Book also reached Number 3 on Amazon Best Seller List for its Category
Yes, the book co-written by the controversial DJ whose music is often banned from air-play, the book that was reportedly refused by Christian and “uptown” book stores in Jamaica; the book that many said would never be successful is still growing in readership more than two years after it was first published!
The book has been catalogued by the US Library of Congress, acquired by Princeton and Yale Universities, named to the Black Radical Reading List and introduced as recommended reading by many University Professors particularly in the field of History and Cultural Studies. Perhaps this is the biggest literary milestone for the Dancehall legend as he now has a book listed by Amazon.com as the Number 1 Top Rated book on West Indian and Caribbean History on its site.
Hence after three years of incarceration Vybz Kartel tops the airwaves in the Caribbean and now his book has gone as high as Number 3 on the Amazon’s Best Seller list for Caribbean and West Indian History.
The validation must be even more rewarding for the Dancehall DJ, now reportedly in the advanced stages of preparing his Appeal, because it comes from readers who bought the book and not from any marketing efforts or the notoriety of the renowned co-Author – in fact, many reviews emphasized the staunch dislike for Kartel, but there were still a number of recommendations for the book to be taught in schools and to be read by every Jamaican, particularly young ones.
A November 30th, 2014 snapshot of an Amazon.com page depicting the books Number 1 position shows Kartel’s book beating the Random House Published book about President JFK – One Minute to Midnight, into the Number 2 spot. When one considers that Random House is one of the most prestigious Publishers in the world whose credits include publishing the great John Girsham and the recent book by President George W Bush, Jamaicans would have felt a sense of pride if it were any other authors of Jamaican birth particularly because the category which for which the co-authors are number 1, includes writers from French, Dutch and Spanish territories.
However, it is expected by the Publishers that the dislike for Kartel by a certain sector of Society will lead to a campaign of discrediting the accomplishment rather than encouraging youngsters to read and learn from the many life lessons that Kartel offers through his experiences good and bad. Kartel’s co-Author who recently returned from a tour of Europe where the book has had the most success, was very humbled but admitted their focus and success continues to be outside Jamaica.
“Addi (Adidja) and I knew the moment we wrote this book that we would get no accolades from Jamaica and we are completely fine with that. To be honest, if I get recognized by any group of Jamaican politicians for my work, I would have failed our people because I detest what the political system has done to my country.
In the book, we are literally fighting that system, the system where a Senator casually joked about the subject of rape whilst on the Senate floor, a Senior government Minister flippantly dismissed those who criticized the government on social media as an ‘Articulate Minority’ and where the powers that be general only see justice through the eyes of political lens and while turning a blind eye to the suffering of the poor. In fact, every time the book reaches a milestone or gets a ‘must read’ from a Professor, it comes under attack from politicians, persons in academia who never read the book, parts of the media and certainly Corporate Jamaica, so let the discrediting begin again.
Do you know that before being allowed to advertise, we had to sign a disclaimer indemnifying a Jamaican media house “in the event that the reading of the book leads to rioting?’” Dawson said laughing “what could possibly be in a book that could incite a riot” Last Week the President of the Book Industry of Jamaica, Kellie Magnus, whilst seeing the response to the book first hand at the Miami Book Fair, tweeted “Really interesting mix of people interested in Vybz Kartel memoir. All ages, nationalities, races.”
When asked if it is time that our race and our nationality treat the book with the same respect too, Keecha Gooch, COO of the book’s Publushing Company stated – “From Marcus to Bob; from Peter Tosh to Vybz Kartel, as long as you give a Voice to the poor, down trodden or oppressed in Jamaica, you are going to come under fire. It is a Legacy of slavery that won’t be easy to change but Ghetto People Publishing will keep trying – our next book Road to Zion, written by Patrick ‘Curly Lox’Gaynor of Twins of Twins is slated to be released next month and will be another major step for us as part of that mission.”