the home.

This was the first of more than 50 One Love events Roskind organized in Jamaica, including huge concerts for Marley’s 58th, 59th and 60th birthdays. Roskind said he’s hosted about 200 One Love events worldwide.

Maurice Melvin, a Kingston native, attended the event. He grew up alongside some of Marley’s children and could see Marley’s house from his own.

“He has a tighter-knit connection with the Marley family than I did as a child,” Melvin said of Roskind.

Roskind hopes to get students involved with A Global Call to Love.

“I don’t think there is anyone on campus who isn’t concerned about the future,” Roskind said, lamenting the state of the environment, government, penal system and the explosion of student loans. “There’s only one solution and that’s to have a wave of love sweep across this planet.”

Jo Sanders, a Carrboro resident, said she’s excited to help stream the event to viewers in North Carolina.

“I love this kind of thing. It just kind of stirs the heart juices,” she said.

arts@dailytarheel.com



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