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    Rastafari Movement, The: A Beginners Guide

    Why is this book necessary today?

    Rastafari: A Beginner’s Guide” holds immense relevance due to its unique approach to addressing the complex movement of Rastafarianism. It’s complex nature, encompassing elements of social movements, Pan-Africanism, Afrocentrism, philosophy, and religion, can be overwhelming for new readers. This book serves as an accessible introduction, providing a foundational understanding that caters to both Rastafarians and individuals with limited knowledge of the movement.

    By delving into the essence of the Rastafari lifestyle beyond superficial attributes like dreadlocks and cannabis use, the book helps dispel misconceptions and offers a more accurate representation of the movement’s beliefs and principles. Further, this guide aids in shedding light on the depth and significance of Rastafarianism’s contributions to culture, spirituality, and social thought but also its philosophical challenges.

    The book’s coverage of Rastafarianism’s historical trajectory and foundational values provides crucial context for understanding its development over time. By highlighting its evolution from its origins in Jamaican ghettoes to its expansion into a more inclusive and diverse community that includes professionals and the middle class, the book underscores the movement’s adaptability and relevance in changing societal landscapes.

    Despite existing scholarly contributions, there remains a need for a concise, approachable guide that synthesizes the wealth of information available on Rastafarianism. This book fills that gap, providing readers with a comprehensive yet accessible overview that can serve as a starting point for further exploration.

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    Breaking the Silence on NGOs in Africa

    Members of the Organic Intellectuals Network are active organizers in the struggle to achieve social justice. They have experienced the contradictions of the NGO discourse and, just like others before them, have found themselves in the struggle versus survival dilemma. To get a clear picture of our contemporary struggles and the despair of NGOs operating in the proletarian movement, comrades decided to reflect, study, and analyze Prof. Issa Shivji’s book Silences in NGO Discourse: The Role and Future of NGOs in Africa. For the authors, these analyses and reflections are based on personal experiences in their day-to-day organizing. In summarizing the authors’ observations regarding the impacts of NGOs in organizing, this book calls into question the fundamental question, ‘why do NGOs exist?’ To answer this question, the authors provide a historical chronology of the resistance in Kenya, Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa, relating those to the subjective factors in existence at every period. Through this, a scientific relationship can be drawn between social movements and NGOs in our current epoch. From their experiences with NGOs, the authors, representing grassroots social movements, highlight the dangers associated with donor funding. Often, donor funding ends abruptly after making people dependent on them, creating severe strain on grassroots organizations. The more one engages with NGOs, the softer one becomes to critique NGOs, particularly in highlighting their relationship to imperialism. Further, NGOs usually help in driving reforms. However, they play no part in revolutionary work. As a result, they merely preserve the present order and help exacerbate the frustrations arising from massive inequality in our society. In the long run, NGOs play a critical role in stifling the development and independence of grassroots social movements. This publication also includes two previously published essays by Prof Issa G Shivji, Silences in NGO Discourse: The Role and Future of NGOs in Africa, &, Reflections on NGOs in Tanzania: What We Are, What We Are Not and What We Ought To Be.

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  • Kenyan Organic Intellectuals Reflect on the Legacy of Pio Gama Pinto
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    Kenyan Organic Intellectuals Reflect on the Legacy of Pio Gama Pinto

    This booklet on Pio Gama Pinto has been produced in the tradition of ‘looking back, in order to move forward’ to not only salvage history but also to use it as a mirror to reflect on the current political, economic and social conditions in Kenya. The essays, dubbed reflections, that appear in the booklet are a product of the efforts and dedication of young women and men under the banner of the ‘Organic Intellectuals Network’ in Kenya. We use the concept of ‘organic intellecutal’ as developed by Antonio Gramsci.
    Members of the Organic Intellectual Network selected the book Pio Gama Pinto: Kenya’s Unsung Martyr 1927-1965 by Shiraz Durrani (Vita Books, 2018) as a basis for discussion for celebrating and remembering the life of Pio Gama Pinto, Kenya first Martyr, a dedicated and selfless individual in the struggle for freedom in Kenya.

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