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Open AccessArticle

“We Stand for Black Livity!”: Trodding the Path of Rastafari in Ghana

School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Religions 2020, 11(7), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070374
Received: 1 June 2020 / Revised: 5 July 2020 / Accepted: 8 July 2020 / Published: 21 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conversion in Africa)
Rastafari is a Pan-African socio-spiritual movement and way of life that was created by indigent Black people in the grip of British colonialism in 1930s Jamaica. Although Rastafari is often studied as a Jamaican phenomenon, I center the ways the movement has articulated itself in the Ghanaian polity. Ghana has become the epicenter of the movement on the continent through its representatives’ leadership in the Rastafari Continental Council. Based on fourteen years of ethnography with Rastafari in Ghana and with special emphasis on an interview with one Ghanaian Rastafari woman, this paper analyzes some of the reasons Ghanaians choose to “trod the path” of Rastafari and the long-term consequences of their choices. While some scholars use the term “conversion” to refer to the ways people become Rastafari, I choose to use “trodding the path” to center the ways Rastafari theorize their own understanding of becoming. In the context of this essay, trodding the path of Rastafari denotes the orientations and world-sensorial life ways that Rastafari provides for communal and self-making practices. I argue that Ghanaians trod the path of Rastafari to affirm their African identity and participate in Pan-African anti-colonial politics despite adverse social consequences. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rastafari; Ghana; Jamaica; Pan-African; trodding the path; livity Rastafari; Ghana; Jamaica; Pan-African; trodding the path; livity
MDPI and ACS Style

Alhassan, S.W. “We Stand for Black Livity!”: Trodding the Path of Rastafari in Ghana. Religions 2020, 11, 374. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070374

AMA Style

Alhassan SW. “We Stand for Black Livity!”: Trodding the Path of Rastafari in Ghana. Religions. 2020; 11(7):374. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070374

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alhassan, Shamara W. 2020. "“We Stand for Black Livity!”: Trodding the Path of Rastafari in Ghana" Religions 11, no. 7: 374. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070374

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