Rasta In Antigua
Rasta in Antigua and most of the other Caribbean islands is a direct offshoot of the larger and more established Rastafarian community in Jamaica. The concept emerged in Antigua in the early seventies, just after the start of the black power cultural revolution.
While the ACLM was gaining support for its black people empowerment agenda, a new spiritual consciousness was manifesting in the lives of many Ganja users and cultivators, who subsequently laid the foundation for the rise of Antigua Rastafari community.
As the new consciousness gradually spread it's way across the wider Caribbean islands, the evolving Rasta community in Antigua was slowly embracing the lifestyle, ideology and wide held belief of the Jamaican Rastafarians, that Emperor Haile Selassie is the king of kings, lord of Lords, and God of Gods.
Apparently, very few people knew about the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in Antigua at the time, so acknowledging him as God was not accepted by many. However, the idea was embraced by some, but was emphatically rejected by those who believe in the Christian religion definition of God almighty.
A strange paradox was unfolding in the Rastafari community religious beliefs and convictions. Apparently, for some Rastafarians, there's a clear distinction between man and God the divine, but many have a different perspective and perception of divinity, who belief that Haile Selassie is God!
It soon became obvious that Rasta was struggling to define its meaning and doctrine, so an ideological battle began among the brotherhood, with one group trying to assert authority over the other, proclaiming they are the only true and authentic Rastafarian.
Meaning & Definition
The meaning and definition of Rastafari remains an enigma that continue to bafel the comprehension of many. While some assume Rastafarian are dread locks people who worship Selassie, smoke weed and eat (Ital) vegetarian food, others claim Rasta is a new religion that derived its concept based on the integrity, and ostensible divinity of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
Is Rasta a religion? Based on the religious convictions and christian traditions upheld by most rastas, one could easily assume that rasta is a religion, but many are not convinced. However, given the vague and ambiguous definition of Rastafari, no apparent distinction can be clearly derived, so Rasta is yet to define itself and it's doctrine, unequivocally.
Part two of this article is a brief synopsis of the different classes and categories of Rastafarian groups on the island of Antigua, during the 1970s and 80s.