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The children of Ham

Author(s): John W. Pulis

Journal: New West Indian Guide
ISSN 1382-2373

Volume: 71;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 79;
Date: 1997;
Original page

Keywords: Jamaica | Rastafarianism | religion | music | linguistics | book review

[First paragraph] Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom. RITA MARLEY, ADRIAN BOOT & CHRIS SALEWICZ (eds.). London: Bloomsbury, 1995. 288 pp. (Paper £ 14.99) Marley and Me: The Real Story. DON TAYLOR (as told to Mike Henry). Kingston: Kingston Publishers, 1994. xxxv + 226 pp. (Paper US$ 16.95) Dread Talk: The Language of Rastafari. VELMA POLLARD. Kingston: Canoe Press, 1994. x + 84 pp. (Paper J$ 150.00) Rastafari: Roots and ldeology. BARRY CHEVANNES. Syracuse NY: Syracuse University Press, 1994; Kingston: The Press - University of the West Indies, 1995. xiv + 298 pp. (Cloth US$ 34.95, Paper US$ 17.95; J$ 500.00) Seeking a myth to justify the enslavement of Africans, explorers, scholars, and others turned to the Bible, that most sacred and preeminent of Western texts, conjured-up an old biblical curse, and set it to work one more time. As Europe entered the Modern Era, Africans were reinvented as the children of Ham and were targeted for a life of servitude in the New World. Five hundred years later, black folk in Jamaica seized upon an event in Africa, re-interpreted a passage in the Revelation of John, and set in motion a project that transformed enslavement and exile into a religious movement of global proportions.1
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