Thursday, March 23, 2023

Prescribed Rastafari Literature for New and You Rasta Souljahs

Rastafari is more than just a religion or a way of life – it's a spiritual and cultural movement that has touched the hearts and souls of millions of people around the world. For young Rastafari, navigating the rich and complex world of Rastafarianism can be both exciting and overwhelming. That's why we've put together this reading list – to provide a roadmap for those who are just starting their journey, as well as a resource for those who are seeking to deepen their understanding of this beautiful and inspiring movement. These books are not just academic exercises, but gateways to a deeper spiritual and cultural understanding of Rastafari. We hope that they will inspire and guide you on your path towards a more meaningful and fulfilling life

Here are some books that are often recommended for young Rastafaris who are learning about the faith and coming into the movement:

  1. The Holy Piby: The Blackman's Bible by Robert Athlyi Rogers

    The Blackman's Bible by Robert Athlyi Rogers - The Holy Piby is a foundational text of Rastafarianism that presents a black-centric interpretation of the Bible and provides guidance for living a moral life according to Rastafarian beliefs.
  2. The Kebra Nagast: The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom and Faith from Ethiopia and Jamaica by Gerald Hausman

    The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom and Faith from Ethiopia and Jamaica by Gerald Hausman - The Kebra Nagast is a sacred Ethiopian text that is highly revered in Rastafarianism. It tells the story of the Queen of Sheba and her son Menelik, who is believed to be the offspring of her union with King Solomon.
  3. The Promised Key by Leonard P. Howell

    The Promised Key is a collection of essays and speeches by Leonard P. Howell, a pioneering figure in the Rastafarian movement. It provides insight into the early years of Rastafarianism and Howell's vision for a black-led society.
  4. Rastafarianism: A Very Short Introduction by Ennis B. Edmonds

    This book provides an overview of the history, beliefs, and practices of Rastafarianism. It is a useful introduction to the movement for those who are unfamiliar with it.

  5. Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons by Robert A. Hill

    This biography of Marcus Garvey, a key figure in the Pan-African movement, provides a detailed look at his life and teachings. It highlights his advocacy for black self-reliance and his efforts to unify people of African descent around the world.
  6. The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey: Or, Africa for the Africans by Marcus Garvey

    This book is a compilation of speeches and writings by Marcus Garvey. It emphasizes his belief in black self-determination and the importance of African unity.
  7. The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Selassie I: King of Kings of Ethiopia by Haile Selassie I

    This autobiography provides a firsthand account of the life of Haile Selassie I, the former emperor of Ethiopia and a figure revered by Rastafarians. It covers his rise to power, his efforts to modernize Ethiopia, and his experiences during World War II.
  8. Dread, Beat an' Blood: Empress Menen and the Rastafarians by Benjamin Zephaniah

    This book provides an exploration of the role of Empress Menen, the wife of Haile Selassie I, in Rastafarianism. It also examines the impact of the movement on Jamaican culture and society.

These books cover various aspects of Rastafarian beliefs and history, including the role of Haile Selassie I, Marcus Garvey's influence, the importance of Ethiopia, and the cultural and social practices of Rastafarianism. They can provide a foundation for understanding the faith and its practices.

#RastafariReadingList #Spirituality #Philosophy #AfricanDiaspora #Literature #Culture #History #SocialJustice #Empowerment #KnowledgeIsPower #ReadToGrow #PanAfricanism #BlackExcellence #BlackHistory #MentalLiberation

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Jamaica is an African Colony

Jamaica, a small island nation in the Caribbean, is known worldwide for its music, food, and unique culture. Jamaica is a cultural super state But what if Jamaica was actually a colony of Africa? Jamaica should be a colony of Africa. For me Jamaica is a colony of Africa, Afro beats dominating the island is proof of the pudding! It may sound like a far-fetched idea or even a joke, but let's examine why this concept needs to be explored beyond just humor. It is a vision that some may find radical, but it is one that we should consider and work towards making a reality. The idea of Jamaica being a colony of Africa is not about colonization in the traditional sense, but rather a reclamation of our ancestral heritage and a recognition of our place within the African diaspora.

Jamaica has a rich cultural history that is deeply rooted in Africa. Our music, art, language, and spirituality are all reflections of our African ancestry. However, despite this connection, we have been socially and economically marginalized by the Western world, which has led to a sense of displacement and disconnection from our African roots. By becoming a colony of Africa, we can strengthen our ties to the continent and reclaim our place within the global African community.

Africa is the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of humanity. The continent has a rich history and culture that has influenced the world in countless ways. However, the legacy of colonialism and slavery has left Africa and its descendants in the diaspora struggling to regain their identity and place in the world.

By making Jamaica a colony of Africa, we can help re-establish the connection between the continent and its diaspora. This could be done by seeking membership in the African Union, an organization that promotes unity and cooperation among African countries. Other routes could also be explored, such as city twinning or sister city programs for Kingston and Montego Bay with other African cities and second cities.

To make this vision a reality, we must seek membership in the African Union and pursue other routes to making greater links. City twinning or sister city programs between Kingston and Montego Bay with other African cities and second cities could also be both culturally and economically beneficial. We should look to real-world examples of the diaspora or African descendants across the globe making similar initiatives, like Haiti's attempt at AU membership.

Certainly, the idea of making Jamaica a colony of Africa not only has cultural and political implications but also economic ones. Slavery and colonialism have left lasting scars on the African continent and its diaspora, including Jamaica. The exploitation of human labor, the extraction of resources, and the forced removal of people from their homes have had devastating effects on the economies of both Africa and the diaspora.

Reparations, in the form of financial compensation, land, or resources, have been demanded by many in the African diaspora as a way to address the legacy of slavery and colonialism. However, to date, there has been little progress in this area. By making Jamaica a colony of Africa, we can create economic webs that provide the community and diaspora with resilience and security, while also reconnecting and integrating the global family in deep communion.

Through economic integration and cooperation, we can create opportunities for trade, investment, and entrepreneurship. This can help to create jobs, increase wealth, and promote economic development in both Africa and the diaspora. By working together, we can build more sustainable and equitable economies that benefit everyone, rather than just a few.

City twinning and sister city programs can also play a role in creating economic ties between Jamaica and African cities. These programs allow for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and resources between cities, creating opportunities for collaboration and economic growth. For example, Kingston could twin with cities like Lagos, Nigeria, or Accra, Ghana, to share best practices in areas such as tourism, agriculture, and technology.

In addition to economic benefits, making Jamaica a colony of Africa can also provide a sense of security and resilience for the diaspora. By reconnecting with Africa and its culture, we can create a sense of belonging and community that transcends borders and nationalities. This can help to build resilience in the face of adversity and provide a sense of support and solidarity in times of need.

Pan-Africanism, a philosophy that emphasizes the unity and solidarity of Africans and people of African descent worldwide and Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born Pan-Africanist leader who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association, believed in the importance of the African diaspora reconnecting with Africa and its culture. Pan-Africanism and Marcus Garvey's philosophy then, are key components of the African colonization of Jamaica. Garvey believed in the unification of all people of African descent and advocated for a back-to-Africa movement, which encouraged African Americans to return to the continent. He also believed in economic self-reliance, which is still relevant today as we seek to empower ourselves and build sustainable communities.

In the same vein, this vision of Jamaica as a colony of Africa is about creating a self-reliant and sustainable future for ourselves and our children. It is about taking ownership of our cultural identity and creating a new paradigm for the diaspora that embraces our African heritage and culture. This is crucial for the survival of Africa and the diaspora and our place in the future.

Through initiatives like an African colonization of Jamaica (ACOJ, sounds catchy doesn't it), we can manifest Afrofuturism, the cultural movement that combines African mythology, science fiction, and technology to imagine a future where Africans and people of African descent are empowered and represented. Afrofuturism is about imagining a future where African culture is celebrated and integrated into mainstream society. By embracing Afrofuturism, we can manifest a future where Jamaica is recognized as a colony of Africa and our cultural identity is celebrated and respected.

In order to make this concept a reality, we need to approach it with a sense of militancy and firmness, but also with warmth and a conversational tone. This is a petition and motioning for an Africa-Jamaica meeting and family gathering. I pray thee... We need to recognize that this idea is not just about politics or economics, but about our spiritual and cultural connections to Africa.

Ultimately, the idea of making Jamaica a colony of Africa is about creating a more just, equitable, and connected world. It is about acknowledging the legacy of slavery and colonialism, while also creating new possibilities for the future. By working together, we can build a global community that is based on mutual respect, cooperation, and shared values. In the end, the idea of Jamaica being a colony of Africa may seem like a joke, but it is a concept that needs to be examined and explored further. By reconnecting with Africa, we can reclaim our cultural identity, empower our communities, and create a better future for all Africans and people of African descent worldwide.

#Jamaica, #Africa, #PanAfricanism, #Afrofuturism, #culturalidentity, #economicdevelopment, #solidarity, #heritage, #reparations

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Health Benefits of Soursop

Looking for a delicious and nutritious way to boost your health? Look no further than soursop! Our new infographic is packed with information on the amazing health benefits of this tropical fruit, from its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties to its immune system boosting and digestive health benefits. Check out our infographic to learn more about soursop and how you can incorporate it into your diet!

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Friday, February 24, 2023

Rastafari's Existential Future: Pan-Africanism to Afro-futurism

Rastafari and Afrofuturism: The Evolution of a Movement

Rastafari is a religion, theology, and philosophy that has been historically entwined and infused with Pan-African ethos from Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie. However, it is also a dynamic, evolving, and growing movement that has strands of Afrofuturism embedded within it. Rasta is not just a religion but a response to slavery, possible annihilation, and colonial European impositions. Rasta has retained the memory of Africa but has also dared to imagine a black man's space in the future when the rest of humanity relegated African people to the trash heap of history.


Rastafarianism, which originated in Jamaica in the 1930s, as a religious and cultural movement that drews on the experiences and perspectives of people of African descent. Rastafarians believe in the divinity of Haile Selassie, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, and emphasizes the importance of community and collective action in resisting oppression.

Rastafari for me is an existential philosophy and as such the connections between black existentialism and Rastafarianism are evident in the emphasis on collective action and resistance to oppression. Both philosophies reject the idea that individuals can achieve liberation or meaning in isolation and instead emphasize the need for collective struggle and solidarity. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice, and the need for individuals to create meaning in their lives. Black and African existentialism is a subfield of existentialism that focuses on the experiences and perspectives of black people and those of African descent. This philosophy emerged as a response to the dominant Eurocentric philosophical traditions that did not adequately address the unique experiences and perspectives of people of color.

One of the key thinkers in the development of black existentialism is Frantz Fanon, a Martinique-born psychiatrist and philosopher who lived and worked in Algeria during its struggle for independence from France. Fanon's work, particularly his books "Black Skin, White Masks" and "The Wretched of the Earth," explores the psychological impact of colonialism and racism on black people and the need for collective action to resist these forces.

Afrofuturism is a literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western cosmologies. First coined by Mark Dery in 1993, Afrofuturism addresses themes and concerns of the African Diaspora through a technoculture and science fiction lens, encompassing a range of media and artists with a shared interest in envisioning black futures that stem from Afrodiasporic experiences. Afrofuturism has four main avenues of expression: art, literature, music, and film.


Afrofuturism within music represents a diaspora of music that is non-traditional, focusing around the topic of blackness and space. This includes the work of George Clinton and his bands Parliament and Funkadelic, Jimi Hendrix, Herbie Hancock, and Sun-Ra. In literature, science, technology, art, music, and aesthetics, Afrofuturism has opened an avenue for things/issues that were seen as not so cool to be embraced, making them part and parcel of our lives. Now put in the context of all this... Max Romeo's "Am gonna put on an Ironshirt (spacesuit) and chase Satan out of Earth, Gonna send him to outer space, to find another race!"

Some examples of Afrofuturism in cinema you may have seen are Besouro, Black Panther and Wakanda Forever, Kaena the Prophecy and District 9. Ytasha Womack the author of Afrofuturism: the World of Black Sci-Fi Fantasy and Fantasy Culture, contends that with Afrofuturism “You’re a universal being that’s in a three-dimensional space. Afrofuturism allows black people to see our lives more fully than the present allows – emotionally, technologically, temporally and politically."

 Afrofuturism has had its impact in literature, science and technology, art, music and aesthetics. It has opened an avenue for things/issues that were seen as not so cool to be embraced. They have become part and parcel of our lives. In the 21st century, Afrofuturism continues to evolve and gain momentum. This has been pushed by writers and musicians. Some of the most notable musicians that have been at the forefront include Lupe Fiasco, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Solange, and many more. Afrofuturism is now taking over the media. Young people are being exposed to and technology has allowed black people to explore their own identities. 

Rastafari is Afrofuturistic because it is a movement that has dared to imagine a future beyond the circumstances of the present. Rasta has retained the memory of Africa while also creating a space for black people to envision their place in the future. This is evident in the way that Rastafari has embraced technology and incorporated it into its culture. The use of sound systems, dubbing, and other forms of electronic music has been a staple of Rasta culture since its inception. Rastafari has also embraced the use of media to spread its message, including the use of radio stations, television shows, and social media.

Rastafari is also Afrofuturistic because it has created a space for black people to embrace their identity and culture in a world that has historically rejected them. Rastafari has created a space where black people can come together and celebrate their heritage, culture, and spirituality. This has been achieved through the creation of festivals, gatherings, and other forms of communal celebrations.

Furthermore, Rastafari has been at the forefront of the Pan-African movement, which aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. Rastafari has played an important role in advocating for the rights of black people globally and has been instrumental in promoting the ideas of Pan-Africanism. This is evident in the way that Rastafari has embraced the teachings of Marcus Garvey, who advocated for the unity and empowerment of black people globally.

In conclusion, the connections between black existentialism, Rastafarianism, Pan-Africanism, and Afrofuturism are evident in the emphasis on collective action, resistance to oppression, and the creation of new narratives and representations of black people. These philosophies and movements offer alternative visions of the future that are grounded in the experiences and perspectives of people of African descent and emphasize the importance of cultural and political unity in achieving liberation and meaning. Rastafari is an Afrofuturistic movement because it has dared to imagine a future beyond the circumstances of the present. Rasta has retained the memory of Africa while also creating a space for black people to envision their place in the future. Rastafari is techno-organic and has embraced technology, media, and communal celebrations to create a space where black people can come together and celebrate their heritage, culture, and spirituality. Rastafari has been at the forefront of the Pan-African movement, advocating for the right and rights!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Existentialism and Rastafari Philosophy - Part 1

"I was born in a system that doesn't give a fuck about you or me or the life of our lovely kids, I keep my guns load just in case thing get frig, that's just the way I live, that's me yeah-a, as is!"
~Sizzla Kalonji

What comes to mind when one considers existentialism? Many academics and philosophers will conjure images of moody and morose French thinkers in turtleneck sweaters, holding palaver at tables in cafés in Paris, puffing Gauloises and endlessly sipping coffees as they gaze into the catacombs of the humanity's collective soul. However, there is more to it than that. Existentialism continues to be the most popular and best recognized school of philosophy, and consequently what I wrote my UWI, Mona Philosophy B.A. thesis on, way back in 2004. I wish I could reread that paper now. I believe it was something like Rastafari as Existential philosophy.


When I wrote my paper I really wrote it from a perspective of justifying Rastafari as existential philosophy in a new sense rather than examine it as an ideology which follows the tradition of black existentialism, well maybe I did do an Aime Césaire and Franz Fanon link but knowing what I know now, I could have made a more robust connection. Or maybe I hope I did after it was reviewed for edits and such. But where much of the black existentialism and mid 20th century existentialism was atheist in nature and departed from it's religious roots. Rastafari while incorporating Akan existential notions of self carries black existentialism back to a religious place while maintaining and advancing it in modern times and even venturing into the realm of Afrofuturism, as we consider our existential plight in the future. But what exactly is existentialism defined as: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts, by The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

Existentialism had a religious birth in Denmark and went through Atheist reform in France. Similarly precolonial West African religious traditions and African phenomenology birth a unique African existentialism and one could contend or argue that many Black or Africana existential philosophies (for example, Lewis Gordon’s Africana philosophy of existence, Frantz Fanon’s Sociogeny, and Howard Thurman’s Religious Thought) were somewhat Europeanized, and often secularized, versions of precolonial West African spirituo-analysis, phenomenology and existentialism. Just as European existential philosophy undergo atheist transformation it seems to have been mirrored in the African existentialism's transition to modern black or Africana existential philosophy.

Rastafari Art

With it being clear that existentialism wasn't birthed in France as most tend to think but actually in the 19th century in Denmark, with the highly unorthodox Christian thinker Søren Kierkegaard. He introduced the idea that in our journey through life we have the opportunity to make a ‘leap of faith’, to commit to a belief even though the evidence isn’t there. The majority of later existentialists were not religious. Yet pervasive in their work is the idea and narrative of the hero's choice and dedicated path, which sometimes turns out to be a mistake with serious consequence. This is a persistent current running through existentialist literature and plays. Existentialism, in contrast to much preceding philosophy, insists that existence precedes essence. In other words, there is no such thing as an immutable essence of a human being. Instead, first of all we exist. A notion not too far from Mr. Des Cartes "I think therefore I am."

Existentialism digresses from Des Cartes' skepticism to contend that at birth we are foist into a universe that doesn’t much care about us, and we have to make the best of ourselves – individually and in relation to one another – as we go along. So how does existentialism fit within the context of the African diaspora and its descendants dispersed throughout the Americas who have been facing approximately five centuries of white bigotry, misunderstanding, and racism. Especially as, we strive in our own way to be an acknowledged human beings in a system that only wants to make us less than one. A highly intelligent peoples and civilization, dismantled, enslaved and forced into unacceptable circumstances, yet persisting to recreate ourselves individually and secure some manner of respect and dignity. Alienation and the human condition are crucial issue to the ethos of existentialism; alienation is something we of African descent know so well. An alienation identified in Reggae songs like "Jamaican in New York" by Shinehead which covers and recaptures the sense of alienation identified by Sting in his original "English Man in New York"... as they both croon "I am an alien in New York."

Alienation at The Rivers of Babylon

"How can we sing King Alpha's song in a strange land?"

The heyday of existentialist thought may be over, but many people still find that existentialism resonates with literature and movies of all kinds, and sometimes with real life too. In particular, the idea that meaning and values are not sewn into the fabric of the universe but that we must invent them for ourselves has become ever more widely held and during the middle decades of the twentieth century, existentialism dominated the European philosophical and literary scene. Prominent theorists such as Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty put the experience of history, alienation, and the body at the center of philosophical and literary life. It should be no surprise, then, that existentialism appealed to so many Afro-Caribbean and African-American thinkers of the same period and after. Black thinkers critically transformed European existentialist ideas as is evidenced in the work of black existentialists such as Aime Césaire, Frantz Fanon, George Lamming, Richard Wright and Wilson Harris.

Elder Empresses from Bad Friday Incidentt
The enslaved and colonized people of the America are credited with a unique cognitive, ethical and social agency in the face of a structure that presents different existential challenges to the ability of the Caribbean people to realize their person-hood and live a worthwhile life. The Caribbean people have always possessed agency and have used this to overcome existential challenges at different phases of their history. The question whether they have always succeeded in doing this is a different question.

Rastafari as a manifestation of African retention is the memory of the Jamaican people and is the reminder to the children of enslaved people of who we were and where we are going. Rastafari retains African philosophy and philosophical threads in the Caribbean ethos. In our current circumstance Rastafari works to prod, rattle and rethink our thinking (Unlearn), to current our "Miseducation" as Lauryn Hill put it, a "miseducation" that has lead to systemic disinformation and misinformation in the west. Rastafari serve to inform and change our practices as humans in institutions, politics, and the personal, legal and social paradigms. Rastafari via livity (lifestyle) demonstrate how African, Aboriginal, native ideology and ethos be can used for transformation of existence, anti-racism and critiques of alterity, resistance, pedagogy as well as political action. Rastafari is living philosophy which maintains the cognitive link from African phenomenological and spirituo-analytical traditions via African retention, yet it also carries on the modern philosophical quests and issues of modern black existentialists. A philosophy that vivifies a culture, a region, music, arts and religion. Rastafari activists, academics and actors can be found at the vanguard of discourse on decoloniality, reparations, the politics of race, gender and identity, among others.

"The power of philosophy floats through my head, Light like a feather, heavy as lead"
—Bob Marley

"Emacipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but our self can free our minds"
~Bob Marley

"Babylon gi dem a ride fi dem money get dem funny, and den brainwash dem pon dem western journey"
~Sizzla Kalonji

In Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon argued that the colonial situation created an “existential deviation” in the psyche of the Afro-Caribbean. This deviation was the result of racially induced “aberrations of affect” that relocated the Afro-Caribbean in an antiblack world from which he or she must be extricated. I n I contend Rastafari is the movement that engenders that extrication. If one takes a hermeneutical, phenomenological approach to the Sacred Scriptures emerging from Rastafari then one will see that it is a “Third World” Liberation Theology. Rastafari theology focuses on a postcolonial interpretation and reimagination of rituals. The adoption in Rastafari livity of the Bible and of apocryphal books such as the Kebra Nagast, The Holy Piby, and The Promised Key explores the meaning of Black identity and of Liberation Theology.

The usage of the term "Babylon" in Rastafari liberation discourse is distinct from the exodus motif normally associated with theologies of liberation. This usage comes mainly from Marcus Garvey's notion of a "Black Zionism" that pictured Zion as a place of restoration. In its usage in the prophetic books of Jeremiah and Isaiah, Zion serves as the foil for Babylon and in many instances the two topoi are paired. The Rastafari reading of the biblical texts, more so the prophets and not the book of Revelation, generated the notion of Babylon as the evil empire; any place outside of Africa as Babylon, and the British Empire as Babylon with Zion as its counterpoint. Rastafari repurposes the dark matters of existence in Babylon– anxiety, depression, despair, death – into the service of self-flourishing idea of Zion.

My Black Existential Reading List:

  • The Souls of Black Folk  -  William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
  • Black Skin, White Masks  -  Frantz Fanon
  • Toward the African Revolution  -  Frantz Fanon
  • Eight Men: Short Stories  -  Richard Wright
  • Existentia Africana  -  Lewis R. Gordon
  • Notebook of a Return to the Native Land  -  Aime Cesaire

This article explores the intersection of #Existentialism and #Rastafari philosophy, delving into topics such as #Philosophy, #Spirituality, #PersonalGrowth, #Identity, #Consciousness, #ExistentialCrisis, #SelfDiscovery, #IndividualFreedom, #SocialJustice, #Ethics, #Morality, #ExistentialDread, #Redemption, #ExistentialAngst, #Enlightenment, #InnerPeace, #SelfRealization, and #UniversalLove.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Heartbreak: Rasta Errol’s Tale

“Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don't.”
~Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart!”
~Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

My heart breaks often at least 3 times a year… that’s the way it is in Jamaica. Friends die. Yes they do, and die tragically too. Last year at this time I lost a sistren, Anieta Robinson. Her struggle was a short fight with cancer. By the time I heard and bought turmeric and noni to go look for her, she was gone. So she has been in my meditation as of late, especially since from time to time I review my role in my communities, be it the Rastafari community, my geographical space, my family or the artist community. So while these thoughts are floating about in my mind that at 4am while waiting for the Knutsford Express to go to a seminar on Monitoring and Evaluation, in Kingston on behalf of The Rastafari Coral Garden Benevolent Society, that a breddrin and member who is going to Kingston as well says, Yannick, yuh hear wah happen to Rasta Errol? Oh how I have grown to hate that question… the answer when I say no, is never him win Lotto! Nope; the answer 9 time out of ten is “him dead”. This occasion was scarcely different. When I said “no” the answer was, “Them stab him up a Arcade”. And as I feel the old familiar jolt of shock, all I can think is AGAIN!

So now as I am supposed to be having the time of my life watching Putin’s World Cup, my mind is a constant kaleidoscope of emotion, racing back and forth from planning the future, to grief to, happy as Ronaldo and Mbappi blazes the score sheets, celebrating Senegal, weeping for Germany, remembering Errol, Anieta, Likkle Dread, Chrissy, the army of fallen soldiers, writing proposals, chasing paper, being there for my daughter, considering the future of the nation, the future of the race, the future of my family, am I hovering close to St. James Infirmary, is there a pension for me, will I escape poverty, what is the future for me when I become an elder??? As all this is churning in my mind, my heartbreaks for myself, it breaks for Errol, it breaks when I consider the existential plight of Rastafari. Yet from this I reaffirm, why it is I am a community activist, why I am a member of the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society!

The purpose of the organization is to alleviate the distress of the vulnerable Rastafari community. We provide relief and care to those who to varying degree have been excluded from society, disenfranchised or have been rendered voiceless – the elderly, neglected and victims of the 1963 atrocity. As a result of the actions of a few persons in Coral Gardens in 1963, the entire Rastafari community was officially targeted by the State of newly-independent Jamaica. This led to extreme brutality, imprisonment and death of many Rastafari sons and daughters across Jamaica by the police, army and other citizens of Jamaica. The Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society was registered under the Friendly Societies Act to keep alive the memory of the Coral Gardens atrocities and the denial of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of members of the Rastafari community.

Rasta Errol at 60 years old was a member of the RCGBS. At his age he was more than qualified to be a beneficiary. The last two times I saw Errol was at UWI out by the airport, we had been at a seminar for Capacity Building by Mona Social Services (MSS). The last time would be Sunday June 10, 2018 at The People’s Arcade at an RCGBS meeting. There he handed me some herb and a bottle of Spurlina. He showed me his MSS certificate which he had gotten framed. I was thankful as someone who ought to be getting was still giving… I didn't know it would be the last time I would see him.

As I perused the INTERNET to possibly understand what the media may know I found this meager report of a mighty man. “Reports from the Barrett Town Police are that, about 9am [on Tuesday, June 12], Cooke was walking in the People’s Arcade when he was pounced on by a group of men armed with knives, who attacked him and inflicted several wounds to his upper body.” The JCF stated that Cooke was taken to hospital where he died while undergoing treatment. Investigations are continuing. Sometimes people wonder within the Rastafari community and outside it… if our collective efforts are necessary or valid… it is lives like Errol’s, life lived exceptionally is why we must organize and central. It is to prevent the ending of lives in such tragedies and tragic manner is why we must organize to secure the future of Jamaica's pan African heart. SELAH.