Re: Tyehimba's article
Posted By: Ras Tyehimba In Response To: Re: Tyehimba's article (Ras Fiyah)
Date: Sunday, 25 April 2004, at 7:28 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Tyehimba's article (Ras Fiyah)
"Many have the misconception that Rastafari started in Jamaica in the 1930's, but the reality is that Rasta has its genesis much, much earlier on the continent of Africa, from which all humanity originated."
Ras Fiyah: 'With simplicity the architects of this Movement instinctively knew that they were establishing a livity that was similiar to that of ancient Habesha(Ethiopia). Similiar to what was practiced in Kemit. Because the architects had not forgotten what was already written upon their DNA.'
Well this is exactly my point. The early Rastas in Jamaica manifested a livity that in essence was unmistakely african. It was a remembrance of something which goes back thousands and thousands of years to when our ancestors were connected with nature and traced a path towards full self awareness. The purpose of the first part i wrote was to put the the Jamaian experience in context, and it was not an attempt to descredit Jamaica's role in the re-emergence of our indigenous way of life. On the contrary, those early Rastas and Garveyites played a crucial role in emphasizing the importance of African history and african expressions as a means of countering the colonial system.
I would ask the I when were you first exposed to this irits of Rastafari and how old are you and what gave rise to your opinions on Rastafari as expounded in your article?
Well in this lifetime i was born into a Rastafarian family, and i grew up attending Nyabinghi gatherings and being exposed to aspects of a natural livity. In my teenage years my search for truth and meaning increased, and after these teen years i was guided to means whereby i developed (and am still developing) through the ancient principles of Rasta.
I hold Haile Sellasie to be an esteemed ancestor and see him as no more divine than myself. Even, so, i do not pretend to speak for all who call themselves Rastas. I speak firstly for myself based upon my experiences and what i see as the truth.
In conclusion i agree that there is no circumventing, the role of Jamaica, and likewise their is no circumventing the role of our ancient principles, values, history and sense of truth and justice that gave rise to the powerful expression of our african self. There are many around who seek to ignore the lessons of history and the need for truth, conduct and justice in all areas.Again i state:
"The factors that gave rise to the Rasta movement have not been settled, and thus at its heart the movement is still about addressing Black people's experiences at the hands of a White Eurocentric system that demonizes and downplays any notion of African Heritage. Thus being a Rasta is about systematically addressing racism/white superiority, gender discrimination, injustice and any other abuse which stems from ignorance and insecurities. This ignorance has to be addressed not by blind faith, emotional responses or dogmatism, but by reasoning, understanding the nature of ourselves and our environment and thus forging ourselves in the fire of truth, which involves going against the norms and false values that have been conditioned deeply into the social fabric."
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