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Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader Paperback – March 23, 1998
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From Library Journal
The Rastafarian movement had largely been a Jamaican phenomenon from its inception in the 1930s until the 1960s, when immigrants from the Caribbean migrated internationally. This collection of essays attempts to define in populist manner Rastafari; its beginnings, successes, and failures; its belief system; and its religious, economic, cultural, psychological, and social connotations. With no formal structure, Rastafari is an evolving belief system based on the principles of Leonard Howell's The Promised Key. Its message of Afrocentricity is important, but the resistance and liberation psychology, along with reggae music, all give meaning to people's lives. The "Downpression" of Jamaican society reflects a "Babylonian" experience of the black's soulful desolation. From the life-affirming practices of Rastafari, selfhood and dignity is reclaimed. Bible study, fasting, and living with the earth were early components; later the African tradition of ganja smoking was used in rituals to commune on a higher plane. Recommended.?Leo Vincent Kriz, West Des Moines P.L., Ia.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Long before the term 'Afrocentricity' came into popular use in the United States, Jamaican Rastafarians had embraced the concept as the most important recipe for naming their reality and reclaiming their black heritage in the African diaspora." --Nathaniel Samuel Murrell, from the Introduction
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