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Caribbean Rastafari Organisation
Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009


August 27, 2009

Press Release

The 13th Summit of the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation (CRO) Inc. concluded in Nevis on Tuesday 25th August following the election of officers to run the affairs of the regional body for the next three years.

Bongo Wisely (Burnet Sealy) of the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari of St. Lucia was elected Chairman, with Ras Iral Jabari of ICAR, Barbados as Co-Chair. Sisters Yejida Parry and Shelly Huggins of the One Love Rastafari Movement of Nevis were elected as Secretary and Assistant Secretary, while Sister Idesha Jackson of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was elected Treasurer with Ras David Sebastian of Trinidad & Tobago elected to the office of Assistant Treasurer. Outgoing Chairman, Ras Franki Tafari of Antigua and Barbuda will serve as the PRO of the organisation with Sister Ashaya of Guadeloupe appointed to serve as Assistant PRO.

The Conference was officially declared open by the Nevis Deputy Premier, the Honourable Hensley Daniel on Thursday 20th August who issued a call to the Rastafari delegates to collaborate with the Caribbean governments and the Nevis Island Administration particularly, in helping to remedy some of the shortcomings of Caribbean society, with a focus on youth development. A delegation from the Conference later met with Minister Daniel and outlined several areas of cooperation and collaboration between the CRO and the Nevis Island Administration. The Minister pledged his assistance in realising these community based development projects.

Executive Director, Ijahnya Christian of Anguilla conducted a fruitful seminar on Organisational Leadership with a practical exercise in budgeting. Herbalist Ras Bobby Olivacce of St. Thomas USVI conducted a well received 'health and herbs' exposition at the Summit's culture and trade event at Villa Flat. The Conference also journeyed to St. Kitts where a large gathering at the Cayon Community Centre reasoned on some of the concerns and issues affecting the Rastafari communities in the Caribbean.

Honoured guest at the 13th CRO Conference was Dub Poet, author and producer Yasus Afari of Jamaica who entertained the audience at the Nevis Cultural Centre on Friday night (21st August), with a rousing performance of poetry and reasoning. Ras Yasus also pledged his assistance in developing viable economic and business projects with the CRO and the Nevis Island Administration.

Among the important activities that took place during the Summit was the sanctification of three infants according to the precepts of the Ancient Theocratic Order of the Nyahbinghi. The presiding priests anointed the infants and with the assistance of the matriarchs present, introduced and welcomed them into the Rastafari community of families present.

The 13th CRO Conference included delegates from Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Thomas USVI, St. Lucia and Jamaica along with members of the Rastafari community of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Outputs of the 13th CRO Summit included:

-- A Concept Note for an initiative in culture based enterprise in Nevis in 2010

-- A Resolution urging the formalization and finalisation of the process to include the African Diaspora as the 6th Region of the African Union, and

-- A Statement on Rastafari Profiling influenced by the death of a young Rastafarian in Barbados on 17th June 2008 following an incident involving the Royal Barbados Police Force.

CRO Secretariat,
Triple Crown Culture Yard,
P. O. Box 109,
The Valley, Anguilla A1-2640
Tel. (264) 497 2878
Fax (264) 497 7999

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Just who is a Black African?
Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

Greetings in the name of the most high, HIM Rastafari, Blessed;

I have been perusing your site and while I believe it to be a positive expression of our faith and the concerns of people of colour, I found one heading I considered a bit disturbing. The term "Black African" as noted in your 'More Features' section. Just who is a Black African?

If we delve a bit deeper it becomes evident that the White Man with his words is again trying to displace the black race. If Africa is our home, then there is only African period. As there is no white Rastafarians, neither are there any White Africans, they (the whites in Africa) are merely foreigners as we the Black Race are considered foreigners after 500 years in the West.

This phrase should not be perpetrated by People of Colour as it tells our young that we, as a race, have no history and no place of origin. If the phrase 'Black African' is allowed to become a part of our vocabulary, then our history will be further distorted with lies concerning the Black Race and our rich history. Understand one thing, when ever the white man hyphenates a word; it is affirming that, that particular person or thing does not belong or that its/his origin is not of the place of residence.

Have you ever wondered why there is no White European? or White Americans? This is because the white man understands the power of words. In fact I have traveled through out Sub-Sahara Africa and have met many Ex-Apartheid people and their off-springs and never have I met one with an African tribal name even though their family has been raping that land since the 1600.

All I am saying is that words are powerful, be careful of their underlined meaning.

Ras Bebe



I understand your point of view quite well. Over the years many have questioned my use of the terms 'Black African' and 'dark-skin kinky-hair Black African'.

However, when I use the term 'Black African', I mean the dark-skin kinky-hair Black African who, in my view, is different to the mixed-race, light-skin or brown-skin African.

I draw distinctions among Africans because many Africans are not dark-brown or Black in complexion and do not have kinky hair. There are light-skin and other mixed race people who are also considered Africans, and not all people who are classified as Africans experience the system the same way.

The issue of colorism speaks to how Whites treat Africans differently based on the shade of their skin (which is still racism) and also how Africans (generally speaking) treat each other differently based on differences in skin tones.

It is my view, that while we are about addressing racism, colorism should be simultaneously addressed. It is my experience that Africans in general do not like examining colorism. By not addressing colorism, Africans are not discerning and treating each other based on merit, so instead, unconscious and unaddressed color prejudices often place the blackest of folks at a disadvantage.

Even dark-skin kinky-hair Black Africans fantasize about being lighter in complexion and having straighter hair. They fantasize about getting involved with lighter-skinned folks. Skin bleaching and hair straightening are common within the African community.

I have often been advised by well-intended people that I should drop discussions on Colorism to keep the focus on racism. I find such thinking to be disadvantageous to the community, especially to the people who are most negatively impacted in the system. So, in my efforts to address the ills in the system, I am about uplifting from where the system negatively impacts the most. Generally speaking, dark-skin, kinky-hair Black Africans experience the worst forms of negative discrimination.

When I use the term Black African I want it to be known that I want all to focus on how the system impacts the dark-skin, kinky-hair Black African - the Black African generally considered less intelligent and ugly in comparison to the light-skin African.


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Forgive slavery, forget reparations?
Posted: Saturday, January 6, 2007

Forgive slavery, forget reparations

by Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah, Jamaica Gleaner

"I have been an ardent supporter of the Rastafari call for reparations, ever since becoming a Rastafarian 30 years ago. In recent years, especially after attending the 2001 United Nations Conference Against Racism in Durban, I became one of the leading Jamaican spokespersons on reparations, and part of the large international group calling attention to the crime of African enslavement in the Americas and the still-existing trauma that resulted across the diaspora."

"I know this will seem shocking to many, but I see that as Jesus of Nazareth recommended, I should forgive those who did us wrong and even 'turn the other cheek' if necessary.

This enlightenment came after a meeting with a white Jamaican friend with whom I have been doing business happily for more than 10 years. As we chatted, waiting for a document to be copied by his assistant, he took up my copy of The Gleaner and read the Letters Page. Two letters caused him to comment explosively: "Apologise? For what?" and "Black apology for slavery? Hogwash!" (December 11, 2006). His angry agreement with the opinion that whites today have nothing to apologise for, and that Africans bore greater responsibility for our enslavement, caused me to start my customary reply when confronted with these arguments."
Full Article : jamaica-gleaner.com


Comment by Ayinde

She is clearly deluded and lacks consciousness of the issues surrounding Reparations.

Very few people have the insight to see the big picture within the Reparations issue.

People often promote people to the frontline of a struggle only to have them use their position of influence to betray the movement.

It is common to have people in the frontline of Black Movements who do not understand the issues because most people themselves are not sufficiently informed to ask the right questions and challenge the leadership in all Black African organizations.

Very often these organizations are not addressing important issues like colorism and the role of whites in their movements. They prefer to just put on a show of togetherness. People need to especially challenge those organizations with Black African and white alliances, Rastafarian or otherwise, that claim to be working for the well being of Black Africans.

Blind support is dangerous support.

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Seventh Annual Orisa Rain Festival
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2006

Triniview.com Article
Trinidad and Tobago

In Yoruba tradition, as indeed in many other eastern and pre-western societies, the change of seasons is of tremendous importance and is a time for much jubilee and inner reflection. This is especially so during the time when the seasonal rain cycle begins and new life has a chance to assume physical vessels and roam the earth. Traditionally, in Yorubaland, Africa, the rainmaking rituals were some of the most formal ceremonies that were held there. The revered rainmaker would even call on the deities responsible for the rain to bless the earth during periods of extreme drought. This reverence and deep appreciation for the coming of the rainy season has been transplanted from the mainland, Africa, to Trinidad and Tobago and by extension, other nations of the west that have been directly influenced by African people and culture.

The Annual Rain Festival held at Shrine Gardens in Santa Cruz has attempted, and successfully so, to formally revive this ancient African tradition and has been doing so for the past seven years. The 7th Annual Rain Festival took place from Friday, 9th June, and was concluded on Sunday, 12th June, 2006. This three day festival was filled with many activities that highlighted many of the successes that Africans and African descended people have made in the world.

Friday, which was the formal opening of the festival, kicked off at moonrise and was introduced by the Master of Ceremonies, Awo Orunmilla Chief Akoda Babalawo Oluwole Abiomi Ifakunle Adetutu Alagbede. Essential to the opening, as it was throughout the three day festivity, was the prayer/libation by Awo Ifakunle. Also significant in the opening ceremony was the official welcome by Iya Sangowunmi, the Spiritual Head of the Ile Eko Sango/Osun Mil'Osa, and the blessing of Honorees: Oscar Pyle, Baba Sam Phills, Earl Lovelace, Ishmael 'Penco' Best, Lazaro Ros, Baba Falokun Fatunmbi and L' Antoinette Osun Ide Stein. Greetings were then given by the Nigerian High Commission and the feature address, "Preparation for Repatriation", was presented by Sis Eintou Pearl Springer. Also present to commence the opening of the Annual Rain Festival 2006 was the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, the Honorable Joan Yullie Williams.

On Saturday, there were displays of art, craft, clothes, jewelry and books, all with African and African spiritual themes. Moreover, the audience was blessed by local entertainers such as Arshad "Ifaniyi" Salandy who delivered the Calypso entitled, "A Mother's Call", 'Disciple' who sang, "I Never Thought" and "Flags" and 'Composer' who sang, "Child Training" and "Head Tie". Another well received performer was Pearl Eintou Springer who recited the poems, "Ode to Oshun" and "Loving the Skin I'm In." The WITCO Desperadoes Steelband Orchestra and the Courts Sound Specialist Steelband Orchestra also moved the crowd with their beautiful melodies on pan.

During the course of the three day event there were performances by Drum Xplosion led by Oba Ofun Vereen and several dances by L'ACADCO Caribbean Dance Force choreographed by L'Antionette Osun Ide Stines. Also, there were various lectures that occurred several times throughout the festival educating guests about Yoruba spirituality.

Guests were blessed with Orisa Cuisine on Sunday, and witnessed the Maypole Dance by the Maracas Youth Group and a ceremony dedicated to Ogun, who was instrumental in the evolution of the African drums to the steelpan instrument. The close of the festival was ended with a final ritual to thank the Gods and the Ancestors for the past proceedings and to ask for further blessings for all the participants of the event.

This revival of the Rain Celebrations was done successfully by Iya Sangowunmi and members of the shrine at Shrine Gardens in Santa Cruz and shows that things lost can always be rediscovered through dedication and perseverance.

Seventh Annual Orisa Rain Festival in Pictures

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What I perceive 'Jah' to be
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2006

By Ayinde
April 21, 2006

I know the Universal Life Force or Essence, which to I is the heart of all that exist. Jah and God are not my terms of choice. If I ever happen to use them it would be in the same context as when I say Universal Essence or Universal Life Force. This force is the essential knowledge of life.

All aspects of nature contain bits of this essence but in their fragmented state they are not the Universal Essence/Life Force. These fragmented bits of essence are developing through many stages to grasp (or connect up with) more of itself. Through essentially reconnecting to the Universal Life Force, then that aspect (conscious person) has become an extension of that Universal Life Force.

An analogy:

Houses have to connect to the main water system (source) so people get running water within their houses. You can use the supply of water when you want (you have to know how to 'turn on' the main). Your house remains unique to your personal experiences and taste but you share the common water supply. That water supply is comparable to our common Universal Self/Essence/Life Force.

All the connections that allow the water to be collected, purified and distributed constitute the mind of the water system. Once connected you automatically become part of that vast network.

The work with humans is to reconnect thus harmonize with the Universal Essence/Life Force. In that way conscious beings do not lose their individuality while they share the same Universal Essence and Mind. Essential truths would be easily grasped by all reconnected people, as truths are experienced and make sense on many more levels than just the gross intellectual and emotional ones. Individual minds harmonize with the Universe so ones have access to a whole range of truths, thoughts and experiences.

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About Absolute Truths
Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2006

By Ayinde
April 13, 2006

Absolute truths are usually comprised of bits of truths (facts) that act as building blocks to bigger ideas and truths. Bits of truths (facts) can also be assembled to distort and mislead. Because of the multilayered and very dynamic nature of absolute truths that addresses a wide range of questions and interpretations, they are best grasped through direct experiences and reasonings, and not by some edict. Even if one gets an edict that is absolutely true it still has to be reasoned and experienced to grasp the fullness of it. As one arrives at the fullness of truth, they know if for themselves.

There is also a notion that an absolute truth would be easily understood by all. But that is not really true. People are at different levels of sensibilities, experiences and awareness allowing a variety of perspectives, so not all would understand the same way. Since an absolute truth is usually conveyed through experience and language, then those who lack the experience do not get it. People interpret words differently (than what is being communicated), so information could be understood differently, thus altering the intended meaning in the mind of the listener. Also, an absolute truth can be comprised of many facts and this means the people who are trying to grasp that absolute truth have to be sufficiently informed about the many facts. They may not even agree on the facts. That does not mean the absolute truth cannot be accurately conveyed.

Transcendent truths have to be experienced and reasoned to fully grasp. That is the reason I see no need to extensively debate such truths. There is no other way to prove a transcendent truth to another who does not want to experience that truth that "transcends normal or physical human experience."

People often receive information initially and just do not get it, and then many years later, after more experiences, they finally discover the meaning. In other words, all people are not at the same sensibilities, resulting in reaching certain understanding and knowledge at different times after getting the necessary experiences. If all people believe the world is flat, the world would still be round. Truth is not a democracy.

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Racism, Colorism and Privileges
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2005

by Ayinde

When I am speaking about privileges in relation to Racism and Colorism, I am speaking about unmerited benefits that a group of people get based on false stereotypes about their superiority over people of other races and/or color. Privilege also occurs in relation to gender.

The benefits received by wealthy people or people with above average incomes, can be based on privilege, but this is not necessarily so. All privileges are unearned.

If different people who make similar amounts of money can buy similar things, there is no privilege there. If all people who are in a similar position get special treatment or gifts, those are not privileges, those are perks.

Anything a dark-skinned Black person earns in the system, together with any benefits received as a result of that earning, is not privilege. The system (those in charge and people in general) does not operate on the assumption that dark-skin Blacks are generally superior to people of other races and/or colors. The system does not automatically and/or unconsciously accommodate Black people, and least accommodated are dark-skinned Blacks.

If a dark-skinned Black male is earning more money than a light-skinned Black male, he is still viewed with the same preconceived unconscious suspicions. A dark-skinned Black male is less likely to be believed; he will not be given the same courtesies given to a White, and to a lesser extent, a light-skinned one. He has to work harder than light-skinned ones in a similar job. Everywhere he goes he has to constantly navigate people's poor perceptions about him in relation to his race and color.

As 'wealthy' as Oprah is, she does not get privileges. If people do not recognize Oprah for her celebrity status, she is treated like any other dark-skinned Black person. Getting attention and perks as a result of her celebrity status is not a privilege. All people in a similar situation get those 'perks'. Dark-skinned blacks have to ensure people recognize them as celebrities just to get basic courtesies, if any at all.

Privilege is unmerited benefits that a group of people get based on false stereotypes about their race and/or color.

Here is a link to what some Privileges are.

"How I Benefit From White Privilege" by Laura Douglas

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