RAW RASTA …………………………..
By Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain & well being writer
You have to include the Rastafari movement when you think talk about raw food, a multitude of moons have passed, decades and ions of stars have live and shone, and Rasta have been gently praising , promoting and practicing the art of ital vital food, that means vegetarian and vegan to the rest of us.
More than 21 years ago I was a practicing Rasta, I had 2 sets of locks, under my head wrap and it was this wearing of the head wrap that attracted so many “as salam alaikum” greetings.
I used to go annually to the Black Hair and Beauty show at Alexander Palace, it was like a Makkah pilgrimage for black beauties, all making our representations of femininity known.
This was the first year I decided to go with my head covered, even though my outfit was power dressing shoulder pad sexy and my heels were higher than high, there were only 3 of us I counted as we walked round , that had our heads covered, it was great, Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Creator for our faith and belief that natural is best, the way Allah made us.
In a sad sea of fake hair extensions, fake nails, fake eyelashes and colored contact lenses, we were the only three whose heads were held high above the imposed beauty myth that oppresses black women to this day.
Since those days I have been juicing , which finally I decided to buy a juicer instead of another pair of shoes, not as long as professor Aris though and all the inspiring ital warriors but still I’m still hanging on in there, maashallah, as the Creator would have it be.
In the process of looking for my old juicing book from over 20 years ago, whose pages had stuck together and got thrown away, I found this little gem, The Rasta Cook Book, By Laura and Ivor Osbourne and inside its pages, I found a foto copy of a poem, a piece of which I’ll share with you, like a piece of me jack fruit.
It’s called “Banana Man” By Evan Jones
“I leave me yard early mornin’ time
An’ set me foot to de mountain climb;
I ben’ me back to de hot-sun toil,
An’me cutlass rings on the stony soil,
Ploughin’ an’ weedin’, diggin’ an’ plantin’.
Till Masssa Sun drop back o’ John Crrow Mountain,
Deb home again in the coolin evenin’ time
Perhaps whisltin’ dis likkle rhyme;
(SUNG)”Praise God an’ me big right han’
I will live and die a banana man”
I am so glad that Allah guided me to Sistar in the Raw, to Bena and Professor Aris, grounding me before lift off time,inshallah, alhmdulilah, all praise is due to the Creator.