‘Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God’
Garveyism, Rastafari, and Antiquity
This chapter explores attempts made to reclaim antiquity from European ownership by the Black biblical hermeneutic tradition. The argument focuses upon the political philosophies and cosmologies of Marcus Garvey and the Rastafari movement in order to investigate how they reconfigure antiquity as African by virtue of the material and spiritual prominence they give to Ethiopia instead of Greece and Rome. The chapter also explores the differing registers used by Garveyism and Rastafari to achieve this aim – the former developmentalist, the later cosmological. The argument suggests that Garveyism and Rastafari, and the shift made by the later towards a cosmological understanding of antiquity, deserve serious and critical consideration in the ongoing project to decolonize the heritage and ownership of the Classical world.
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