Interview: Mad Professor (Part 2)

January 6, 2013

In part two of this exclusive feature length interview with the Mad Professor – we discuss his Back To Africa Festival in Gambia (starting on January 25th, 2013), his mischievous tendency to taunt reggae journalists and the secret to his label Ariwa’s success…

Mad Professor

How did you decide to create your Back To Africa festival in Gambia?

Growing up in London in the 70s, we were the first generation of Caribbean and Western blacks who embraced Africa. Because prior to that black people who were sons of slaves – from America, black people in the West Indies, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana – were taught not to like Africa, to be afraid of Africa, to be embarrassed by Africa. That was part of the psychology due to slavery. That was part of the brain washing and that mentality. To think Africa was ugly and rough. If you asked your grandparents about Africa they would say “No, don’t ask me about that”. But come the end of the 60s in America you had the “Black is Beautiful” thing which gave a lot of black people confidence and was like a healing process after slavery. You had historic songs like James Brown’s Black and Proud and Syl Johnson… (pauses)

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