Australasia's Biggest Online Store

Shop over 1.5 Million Toys in our Huge New Range

The First Rasta

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.
Product Details

About the Author

Helene Lee is a journalist for 'Liberation', specialising in the music of Africa and the Caribbean. Stephen Davis lives in Milton, Massachusetts.


"Powerful historical and social forces come together in Lee's extraordinarily useful book. 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 reliable than the written record." -- Publishers Weekly "Incredible ... a spellbinding saga ... Lee's insightful combination of toughness and sensitivity is amazing." -- The Beat "The loose threads of Rasta history [are] impressively woven into a flag of green, red, and gold ... a clear-eyed political history." -- Kirkus Reviews

Look for similar items by category
Home » Books » Religion » History
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling The First Rasta: Leonard Howell and the Rise of Rastafarianism on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top