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Tyehimba
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« on: March 15, 2017, 04:47:13 PM »

Situating the (In)Visibility of Black Women of Rastafari as Lovers, Partners and Revolutionaries in Brooklyn Babylon and One Love
Tears in my eyes burn -
tears in my eyes burn,
while I'm waiting, while I'm waiting,
for my turn . . .
-Bob Marley
I don't have to be your doormat,
I don't have to be your slave,
I don't have to be weak for you to be strong
-Cherry Natural
Today we believe in the possibility of love, and that is the reason why we are endeavoring to trace its imperfections and perversions.
-Frantz Fanon

Introduction
The trajectory of Rastafari as popular is a direct result of its rather unpopular emergence within the black radical tradition. As a formative resister of white domination, Rastafari has continued to (re)invent itself across geo-political plains of Babylon. Rooted in a distinct aesthetic of revolution, the embodiment of Rastafari challenges the multi-dimensional violence inherent to modern, Western civilisation. Opting to create and recreate an ontology that ruptures the systemic violence of white supremacy, Rastafari has long embod- ied the role of indigenous cultural interrupter, and futurist. In "Towering Babble and Glimpses of Zion: Recent Depictions of Rastafar-I in Cinema", Kevin J. Aylmer recasts thirty years of (re)presenting Rastafari through film. Albeit in desperate need of updating, Aylmer's study provides us with a comprehensive overview beginning with The Harder They Come in 1972, and ending with Cool Running in 1993.1 The reeling of Rastafari throughout these eras demonstrates that the enigma of Rastafari extends itself eloquently onto the medium of film. In articulating Rastafari as cultural interrupter, I situate Rastafari as a culturally specific response to Laura Mulvey's critique of white male domination in her essay "Visual Pleasure, Narrative Cinema".2 Evolving as both radical signifier and speaking subject, Rastafari contributes an additional symbol of (re)presenting "blackness" within popular cultures and their correlating social spheres. Yet, how does Rastafari, as an embodiment of radical signifying, figure contemporarily against the assertion that "film is one of the most powerful cultural spaces in which white supremacy is produced and reproduced across generations"?3

Absent from Aylmer's essay is mention of the repeated absence(s) of women of Rastafari - particularly black women of Rastafari. In fact, women of Rastafari as primary categories of humanness, worthy of expressing the categorical wholeness of Rastafari, are missing from these cinematic frames in-motion. Marked by a presence-of-absence, such representations work to further materialise the notion that Rastafari is a revolutionary offspring for black men alone - whilst the profound epistemological violence against the sacred black feminine remains busy at work. Obsessed with casting and imagining black masculinities as the leading and often sole communicative authority of Rastafari, the institution of mass media maintains its power centres through massmarketisation of select images of what constitutes blackness - and in this case, Rastafari. This dynamic has made it challenging to account for how communal politics of representation translate outwards; making it difficult to extricate in more precise terms, how black women of Rastafari exist on the margins of our documentary, experimental, fictional, and musical reels. Deeper psychosocial examination into how the black feminine has escaped the reproductive part of our imaginaries is urgently needed. How is such (in)visibility constructed and reproduced? Further, what implications does this have for how Rastafari is conceptualised and engaged as a radical culture of modern resistance and transformation?

Advancing what I term a 'black womanist' framework of Rastafari, I locate black women of Rastafari as the primary site of analysis and subjectivity in a brief inter-textual analysis of two films: Marc Levin's Brooklyn Babylon (2001), alongside Trevor D. Rhone's One Love (2003).4 I suggest that the politics of representing Rastafari in-and-outside film and other popular cultures share an intimate genealogy with the i960 report on the Rastafari of Kingston, Jamaica, argued to be "one of the most cited documents on the Rastafari".51 maintain that this intimacy has profound implications for radical Rastafari ontologies.

A declaration of rights: Advancing a black womanist framework of Rastafari

The analysis found throughout this discussion is a partial product of those creative and intellectual contributions from women of Rastafari such as Barbara Blake Hannah, Imani Tafari-Ama, Masani Montague, Maureen Rowe; as well as others interested in the experiences of women of Rastafari, such as Terisa E. Turner, Lake Obiagele, and Carole Yawney.6 As individual and collective entries, these contributions reflect serious interrogations into the feminine cosmologies of Rastafari. At various instances, my proposed framework writes against-and-towards these contributions as a means to glean more closely their relevance and significance for the twenty-first century. Albeit a work in progress, this space of inheritance continues to ground itself amongst the untold, the experiences of nameless women of Rastafari, scattered throughout the four corners of the earth. In this sense, this black womanist7 framework of Rastafari should be regarded as a fluid, multi-purposeful space: archiving, exchanging, innovating, and transforming the Rastafari movement by, first and foremost, carrying forward the sacred practices carved and engineered by our matriarchs - those African women who have made Rastafari possible alongside African men. Surviving the initial horrors of the transAtlantic crossings, these African women continued to shelter and overcome the progressive brutalities of western civilisation through courageous acts/axe of resistance that continue up to this very day. Secondly, it declares an unapologetic commitment to willful and courageous behaviours of self-care: the centring of a culturally appropriate womanist philosophy that privileges the transformation of the personal while promoting sincere sisterhood; one that cultivates a citizenry that can respond adequately to the needs of movement in broader, political domains. Such grounds move us towards realising a collaborative, transnational sisterhood of Rastafari that nurtures the epistemological inclusivity of black women into philosophical centres of the movement, and our intellectual exploration of its contents.

(Re)Covering the past: (Re)Reading the 1960 Rastafari Report

Since its publication, the i960 Rastafari Report has hardly undergone serious discursive analysis. Thus, as commemoration, I have embarked on an interdisciplinary reading to begin uncovering how this report represents the epistemological erasure of black women of Rastafari as partners, lovers and revolutionaries. Published during a decisive set of climaxes of national and anti-colonial struggles of the mid-twentieth century, the communicative abilities of the i960 report are entangled by the ruling colonial power dynamics of Jamaica, and more broadly, British colonialism. Therefore, the report is a critical road map situating both the local and the global significance of the Rastafari movement in tri-continental liberation struggles.
The social currencies that converged within the intellectual circuits of the then University College of the West Indies appreciate the i960 report into a distinguished meta-narrative on the Rastafari movement. In putting forth the claim of reflecting the 'true' subjectivity of Rastafari, the report becomes aptly positioned as a leading discursive symbol of Rastafari representation. This claim holds a particularly resonating impact regarding the representation of black women of Rastafari. Although the foreword of the report reminds us that the Rastafari movement was "large, and in a state of great unrest",8 this stated urgency only reflects partial cause of the effacement of the voices of black women of Rastafari. Except for two sporadic references to black women, the recurring reference to Rastafari as masculine begins to indefinitely characterise the report and the Rastafari movement as an exclusive engagement for black masculinities.

The first reference denoting the presence of black women is of "Miss Green", a successor in Local 17 of the Ethiopian World Federation.9 Additionally, there is mention of "Mrs Maymie Richardson" who came to Jamaica years later as a representative to help mobilise locals.10 The mention of these two women within the report appears as rushed remarks, leaving the audience with little background to contextualise how to situate this presence in the broader context of Rastafari. Regardless, the administrative involvement of Green and Richardson in the Ethiopian World Federation indicates that black women have contributed to the formative development of the Rastafari movement. Given the exceptional historical moment to represent Rastafari in an environment marred by racism and patriarchy, is it reasonable to conclude that black women of Rastafari exercised their agency in the form of absorption into the singular voice represented by black men of Rastafari as part of actualising the urgent demands outlined in the second half of the report? If this is so, and the agency of black women of Rastafari was exercised to strengthen broader communal efforts, such debt has yet to be paid in full as contemporary cultural representations of black women as Rastafari are marked by a shameful presence of silence and erasure.

Utilising the framework put forth by Stuart Hall in his essay "New Ethnicities", I situate these dynamics of misrepresentation as symptomatic of the broader global struggle of black cultural representation.11 For Hall, the persistent marginalisation of black culture inaugurated the first shift in black cultural politics.12 Hall noted, "In these spaces blacks have typically been the objects but rarely the subjects of the practices of representation . . ."'3 By critiquing the representation of the black subject, by bringing the black subject into "being", this shift "developed strategies around the access to the rights of representation by the artist and cultural workers, in addition to contesting the stereotypical quality of and nature of black images".h Here, I regard the i960 report as the earliest form of representation that brought Rastafari into being from object to subject. For the first time, Rastafari en masse were formally "publicising the truth about the [movement] and their doctrine" on an influential platform that informed an audience that existed primarily outside of Rastafari communities.1' However, entering the field of representation as subject is merely another beginning within the politics of black cultural representation. According to Hall, there is also a second, simultaneous shift in contemporary black cultural politics posing significant challenges for fields of representation:

The shift is not definitive in a sense that there are two clearly discernible phases - one in the past, which is now over, and the new one which is now beginning - which we can neatly counter pose to one another. Rather they are two phases of the same movement, which can constantly overlap and interweave. Both are framed by the same historical conjuncture.16
Thus, the immediate histories that precede the i960 Rastafari Report and the subsequent histories thereafter reflect the two discernible phases of black cultural politics that can be applied to the Rastafari movement. Though marked by the same historical conjuncture of the mid-twentieth century, the contemporary phase is faced with what Hall refers to as the "burden of representation".^ With Rastafari as the "subject" of representation, the dilemma at the centre of the burden of representation critically addresses "who" and "what" will (re)present Rastafari.

With the i960 report as evidence that Rastafari entered this second shift, "who" and "what" have been representing Rastafari? In the existing trajectory of representations of Rastafari in twentieth-century film, black masculinities comprise the entries entirely.18 As a radical signifier of "blackness", how have black women of Rastafari escaped consciousness before the visioning and script writing process? Who abandoned black women of Rastafari in film scripts; in the shutters of the cinematic lens; and in the final frames of editing? Having established that the i960 report was a crucial foundation that brought Rastafari into its first shift of cultural politics, I begin to demonstrate how the burden of representation has taken root. I maintain that these erasures and silences mirror the form of representation used to capture the "true" subjectivity of Rastafari in the i960 report.

Camera, lights . . . and whose action? From the Babylon of Brooklyn to One Love

Marc Levin's full-length feature Brooklyn Babylon draws its inspiration from the ancient narrative of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Set in Brooklyn, New York, this version rewrites the ancient pairing of the historic meeting that birthed the Solomonic Dynasty in a North American context. In this multi-racial versioning, a young Rastafari is King Solomon, and Sarah, a white Hasidic Jewish woman, becomes the Queen of Sheba. Falling in love in the east - of Brooklyn - their struggle at uniting their true love hinges on the modern problematic of overcoming racial and religious difference. Also a fulllength romance feature, Trevor D. Rhone's One Love similarly explores the transgression of boundaries in a Caribbean context. Set in Jamaica, a young Rastafari musician is confronted with a second chance at a romantic relationship with a young Christian woman. Alternative to the dilemma of North American racial intolerance presented in Brooklyn Babylon, One Love delves into an exploration of class and religious intolerance in a Caribbean context.

Brooklyn Babylon
Ladies and gentlemen: listen, listen, listen.
Here's a litde story that must be told, like
Solomon and Sheba from way back old,
the tribes were at war and the end was near.
And the king and queen of two opposing sides, appear.
-Narrator, Brooklyn Babylon

One late night, a vehicle carrying four young Hasidic Jews collides at an intersection with another vehicle carrying the young Rastafari Sol - short for Solomon - and his childhood friend. When both groups realise that they are from opposite sides of the racially segregated borough of Brooklyn, anger and hate flare quickly. In the midst of this tension, Solomon assists Sarah in finding an heirloom dropped at the scene of the accident. Almost instantly, Sol and Sarah lock eyes and become mesmerised by each other's presence. However, before the two can exchange words, Judah, her soon-to-be-husband by arrangement, intercepts the moment. The violent articulation of racial and religious 'difference', and the need to enforce both racial and religious 'purity' in the opening scenes, foreshadows the destiny that changes the lives of the leading protagonists, Sarah and Sol, forever. The unrelenting attraction between the two marks the beginning of a secret and forbidden relationship that brings forth a male child, a racially mixed version of Menelik. Brooklyn Babylon relies on early categorisation of Rastafari as a strict ethno-specific religious movement of Judeo-Christian orientation to evenly parallel Hasidic Judaism. This conceptualisation of Rastafari is absolutely necessary for Brooklyn Babylon to actualise its inter-ethno-racial romance narrative that argues for recognition of universal sameness; where love can triumph over the evil of modern racisms. Despite the ambitiousness of this project in attempting to demonstrate the longstanding histories between peoples of African descent and Europeans of Judaic faith, on the subjectivity of black women of Rastafari Brooklyn Babylon simultaneously re-inscribes the black feminine as caricature and erases her, outright.

The casting of black women in Brooklyn Babylon occupies the stereotype of'Jezebel', as well as an evolved adaptation of the American 'Mammy' stereotype. Ultimately, the representations of black women reflect extreme notions of undesirability. Brooklyn Babylon falsifies a fundamental creation-narrative of Rastafari by writing-in a white Hasidic woman as the Queen of Sheba. In this modern version, the interracial relationship between Solomon and Sarah possesses an exceptional power: one that will birth a new historical moment, ending the consuming racial intolerance of their Babylon wasteland. Despite how promising this future sounds, at whose expense shall the reunification of the houses of David take place? At whose expense is this modern love story of supposed racial unity? Rastafari revere the Kebra Nagast which details the historic meeting of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. This ancient literature situates King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as having African origins, bringing forth the inevitable crowning of Emperor Haile Selassie as King of Kings. The consequence of this rewritten historiography is the misalignment of a foundational narrative within the cosmology of Rastafari. By re-scripting the black matriarchal lineage of Rastafari as a white woman, Brooklyn Babylon robs black women of Rastafari of an ancient kinship of resiliency. By voiding the categorical possibility of a black woman of Rastafari as the Queen of Sheba, Brooklyn Babylon accomplishes its task of writing "difference" as a form of racial transcendence, while maintaining a black man of Rastafari as king.

One Love

One Love embarks on a similar scripting of the black feminine in Rastafari. Set in picturesque Jamaica, One Love is a romance feature telling the story of a Rastafari musician, Kassa, and a young Pentecostal Christian woman, Serena. From the onset, their journey is a divine coupling ordained by the Creator. While taking a bath in the river, Kassa receives a vision through hearing - the most acute of his senses. What he hears is a beautiful voice unrecognisable to his memory. Like Brooklyn Babylon, the initial encounter between Kassa and Serena in One Love is marked by deep sexual ambivalence. In these initial scenes, the audience is exposed to the sort of societal alienation and anxiety that has generally characterised the treatment of Rastafari in the Caribbean. Eventually, Kassa and Serena become closely acquainted and develop mutual feelings towards each other. Yet, between the incongruences of their knowledge systems, existing engagements of intimacy, furthered by familial challenges, make actualising a formal relationship nearly impossible. Yet, as the two remain anchored in their artistic paths and individual paths of spiritual fulfilment, they continue to need each other at formative crossroads of their lives.

As One Love continues towards its climax, there is a devastating assertion made regarding the categorical identification of black women of Rastafari that parallels the perverse nature of the representation in Brooklyn Babylon. Frustrated by a cheated music career and a hopeless love, Kassa consults a leading Rastafari elder - played by Rastafari elder Mutabaruka - of "The High Mystical Order of Revelation" for direction. In his consultation with the elder, the priest makes it his duty to remind Kassa that this may be his last chance at finding true love. Therefore, he cannot allow seeming "differences" to become a barrier to love. The troubling development lies in the justification used by the priest to draw such a conclusion. Recounting the days when Rastafari were persecuted in the streets of Jamaica, the priest recalls the experience of two young people in a similar situation. According to the priest, the young woman "found solace in the church" while the young man "held steadfast unto Rastafari". Pulling in opposing directions, the young man found companionship in what the high priest calls "a demon Rasta ooman, who mek him life a living hell". The priest insists that ever since, this young man has lived his life in regret, wondering what could have been if he had only given more effort to the relationship with the young woman who found solace in the church. The priest then turns to Kassa and says, "I wouldn't love to see that happen to you."
So in One Love, the invisibility of the black woman of Rastafari is compounded by its justification of her presence as demonic. The wisdom shared with Kassa by the elder could not be saturated further in anti-black, antiwoman stereotypes. Scripted and set in one of the most coveted homes of Rastafari, there is not one black woman of Rastafari in sight to love - only to chastise. Instead of speaking in defence of black women of Rastafari, this representation aligns itself amongst cultural depictions that understand black women as inherently evil. In this instance, this woman is never afforded a voice to defend herself, much less the opportunity to represent herself. This reminds us that representations of black women of Rastafari in the twentyfirst century are very much marked by a state of 'objecthood', begging the question, what sort of epistemology is encouraged for black women of Rastafari? What real possibilities hold for desiring and imagining these women as partners, lovers and revolutionaries? These micro-narratives set a dangerous precedent for future representations that work to challenge cultural systems of white domination. As such, Rastafari, and those who ally themselves with the causes it brings forth, must forge serious examinations into what it means to represent - or misrepresent - Rastafari in the contemporary; exploring how such projects of representation impact Rastafari across social locations. Ultimately, if Rastafari is a serious agent setting itself against the expansion of modern injustices, it must intervene into this sort of representation and deliberately strive for holistic portrayals of black women of Rastafari and their contributions.

The colonialism of media - a medium of colonialism

One of the most defining and enduring legacies of colonial power is imaging: who creates it, who circulates it, and who dismantles it. Therefore, it is by precise method on the part of some early Rastafari that we locate one of the most noted beginnings of the movement within the deliberate circulation of photographic prints of the coronation of the then newly crowned king of Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie. Considered an act of sedition under the colonial ruling of Britain, the very act of circulating an image found early members of Rastafari convicted and jailed.1? In such contexts, the image, whether static or moving, was an integral component to maintaining who, and what, was powerful and powerless. The origin of this maintenance has a connection to the genre of modern travel writing, which has significant roots in colonial imaging. In Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Ania Loomba notes that these accounts consisted of detailed observatory accounts denoting the experiences of mainly non-white communities, and became an important medium to facilitate the consumption of the 'other' as barbaric and hypersexual.20 Thus imaging was a central apparatus in the expansion of the civilisation of modern Europe; as it both created and legitimated the burden of an 'other'. Loomba notes Mary Louise Pratt's observation that "[travel writing was] an important means of producing Europe's differentiated conceptions of itself in relation to something else it became possible to call the 'rest of the world'".21 The Europeans who circulated such images were in part successful since they monopolised the control and technologies of media production. On the continued monopoly of this form of power presently, bell hooks reminds us:

There is a direct and abiding connection between the maintenance of white supremacist patriarchy in this society and the institutionalisation via mass media of specific images, representations of race, of blackness, that support and maintain the oppression, exploration and overall domination of all black people. Long before white supremacists ever reached .. . [our] . .. shores they constructed images of blackness and black people uphold and affirm their notions of racial superiority, their political imperialism, their will to dominate and enslave.22

The specific ways that erasures of black women of Rastafari are reproduced have to do with the neo-liberal economics of the film industry, and the deeper psychologies that systematically erase black women from our everyday imagining of love, life and revolution.

Both Brooklyn Babylon and One Love rely on racist and sexist stereotypes to construct the imaging of black women of Rastafari. It is evident that when it comes to representing their subjectivity, these films struggle both with how to represent, and with whether to write black women of Rastafari into subjectivity at all. What is perhaps most troubling about the representations of Brooklyn Babylon and One Love is that their project is located primarily within the genre of fiction, making accusations of their implications a challenging feat. However, with fiction reflecting a locus within the human imaginary concerned with creative interpretation of the human experience, what happens when these women are extricated from this scape - how does this affect what we can become if we can no longer imagine them? In both Brooklyn Babylon and One Love, we must ask ourselves what is so perverse about the black woman of Rastafari that she is not a worthy contender for partnership for journeys of romance and revolution? Or, what is it about black people loving one another in their own cultural language of transformation that is so unworthy of captivating human imaginaries? How is love between black people incapable of transcending concepts of racial "difference"?

No more waiting in vain: Towards a conclusion

It is the fundamental concept of Rastafarianity that male and female are the continuation of each other; daughters are indispensable and even more so at this stage of our struggle. No liberation, national or international, can ever be accomplished without the in-depth involvement of daughters. We must realise that our daughters cannot give their needed potential from an inferior status. We must give our daughters their natural respect and dignified recognition, whereby addressing the core and rudiment of our cultural disorder.23
As a young, practising black woman of the Rastafari movement, it is with fervour and genuine concern for the integrity of this tradition that I am committed to penning scholarship that openly addresses representations that find it appropriate to erase the subjectivity of black women of Rastafari beyond our will, and substitute us permanently. Unfortunately, this material absence is evidence reflecting a distant past being lived in the present moment. This absence reflects broader patterns within contemporary white supremacy; bell hooks reminds us that "clearly, those of us committed to the black liberation struggle, to the freedom and self-determination of all black people, must face daily the tragic reality that we have collectively made few, if any, revolutionary interventions in the area of race and representation".2* Therefore, my insistence on marking the invisibilities of the black women of Rastafari as represented within the i960 report, and in contemporary fiction, is tied to my own commitment to the contemporary struggle of black liberation, and the freedom and self-determination of oppressed peoples worldwide.

The particular presence-of-absence marked by representing black women of Rastafari has moved from the i960 report, and into contemporary cinematic representations. I have argued that these representations have consistently written black women of Rastafari out of the categorical subjectivities of lovers, partners, and revolutionaries. Threaded together by the colonial crisis of the i960 report, Brooklyn Babylon and One Love have demonstrated that their practices of misrepresentation share an intimate relationship to colonialism, and that the bodies of black women of Rastafari are objects of desire. Even when these texts have attempted to represent Rastafari on the cusps of a new historical moment in North America and the Caribbean, black women of Rastafari are still dislodged from our fictive imaginary. Without bodies and voices, the defining logic of these texts situates black women of Rastafari within an ontology of dismemberment.

If film is in fact one of the most powerful mediums whereby contemporary forms of white domination are practised and reproduced, then measuring past and contemporary representations within shifting paradigms of culture must become a priority within Rastafari scholarship. However, this scholarship will only prove valuable if it will commit itself to "achieving] an organic wholeness of images, weaving ancestral voices toward a new synthesis of culture, community and cosmopolitanism . . ."25 To achieve this wholeness, I-and-I Rastafari must labour in the wilderness of decolonisation to unearth new sacred possibilities of representing black women of Rastafari as our very own - because we have not reached there yet.
 
Footnote
NOTES
1. Kevin J. Aylmer, "Towering Babble and Glimpses of Zion: Recent Depictions of Rastafari in Cinema", in Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader, ed. Nathaniel S. Murrell, William D. Spencer, and Adrian A. McFarlane (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1998), 284-305.
2. Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure, Narrative Cinema", Screen 16, no. 8 (Fall 1975): 6-18.
3. This argument was put forth by scholar bell hooks in Radical Mass Media Criticisms: A Cultural Genealogy (Montreal/New York: Black Rose Books, 2006), 219.
4. Brooklyn Babylon, DVD, directed by Marc Levin (USA: Artisan Entertainment, 2001); One Love, DVD, directed by Trevor D. Rhone (UK: One Love Films, 2003).
5. M.G. Smith, Roy Augier, and Rex Nettleford, The Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica (Mona: Institute of Social and Economic Research, University College of the West Indies, i960). The report, reprinted many times since its original publication, was cited as "one of the most widely read documents" on the movement by Sir Roy Augier at the opening address of the 2010 conference, "Negotiating the African Presence: Rastafari Livity and Scholarship".
6. Barbara Blake Hannah, The New Creation (Kingston: lamaica Media Publishing, 1997); Imani Tafari-Ama, "Rastawoman as Rebel: Case Studies in lamaica", in Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader, ed. Adrian McFarlane, Nathaniel Murrell and William Spencer (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), 89- 106; Masani Montague, Dread Culture: A Rosta Woman's Story (Toronto: Sister Vision Press, 1995); Maureen Rowe, "Gender and Family Relations in Rastafari: A Personal Perspective", in Chanting Down Babylon, 72-88; Terisa E. Turner, "Rastafari and the New Society: Caribbean and East African Feminist Roots of a Popular Movement to Reclaim the Earthly Commons", in Arise Ye Mighty People!: Gender, Class, and Race in Popular Struggles, ed. Terisa E. Turner with Bryan J. Ferguson (New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1994), 9-56; Lake Obiagele, Rastafari Women: Subordination in the Midst of Liberation Theology (North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 1998); Carole D. Yawney, "Rastafari Sistren by the Rivers of Babylon", Canadian Woman Studies 5, no. 2 (1983): 73-75; Carole D. Yawney, "To Grow a Daughter Cultural Liberation and the Dynamics of Oppression in Jamaica", in Feminism: From Pressure to Politics, ed. Angela Miles and Geraldine Finn (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1982), 119-44.
7. The definition of the term 'womanist' developed by Alice Walker is as follows: "... A Black feminist.. . Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior... 2. Also: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates . . . women's emotional flexibility and women's strength . . . loves individual men, sexually and/or non-sexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist, except periodically, for health. Traditionally universalist, as in: 'Mama, why are we brown, pink, and yellow and our cousins are white, beige and, black?' Ans: 'Well, you know the colored race is just like a flower garden, with every color flower represented.'" See Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (London: The Woman's Press, 1984), xi.
8. W.A. Lewis, foreword to Smith, Augier, and Nettleford, The Rastafari Movement, 3.
9. Ibid., 10.
10. Ibid., il.
11. Stuart Hall, "New Ethnicities", in Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, ed. David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen (London: Routledge, 1988), 441-49.
12. Ibid., 441.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid., 442.
15. Smith, Augier, and Nettleford, The Rastafari Movement, 4.
16. Hall, "New Ethnicities," 441.
17. Ibid., 442.
18. Aylmer, "Towering Babble".
19. Horace Campbell, Rosta and Resistance: From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney (New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1987), 71-72.
20. Ania Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism (New York: Routledge, 2005), 53.
21. Ibid.
22. bell hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation (1998; Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2000), 2.
23. Leonard E. Barrett, The Rastafarians {1977-, Boston: Beacon Press, 1997), 242-43.
24. hooks, Black Looks, 1.
25. Aylmer, "Towering Babble", 304.

Author:
ASHEDA DWYER is an emerging scholar with backgrounds in inter-disciplinary research and collaborative community development. In 2010, she held a Research Fellowship at the Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Copyright University of the West Indies Jun 2013
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