Rasta Then & Now: A Message From Jamaica
Born in Guyana in 1969, Nation moved to Canada as a young child. Through his teens he struggled to find an identity, motivation to live and a safe place to call home.
Raised in Toronto by a Rastafarian community, Nation’s place of refuge as a teenager was an abandoned warehouse. Now at the age of 37, Nation knows that drumming; his Rasta elders and Rastafarian philosophy saved him from a life of homelessness, drugs and crime.
Nation is not surprised by the worldwide popularity of Rastafari given the fact that it is by far the most empowering force in his life. He wonders if Rastafari is still an empowering movement of consciousness or is today’s youths merely caught up in the tangle of dreads, reggae music and the scared smoke?
To find answers to these questions, Nation gathers four (4) black youth, from across Toronto, and takes them on an investigative journey into the Rastafarian community in Toronto. As a community worker, Nation strongly believes that Rastafari presents one of the most powerful models for the empowerment of youth today. He engages the youth through African drumming and conversations, community events and introductions to Rastafarian elders. Nation later travels to Jamaica to visit the birthplace of Rastafari, visit schools and meet with Dr. Barry Chevannes, a respected authority on Rastafarian, pre-eminent Rasta’s like Ras Ivai, Mutabaruka and Zahra Redwood, the first self-identified Rastafarian beauty queen. What will Nation and the youth discover about Rastafari and themselves?