The history of Rastafari in Jamaica is marred by not so sweet stories. Nevertheless, sweeping it under the rug does the country no good and clearly says “Jamaica is still ashamed of Rastafari”. While the Jamaican establishment laments Rasta’s lack of political mobilisation and the fact that they often operate on the fringes of the economy, there is no denying the deep cultural impact they have had on the island.
Abbebe’s paintings are quite shocking if you’ve never seen a birth happen, more so if that birth wasn’t a natural birth, you might actually be surprised at what you see. He experienced 2 natural birth with his “Empress” and thought so much of the process that he honors it with 5 painted canvases.
While his art is most definitely his reality, he is not unaware of the social position that he takes on by being an artist.
By the summer of 1968 Rodney’s “groundings with the working poor of Jamaica had begun to attract the attention of the government. So, when he attended a Black Writers’ Conference in Montreal, Canada, in October 1968, the Hugh Shearer-led Jamaican Labor Party Government banned him from re-entering the country. This action sparked widespread riots and revolts in Kingston