Rastafarian

79520 WordsDec 16, 2015319 Pages
Rastafari This page intentionally left blank Rastafari From Outcasts to Culture Bearers Ennis Barrington Edmonds 2003 198 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Bangkok Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai Dar es Salaam Delhi Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kolkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi São Paulo Shanghai Taipei Tokyo Toronto Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries Copyright © 2003 by Ennis Barrington Edmonds The…show more content…
I grew up in Jamaica at a time when Rastas were still regarded as useless, lazy, half-insane, ganja-smoking illiterates who were of no value to society. Teachers, students, office workers, and anyone of social importance could not grow locks, and families would go into mourning when their sons would start sprouting them. I heard the term “black heart man” used again and again as a means of expressing fear or ridicule of the Rastafarian. And this was in the early 1970s—after Bob Marley's emergence as an international viii FOREWORD star, after Selassie's arrival in Jamaica, and after so much had been written about the importance of Rastafarianism. The problem was that Rasta was counter to the strong Christian structure that dominated and continues to dominate Jamaican life and was seen first as heretical and misguided before its powerful social and political ideas were fully appreciated. Most important, however, was the Rastafarian insistence that Africa was the promised land and that Jamaicans should look to Africa for their model of value rather than to Europe, which was seen as foolish and a painful reminder of slavery and oppression. Rasta was an offense to those who wanted to deny the African part of their heritage. And the truth is also that in Jamaica at that time the privileging of lighter-skinned people was
Open Document