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Ricardo Richards was born in 1946 and grew up in Calidonia with parents of West Indian descent. Though both of his parents were born in Panama, his mother’s family is from Barbados and his father’s family is from Jamaica. As a teenager Richards formed a jazz group named “Jazz Messengers”, but he now insists that his favorite type of music is reggae because, for him, it is a form of protest that can send a powerful message about how to change the world to its listeners—especially the youth, who he considers to be world’s most valuable resource. Ricardo holds dual degrees in political science and sociology, but he lives in a rural environment and works for an association called Futur, a group that is extremely devoted to grassroots activism through the empowerment of local communities. As a Rastafarian, Ricardo sees Africa as the cradle of all civilization, and believes that the concept of Afro-Antillano, if taken too literally, can prevent people from respecting their rich African heritage if it limits one’s concept of origin to just one place on the map. Ricardo says that he is married “sometimes,” and has children who speak varying degrees of English.
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