< Prev | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08|
The Long Road to Africa
RAS TYEHIMBA: In mainstream religions, there is often a central body and one set of rules, but the Rasta Movement is different. Could you explain?
RAS MARCUS: Rasta people are cultivators. They cultivate knowledge, they cultivate words and they cultivate in reasoning and so on. For instance, in the early days as a Movement, a man would meet you and say, "Love brother-man" or "Love sister-woman." But as time goes by, people would say, "Love Blackheart man" or "Love Blackheart woman." In the late 60s, some bredrens and I got the inspiration to change our words. It changed the whole Movement where language is concerned. A number of us, some who have passed on, would walk into the Coronation Market in Kingston, Jamaica, and we would speak in our own language. Somebody used to interpret to the people what they wanted to buy. Like oranges became "Irange", banana became "Inana" and love became "Iove". The word "darkness" became "Black Light". We had our own language we created at that time and we continued as time passed. Rastafari people are cultivators of knowledge, cultivators of new words and of languages.
The Movement moved to a stage following a riot which occurred on 7th May, 1959, at the Coronation Market in Kingston, Jamaica (it can be found in the Jamaican Gleaner if you research it). A man who worked at the market had a little contention there and I think he was beaten up. The people liked the man very much. He was helpful to the country people who came to the market. However, a bearded Rastaman was accused of trying to set the Fire Brigade on fire and the next thing you know, the police went down to Back-A-Wall and beat up some Rasta people. The situation caused a lot of tension in the country and it turned out to be a very big case over there. After that, there was tension in the country between the Rasta people and the Jamaican government. The University of the West Indies decided to do an investigation to see what the Rastafarian Movement was all about. After investigating the Movement, they recommended to the government that they should meet the Rastafari Movement to see the possibility for migration to African countries. That was how the mission came about. It was published in the papers as an unofficial government mission. I was present in the meeting with the Prime Minister. At that time, I was sent as an observer from the Nyabinghi House. But I didn't go for me to go on a mission to Africa because I was not a part of that.
The mission went to Africa and it was led by Mayor of Spanish Town, Mortimo Planno. Others included in the mission were Filmore Alvaranga and Dr. Douglas. The mission came back and we are still in Jamaica up to now. There is no migration up to now. That was in 1961 or somewhere about. Sometimes government carries out these little missions but it is just to quiet down things. People migrate to Africa but there wasn't any government migration. There wasn't any help to send the people back to Africa; even up to now. People talk about reparation and repatriation and that type of thing but nothing has happened up to now. Queen Elizabeth and everybody are talking about celebrating the abolition of slave trading. Everywhere you go now you hear about reparation and repatriation but nothing has been happening. Not even the African government has opened the gate for repatriation. If you go to Africa now as an African abroad, you are not regarded as an African directly. You are not looked upon as a citizen. You are looked upon as a visitor. Didn't you go to Kenya recently?
RAS TYEHIMBA: Yes.
RAS MARCUS: You were looked upon as a visitor and not as a citizen, right?
RAS TYEHIMBA: Yes.
RAS MARCUS: There is a long road to go. A lot of things have happened in the Movement. There have been a lot of persecution, prosecution and tribulation for the Movement to be where it is today. I think it has been watered down still because everybody now is a Rasta. It is not a Black Power Movement as it is supposed to be. It is more like a religion. You are trying to take care of your own people. That is what it is.
RAS TYEHIMBA: What in your mind has contributed towards making it more a religion, rather than a Movement aimed towards addressing certain needs?
RAS MARCUS: Some people write about it in books as a religion and some bredrens may tell you it is not a religion. It could work out to be a religion based on the belief. When you believe in the things you cannot prove it is a religion. I have never met His Majesty myself. But I have a great respect for him as a man who has changed conditions in Ethiopia for his people, as a great African patriot and as my beloved brother.
There is an internal power in the human being which is an internal teacher. It is in all of us. We learn from that internal teacher to direct us what to do and how to operate. I have been looking at the way hurricanes and tornadoes and all these types of things can smash down places. The greatest forces of men or the tyrants on earth cannot face tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes. When there is an earthquake on the sea floor and it causes a tidal wave and so on, none of these men on earth who think they are powerful can face those. I have a great worship for the heat and the water because of the power they consist of. Each of us has to use water. We have to deal with heat and fresh air. When you go to the doctor, he always wants to find out if you are breathing so they would take your pulse and so on. Fresh air is the breath of life. I have been setting up in that area of thinking for a while now. I am just watching and looking at the powers of nature. To know nature and to worship God is to acknowledge the greatness in the works of Mother Nature and Father Time. That is where I am in my mind now.
One has to face reality. When I was a boy, they had a little nursery rhyme called "Hey Diddle Diddle". The words were, "Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such fun, and the dish ran away with the spoon." As I grew older, I knew that the cow can never jump over the moon. If the cow jumps, he jumps under the moon all the time. No dish ran away with any spoon. But sometimes the little things we hear as the mind gets older, you realize it cannot be what you used to hear and you have to correct it, so that the following generation will not continue to be misled.
RAS TYEHIMBA: Your perspective has been very insightful and it will go a long way in helping people get a better understanding of the Rasta Movement. I want to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us at RastafariSpeaks.com
RAS MARCUS: I thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
I send many oceans of blessings and self-determination
to African people everywhere
ONE BLACK LOVE ONE BLACK HEART
Baba Ras Marcus
< Prev | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08