Race & Women In Rastafari (Jamaica)




about us

Jamaican Culture

Race & Women In Rastafari

Published May 17, 2003

In original Rastafarian doctrine, Babylon and white people were one and the same. Also, all other races were black except white people. White people were seen as the oppressors who took the Black man away from Africa. Some Rastafarians call white people pink, as they will say their pigmentation is not white. White (Pink) people were seen as evil as they have created the Babylon system and have constantly denied the rights of blacks. The denial of the Black man's rights, slavery, the images of a White Christ and Euro-centrism associated with Christianity in the past, is one of the main contentions of Rastafarians with White (Pink) people. As the archeological evidence in recent years continue to reveal a less Euro-centric biblical times, many have taken a moderate position to White people.

Three of the 6 foundations (see link) that were set forth by one of the founding fathers of Rastafari, Leonard Percival Howell (see link), are very Afro centric and racist.

1) Hatred for the White race;
2) The superiority of the Black race;
3) Revenge on Whites for their wickedness;

Race & Women In Rastafari-Body

There is also the writing in the Holy Piby (see link), also called the "Black Man's Bible", which is one of the most revered books of Rastafarians, that emphasizes the destruction of white "Babylonia" and the return of the black Israelites to Africa.

In recent years Whites have joined the sect and are judged on an individual basis and their sympathies to the Rastafarian cause. Today white (Pink) Rastafarians are acceptable but called "African at heart". The intermingling of white & black was taboo in the original Rastafarian movement but has now become acceptable. The majority of these interracial marriages are between black Rastafarian men and white women. Be aware that that many men who may appear to be Rastafarians are not and use the Rastafarian movement to marry foreign (mainly white) women in search of overseas visas.

Roles of women
The women in Rastafari are normally referred to as Queens. Many of the Rastafarian marriages are informal (common law). Even though things are changing, originally a woman's role in the Rastafarian sect is basically regulated to housekeeping, childrearing and to pleasing her King. A Rastafarian woman is a Queen and must keep different standards than the women in "Babylonial" society or Western culture. Some of the standards include, no make up, no dressing in short skirts and they cannot use chemicals in their hair. Many Rastafarian women cannot use any form of birth control, as it is not natural and also seen as a Euro-centric way to control the African population. Rastafarian women are expected to nurture the community but know her place. The Bobo Shanti order is the strictest when it comes to the role of women, as they adhere to the strict bible principles of the Old Testament. Abortion is also not an option for Rastafarian women as it is seen as murder as in many other world religions. Women play a very secondary role in the sect and are to stand by their King.

comments powered by Disqus


9 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Juanita Castro
Aug 17, 2010 2:59pm [ 1 ]

Im writing a paper on rastafarianism for my college class in sjvc. Can you contact me and provide me with more information on your beliefs, and any other information that i could use for my report. Thank you and have a blessed day.

Oct 21, 2010 1:09pm [ 2 ]

This article is not accurate!!! Don't quote it!!!

Dec 5, 2010 12:38pm [ 3 ]

rasta "religion" is as oppressive as islam ,,,,,, and white people didnt sell black people first i think you will find it was the arabs ....you know haille sallasie s mob ...............

Mar 31, 2011 2:28pm [ 4 ]

Its disheartening to know that an entire culture views whites as evil and only whites. Historically, it wasnt ONLY the whites who partook in the slave trade that brought Africans to Jamaica. Many times that is over looked. It is also overlooked that not ALL white people come from slave trader backgrounds. There are many northern european countries that were not involved with that tragedy against humanity. There is no way of knowing where a persons roots lie just by looking at them, and decendants of those who were involved may be appalled and ashamed of their ancestors behavior.

I think that Jamaica has a rich and wonderful culture as do most places in the world and I truly hope that people all over the world will one day learn to embrace their differences, forgive pasts that cannot be changed and love their fellow man and woman, because we are all the same inside, even if our outsides look different

Love, bless, and praise to Yeshuwa, Jah Almighty

Tiara McDaniel
Apr 8, 2011 1:17pm [ 5 ]

I agree with afro centricism and ras tafari beliefs. i am a very afro centric individual and i believe that white people are definitely the opressors and we (black people) are the opressed. i wish ras tafari customs were more common in the United States. maybe then the African American people will wake up a little more to how beautiful our people really are.

Jun 21, 2011 4:31am [ 6 ]

Im not a rastafarian but i have seeked and i definetly know its the only way to go to all the evildoers jah is watchinh you

Aug 16, 2011 7:17pm [ 7 ]

ok yeah you just seem to be a hateful person toward white people... i dont think rastafari laws are about hatred for the white man and revenge....wow some ppl

Aug 24, 2011 5:55pm [ 8 ]

everyday i learn something new about Rastafarians, this makes me want to learn more. One thing for sure is i stand by my King Malik Tafari......Bless up

Jan 28, 2013 4:54pm [ 9 ]

I was just curious, does anyone know if women attend Rasta Reasoning Sessions?

Add a Comment

Please be civil.

(Use Markdown for formatting.)

Browse the latest articles

sitemap xml