Questions for Soul Rebels/Rebel Music
1) What is the historical development of Rastafarianism (e.g, Haile Selassie I (Ras Tafari’x ), Ethiopia, Marcus Garvey, Back to Africa movement, colonialism, class-based society, etc)?
2) What is the ideology and beliefs of Rastas?
3) What are the symbols that are used to express Rastafarian religious beliefs?
4) What are the rituals and sacraments involved?
5) What is Babylon? What is Jah?
6) Why do people become involved individually and in groups?
7) What role does gender play in Rasta society? (men’s vs. women’s roles)
8) Rastafarianism is not monolithic. What are some differences between Rastas in rural areas and urban cities? In different parts of the world?
When writing your book analysis and/or prepping for the exam questions that might pertain to the film, think of some of the main historical factors that shaped both Bob Marley and the development of Rastafarianism and reggae. What are some of the things Marley encountered and experienced early on in the US that shaped his music (e.g., factory wage labor)? What were some of the social problems in the US in the 1950s and 60s that he would have observed (e.g., civil rights movement)? What types of experiences did rural Jamaicans encounter as they migrated from the countryside into the urban ghettos of Kingston at this time? How did the Jamaican political parties try to manipulate reggae music and Bob Marley towards their own ends? What is the role of music, art, and expressive culture in changing political, social, and economic realities? How do these topics relate to things discussed in the book?
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