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October 06 , 2009

Rastafari and the Arts

An Introduction


Drawing on literary, musical, and visual representations of and by Rastafari, Darren J. N. Middleton provides an introduction to Rasta through the arts, broadly conceived. The religious underpinnings of the Rasta movement are often overshadowed by Rasta’s association with reggae music, dub, and performance poetry. Rastafari and the Arts: An Introduction takes a fresh view of Rasta, considering the relationship between the artistic and religious dimensions of the movement in depth. Middleton’s analysis complements current introductions to Afro-Caribbean religions and offers an engaging example of the role of popular culture in illuminating the beliefs and practices of emerging religions. Recognizing that outsiders as well as insiders have shaped the Rasta movement since its modest beginnings in Jamaica, Middleton includes interviews with members of both groups, including: Ejay Khan, Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah, Geoffrey Philp, Asante Amen, Reggae Rajahs, Benjamin Zephaniah, Monica Haim, Blakk Rasta, Rocky Dawuni, and Marvin D. Sterling.

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