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Cher Love McAllister
Title & Author
Remembering Asar: An argument to authenticate RastafarI's conceptualization(s) of Haile Selassie ICher Love McAllister
Since the emergence of RastafarI communities within 1930's Jamaica following the coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Haile Selassie I, Negus (king) of Ethiopia, RastafarI continuously articulate his divinity within their discourse. While the specific nomenclature for and significance of Haile Selassie I may vary in accordance to time and affiliation, it is unquestionable that Selassie I remains central to the RastafarI way of life for more than 70 years. What scholars and thinkers on RastafarI question, and very fervently so during the past 10 years, is the authenticity of the divinity of Selassie I within RastafarI thought. The few scholars who attempt to solve what for them is the "problem of authenticity," claim, through christological and apologistic approaches, that RastafarI need to reconsider the possibility of his status, as it is conjecture and blasphemy. Adhering to African epistemological assumptions that everything in existence comprises the whole of existence, we rely on an African symbolic approach to examine RastafarI conceptualizations of Selassie I within pre-coronation, coronation and post-coronation RastafarI writings. Given that the material reality seemingly degenerates the collective body and consciousness in accordance with the cycles of time as expressed within the most ancient of Kemetic cosmologies, our aim is to suggest that Haile Selassie I emerges as a ba, the soul template, of Asar, a force demonstrative of human ability to exist within the material realm in accordance with the unseen realm of existence. We conclude, unlike previous academic thinkers who examine RastafarI thought, that RastafarI thinking about Haile Selassie I is therefore an authentic perspective, one that undoubtedly occurs in accordance with the structure and origin of the universe and the cyclical journey of Africana reclamation of a primordial consciousness.
Social sciences; African unconscious; African-centered research approach; African-centered theory; Haile Selassie I; Kemetic (Egyptian) cosmology; Rastafari philosophical thought; Rastafari; Ethiopia; Black studies; 0325:Black studies
N. Norment, Jr.
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