The First Rasta by Stephen Davis
Leonard Howell and the Rise of Rastafarianism

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

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.
 

About Stephen Davis

See more books from this Author
Helene Lee has been writing about black music for the Paris daily Liberation for over 20 years. She has also produced records and television documentaries Lily Davis is a translator and writer of fiction. She divides her time between New York and Paris, France
 
Published March 1, 2012 by Chicago Review Press. 322 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The First Rasta

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

This is a “real-time adventure in ethnology and religious history,” writes Stephen Davis in the introduction, and he might have added that it’s a clear-eyed political history, for Lee is a student of Jamaican history as well as a bit of a spiritual seeker.

| Read Full Review of The First Rasta: Leonard Howe...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Powerful historical and social forces come together in Libération journalist Lee's extraordinarily useful book, which appeared in 1999 to acclaim. Jamaic

Jun 23 2003 | Read Full Review of The First Rasta: Leonard Howe...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Partly a record of its author's journey in search of those who knew and followed Howell, 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 ...

| Read Full Review of The First Rasta: Leonard Howe...

Time Out Chicago

Based on Lee’s eponymous book, The First Rasta traces the political, ideological and spiritual movement to its founder: Leonard Percival Howell, a.k.a.

Jan 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The First Rasta: Leonard Howe...

Slant Magazine

The First Rasta tells the life of Rastafarianism's founder, Leonard Percival Howell, from precocious anti-colonialist (he witnesses a murder as a child and refuses to collaborate with Jamaica's justice system) to world traveler and social visionary.

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The First Rasta: Leonard Howe...

Reader Rating for The First Rasta
62%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×