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Becoming RastaOrigins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica$
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Charles Price

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767467

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767467.001.0001

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Race Formation and Morally Configured Black Identities

Race Formation and Morally Configured Black Identities

(p.19) 1 Race Formation and Morally Configured Black Identities
Becoming Rasta

Charles Price

NYU Press

This chapter discusses how Blackness and its various permutations—especially the morally configured ones—develop in Jamaica and persist to the present. It looks at the lineage of Rastafari rhetoric and practice, the varied routes they traveled in becoming who they are, and how on the eve of the twenty-first century, a people who only four decades earlier were feared and despised, had become cultural exemplars of Blackness. In Jamaica, morally configured Black identities like Rastafari draw deeply upon the cultural resources of racialized moral economies. These are cultural artifacts created and reinforced through Black people's experience of uprisings, reprisals, dashed hopes, marginalization, and a strong desire for better and for building genuine communitas.

Keywords:   Blackness, Black identities, racialized moral economies, Rastafari rhetoric, Rastafari practice, cultural artifacts

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