Cover image for Rastafari and reggae : a dictionary and sourcebook
Rastafari and reggae : a dictionary and sourcebook
Mulvaney, Rebekah Michele.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
xvi, 253 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL2532.R37 M84 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



A combination dictionary and annotated discography, videography and bibliography, this sourcebook brings together listings of materials on the Rastafarian movement and reggae music. . . . This sourcebook serves as a good introduction to Rastafari and reggae. Reference Books Bulletin

Coinciding with the sixtieth anniversary of Rastafari, this reference book traces the relationship between two intertwined aspects of Jamaican culture: Rastafari and reggae music. As important voices in the ongoing dialogue concerning Jamaica's search for a national identity, Rastafari and reggae have had a significant impact on international music and culture. This work is the first to document and describe these areas for researchers, providing a comprehensive dictionary of terms, people, places, and concepts relevant to Rastafari, reggae music, and their related histories. In a unique collaboration from the American and Jamaican perspectives, Mulvaney and Nelson have supplied annotated references and cross references for written materials, audio recordings, videocassettes, and films that cover the first sixty years of Rastafari and over twenty years of reggae music.

The book is comprised of four main sections. The dictionary serves as the focal point for the cross referencing of the entire book and offers entries that are either directly related to Rastafari and reggae or provide a historical context. The discography, which includes 200 entries, represents a cross section of reggae music from 1968 to 1990 and is organized by musician or band name. A small, representative sample of documentary, concert, and narrative fiction videocassettes that address aspects of Rastafari or reggae music are catalogued in the videography, along with selected films. Finally, the bibliography, prepared by Carlos I.H. Nelson, provides a thorough overview of journal and magazine articles, creative works, dissertations, books, interviews, parts of books, reviews, and theses written by and about Rastafarians and reggae musicians. It covers the past importance, present significance, and future legacies of the movement and the music. The work also includes two appendices that list relevant periodicals and representative musicians and bands. Music students and researchers will find Rastafari and Reggae to be a valuable reference source, as will students in Caribbean and cultural studies, communication, history, and anthropology courses. For academic, public, and music library collections, the book will be an important addition.

Author Notes

REBEKAH MICHELE MULVANEY is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Florida Atlantic University. Her article Popular Art as Rhetorical Artifact: The Case of Reggae Music appeared in the book Culture and Communication: Language, Performance, Technology, and Media, Volume IV .

CARLOS I.H. NELSON is Associate University Librarian at Florida Atlantic University. A citizen of Jamaica, he has compiled several in-house bibliographies for the Florida Atlantic library and has written articles for The Hampton University Journal of Ethnic Studies and the International Review of History and Political Science .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

More than a simple dictionary of terms, people, places, and concepts related to the Rastafarian movement and its associated reggae music, this volume is a very well organized handbook on two interrelated movements labeled variously as subversive, dangerous, primitive, and to be relegated only to "those people" of African descent. Actually, reggae music emerged in the 1960s and is a genre of pop music indigenous to Jamaica. Its tempo and Rastafarian lyrics have greatly influenced other music outside the West Indies, including music in the US. (Rastafari is a social, cultural, political, and religious movement founded in Jamaica in 1930 and based on Marcus Garvey's legacy, Ethiopianism, Pan-Africanism, and black consciousness.) The dictionary-sourcebook is divided into four parts, all alphabetically arranged: a dictionary that serves as the fulcrum, through the use of cross-references, for the entire work; an annotated 200-item discography of musicians, various styles of reggae, and bands, focusing particularly on the 1960s "golden years"; a videography of documentary, current, and narrative fiction videocassettes and films; and a bibliography of selected articles, creative works, theses and dissertations, books, interviews, reviews, etc., written about Rastafarian and reggae musicians. The two appendixes contain a selected, briefly annotated list of Rastafarian and reggae magazines, and a list of reggae artists and bands. Comprehensive index. Rocommended without reservations to all academic libraries and to those public libraries serving Rastafari/reggae fans. -G. T. Johnson, Central State University (OH)

Table of Contents

Dictionary Annotated Discography Annotated Videography Annotated Bibliography
Appendix A Selected List of Rastafarian and Reggae Magazines
Appendix B Selected List of Reggae and Artists and Bands