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The First Rasta : Leonard Howell and the Rise of Rastafarianism - Helene Lee

The First Rasta

Leonard Howell and the Rise of Rastafarianism

By: Helene Lee, Stephen Davis (Introduction by)

Paperback Published: 28th January 2005
ISBN: 9781556525582
Number Of Pages: 320

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Going far beyond the standard imagery of Rasta—ganja, reggae, and dreadlocks—this cultural history offers an uncensored vision of a movement with complex roots and the exceptional journey of a man who taught an enslaved people how to be proud and impose their culture on the world. In the 1920s Leonard Percival Howell and the First Rastas had a revelation concerning the divinity of Haile Selassie, king of Ethiopia, that established the vision for the most popular mystical movement of the 20th century, Rastafarianism. Although jailed, ridiculed, and treated as insane, Howell, also known as the Gong, established a Rasta community of 4,500 members, the first agro-industrial enterprise devoted to producing marijuana. In the late 1950s the community was dispersed, disseminating Rasta teachings throughout the ghettos of the island. A young singer named Bob Marley adopted Howell's message, and through Marley's visions, reggae made its explosion in the music world.

Industry Reviews

"Powerful historical and social forces come together in Lee's extraordinarily useful book. The First Rasta moves with a truth seeker's determination through the slums of Trenchtown and Jamaica's back country, revealing a dauntingly complex landscape and history in which oral history is often more reliable than the written record." -- Publishers Weekly "Incredible ... a spellbinding saga ... Lee's insightful combination of toughness and sensitivity is amazing." -- The Beat "The loose threads of Rasta history [are] impressively woven into a flag of green, red, and gold ... a clear-eyed political history." -- Kirkus Reviews

Acknowledgmentsp. v
Introductionp. vii
The Footsteps of a Spiritp. 1
The Bird Hunterp. 9
En Route to New Yorkp. 19
Harlemp. 27
Athlyi Rogers, Forerunner of the Rasta Movementp. 37
Early Companionsp. 45
The Ethiopianistsp. 53
First Sermons in St. Thomasp. 63
Jail Housep. 81
The Nya-Binghisp. 89
The Hindu Legacyp. 97
From One Prison to Anotherp. 109
Bloody '38p. 119
Pinnaclep. 125
Life in the Hillsp. 135
The First Raidp. 145
Howell and the Womenp. 153
Ganja Plantationp. 161
Like Children of God in Paradisep. 169
A Stroll in Paradisep. 177
Howell and Bustamantep. 183
The 1954 Raidp. 189
The Ghettosp. 201
Pinnacle's Last Daysp. 211
God or the Devil?p. 221
The New Culturep. 227
Rasta Music-Kumina or Burru?p. 233
Count Ossiep. 241
The 1960sp. 255
Reggae Starsp. 275
Twelve Tribesp. 283
The Endp. 291
Notesp. 297
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781556525582
ISBN-10: 1556525583
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 28th January 2005
Publisher: A Cappella Books
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.43