Ubuntu Rastafari Cultural Center & Book Store Opens

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Press Release:-  A comprehensive and conscious movement to create harmonious relationships within the family structure and wider society is taking root following the recent launch of the Ubuntu Rastafari Cultural Center and Book Store.

Located on Jeremie Street, Castries, the Ubuntu Rastafari Cultural Center and Book Store was officially launched on Sunday, December 19, 2021, and will spearhead various uplifting
initiatives, including justice and healing.

Ras Dr. Wayne Rose, Secretary General of the Ubuntu Rastafari Cultural Center and Book Store, says the Centre becomes necessary following decades of positive activism by members of the St. Lucian Ras Tafari communities in the fields of wholistic healing and African identity, and against systemic victimization of Rastafarians by governmental agents.

He believes the time is right for Rastafarians to have a seat at the tables of social and economic decision-making and to be treated equally and fairly.

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“We’re saying that, post-colonialism, between the 1960s and 1980s, when Caribbean
governments gained ‘independence’, they, in turn, turned on members of the Ras Tafari
community who were seen as being very different and non-compliant to the new ethos that was being established,” Ras Dr. Rose said.

“The justice and healing component of this mission is to identify these atrocities committed against Ras Tafari members of the Family and then to say to the family, ‘Work with us in addressing and facilitating a space and opportunity for us to reconcile as a family.’”

Ras Dr. Rose cited the Mt. Gimie raid that took place in Saint Lucia in September 1977, whereby the Ras Tafari community was targeted. Part of the argument for that raid, he said, was that there were some bad apples and bad actors. Bad apples and actors notwithstanding, he said ignorance of the Rastafarian movement at the time also played a major part.

“Let us say within our Adventist community, for instance, which is part of our good framing of communities, or within our Catholic or Pentecostal communities, there are bad apples and bad actors,” he explained.

“You don’t target an entire community because of the bad apples and actors, you go after just the bad apples or actors. Unfortunately, entire Ras Tafari communities have been targeted and ostracized based on individuals labeled as ‘bad actors’. This is not fair
and has blemished the reputation of the entire Caribbean family.

Ras Dr. Rose, who is also an Adjunct Graduate Lecturer at Jackson State University in
Mississippi, United States, noted that Rastafarians have retained the African identity that was beaten out of enslaved Africans through multiple mechanisms and systems.

Through him, the Right Honorable Priest Kailash Leonce, the UBUNTU Cultural Center and other Ras Tafari advocates, the African knowledge and other belief systems are manifested into practice.

He stated that Rastafarians have always been concerned about healthy living, our environment, and positive representation of our African Ancestry. He also noted some other significant contributions made by Rastafarians, including their defense of the medicinal and therapeutic properties of marijuana, which is now a multi-billion-dollar industry; music and cultural retention; and a new African spirituality.

Ras Dr. Rose encourages individuals and civil society organizations to make use of the books and research services being provided at the Ubuntu Rastafari Cultural Center and Book Store.

The Center, he said, is also open to forming relationships with other organizations that focus on positive and meaningful outcomes.

For many years now, Right Honorable Priest Kailash Leonce has been educating Saint Lucians on the need to embrace healthy eating habits and general living. As one of the leading forces in the Ubuntu Rastafari Cultural Centre and Book Store and founding member of the JAH JAH N I Secretariat, he gets to see his vision of broadening that consciousness fulfilled.

Not surprisingly, there’s also a Food of 7 Ital Hotspot Restaurant on the ground floor that sells healthy authentic ital food and drinks.

About 90% of the books that will be on display in the book store will be for sale, with about 10% of them forming part of a “Special Collections Unit” for people who want to do in-store research. A small membership fee will be charged.

The Center is an investment into the future of young minds, Ras Dr. Rose said. Aside from
having quality books, the Center will also host book readings and dramatizations, providing a safe and creative space for all, especially young people to participate in its calendar of activities that focus on Africa and the Caribbean.

In fact, the Center will host a series of activities from January through March 2022, including study groups that will focus on Caribbean and spiritual literature.

“This can help orientate the youth towards the glory of literature and to find themselves in that glory,” said Ras Dr. Rose. “We want young people to see themselves as heroes and heroines of their own stories and not looking at the framing of whiteness alone. Europeans are part of our family, but we cannot just gravitate to their framing only; we have to see ‘Wakanda’ and ‘Black Panther’ and all of those other dimensions of ourselves in greatness.”

“Ubuntu” is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity”, but is often translated as “I am because we are” or “I am because you are”. It is on that basic principle that Ras Dr. Rose believes people from different social classes and religious affiliations should attempt to bridge the divide for doing good for all.

“We’re here as a resource,” he said. “We’re not trying to upset your cart. Whatever socio-
religious framing you already have, keep it. But ensure that it is pegged to goodness. That’s what The Ubuntu Movement is about. We WILL assist in shaping and framing the good and the new. We’re not saying that everyone has to be Ras Tafari. What we’re saying is that it is time for ALL good people to know and play their role in this time and this space.” UBUNTU!!!

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

6 COMMENTS

  1. @Dr Gero…if you did not realise, these religions are all off shoots of one religion called christianity…according to documented history Christianity started about 27AD. Christianity then became the official religion of Rome when Emperor Constantine dictated that christianity become the official religion of Rome 313 AD…that is 1808 years ago..Rome being the imperialist empire ruling Europe, north Africa, and part of the middle east at that time for a period of about 1000yrs give or take…therefore an Imperialist state spreads its religion where it rules..since then over hundreds of years there has been schisms which created all the other off shoots of Christianity…there are pentecostal, baptist, adventiste, church of god, anabaptist, evangelical, methodist, all saints, etc etc…..but they all call themselves christians..one of the great schisms was when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door questioning and challenging the then ruling Roman catholic church due to their dubious religious practices..after some years that rift cause a break in the church creating what still exist today called the Protestant Church…then there is the Orthodox Christians as practiced in Greece, Russia and other parts of the world..you should do some historical research….its there for all to see…so not because these religions don’t worship statues makes them any different…they are all branches of the same tree…I can clearly give you a chronological take on religion but that will be too long and great a read on this website….but if you want to believe that god opened the red sea so that the Jews can escape the Egptians, if you believe Jonah was swallowed by a great fish and survived in its acid stomach for 3 day and nights, plus the fact that jonah will need oxygen to breathe and stay alive, you can carry on believing that blindly and carry on following like sheep….. if you believe that jesus died and rose from the dead after 3 days and night – mind you, rigor mortis would have set in by the first day..a sure sign of death….if you believe, that after jesus rose from the dead, apparently according to that book of fables called the bible, some people also rose from the dead too…what happened to these people eventually, did they die a second time? its all ridiculous to say the least…trust me I can take you to school on jesus and give you undeniable, provable, verifiable facts of the origins of this myth…but of course not many people are enlightened..some are still hoodwinked by what they were fed…in other words, they were brainwashed….you should visit that Rastafi bookshop…I will guarantee you will find books that will open your eyes to the reality and I ain’t even a Rasta…but what i know is they will have books that will open the eyes of a many people in Saint Lucia…emancipate yourself from mental slavery, .read, test, interrogate and verify everything you read…

  2. The Catholics worship these scupltures not Christians, they choose to worship it and Mary in the bible but God never said to worship either just only Jesus and God. So the Catholics are to be blamed here

  3. Dr Gero… continue believing that fabled nonsense written in the book of lies called the Bible…the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt…all a made up story… secondly the ancient Egyptians had their own belief system as every other civilization had like the Astecs, Mayans etc etc… Christianity is a made up religion just like all others…it’s a Johnny come lately…used to enslaved even your African ancestors….then sold u a European Jesus… Africa is the way it is today due to the fate history has dealt it…a lot of Christians whorship idols ..look at the churches with their sculptures, they are not there for decorating….the saints are all venerated…so go figure…

  4. Ancient Egypt worshipped alot of idols and sacrifised children to Moloch, eventually the Egyptians were defeated by Moses and his army by the orders of God. C-WIZ you really seem soulless not wanting to believe in Jesus or the Bible, but Egypt wasn’t destroyed for no reason. Africa today is very corrupted, too much practise of voodoo going on

  5. This is Something of value being set up here…like the idea…better this than the brain washing religious bigots that seek to hoodwink people into believing in Jesus Christ…time to explore our African spirituality….all the best with this initiative..I will surely patronise your book store…when I tell my friends that ancient Egypt was started and built by our ancestors, then our ancestors lost ancient Egypt through constant wars and invasions they look at me in disbelief but 1000s of years of history plus being cut off from the African continent via the slave trade has erased that history in our memories….but we were and are a great and mighty people…our African heritage sparked civilization..first it was out of Africa humans came from then migrated to populate the world..a historical and scientific fact proven and accepted universally, then we created mighty empires where the ruins are still around for all to see…. it’s time we live and behave like we still are and reclaim our identity…..I trust this initiative sparks the memory of Saint Lucian’s and all who visit that bookstore…..UBUNTU!!!! Know thyself.

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