The First Rasta

The First Rastafarian movement and philosophy was founded by Leonard Howell in the late thirties in Jamaica. Helen Lee, a documentary filmmaker, and reggae music specialist is now producing the documentary film “The First Rasta” to tell his story. L.P. Howell has virtually disappeared from the history books and very little can be found about the revolutionary man and his ideas. In 1939 he returned to Jamaica to found the first rasta commune called Pinnacle. This is where rasta philosophy and way of life came into being. A striking culture born of hardship and persecution, it would in time spread to the four corners of the world on the wings of reggae.

Howell was an anti-colonialist and his story is a very important historical work. The Rastafarian movement is still exposed to a lot of ignorance and cynical interpretation. At the core of this philosophy is a gentleness and dignity that can only be understood with education and compassion. Racism is still well and truly alive today.  No matter where you are born or what colour you skin is, a strong individualism and identity is essential for survival is these times. This is one of the basic fundamentals of the rasta  philosophy.  Some would just call it common sense.  No man is any better or worse than any other.

The First Rasta


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