Everyone tends to think that all Rastas are musicians, says Jabulani Tafari, who publishes Roots Reggae and Culture magazine out of Fort Lauderdale. They come up and say, Hey, Bob Marley! To set people straight, Tafari is organizing a symposium called Rastafari: Past, Present and Future at Broward Community Colleges North Regional Library (1100 Coconut Creek Boulevard, Coconut Creek) as part of the annual Pan-African Bookfest.
Some people think that all Rastas do is smoke herb, Tafari continues. Its a sacrament and yes, we do use it, but not everyone smokes it, and for those who use it, its not just a leisure, get-high thing. Rastas are doctors, lawyers, teachers. Every two weeks, they show that movie Marked for Death on TV with Steven Seagal. Theres a lot of defamation in that. We want to counter that with positive ideas.
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Helping to spread the positivity are special guests Ras Jomo Akono, President of the Ethiopian World Federation Local 6 in Buffalo, New York; Ras Karl Phillpotts, External Counsel for the Jamaica Rastafarian Development Community organization in Ethiopia; and Empress Valerie Phillpotts, teacher at the Rastafarian School at Shashamane in Ethiopia. Speakers will talk about educational and community programs taking place in Africa. Tonights event is free and lasts from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in room 154 of the library. The Bookfest lasts through April 22. Call 954-357-7455, or visit www.broward.org/library.
Thu., April 13