The First Rasta

Wednesday 18th October

Presented by Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage in partnership with Phoenix


At the beginning of the last century, the young Leonard Percival Howell (1893 – 1981) left Jamaica, became a sailor and travelled the world.  On his way, he chanced upon Bolshevism to New Thought, Gandhi to Anarchism, Garveyism to psychoanalysis, as he sought to find his promised land.  With this cocktail of ideas Leonard Howell returned to Jamaica and founded Pinnacle, the first Rasta community, heralded by the coronation of Haile Selassie.

Director: Hélenè Lee
Year: 2010
Runtime: 85 Minutes
Language: English
Country: Jamaica and France
Genre: Documentary

Going far beyond the stereotypes, this cultural history offers an uncensored vision of a movement with complex roots and the exceptional journey of a man who sought Black liberation and unity.

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