Tag Archives: Marriott Library

Happy Birthday His Imperial Majesty: July 23, 1892

selassie
Portrait painted by University of Utah Art Professor Alvin Gittens. This hangs in the Marriott Library where I work

Greetings,

Happy Birthday to the inspiration of tens of thousands of Roots Reggae songs. Born July 23, 1892

Haile Selassie (born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael)

I work in an Academic Library (The Marriott Library at the University of Utah). Part of my duties is to assist patrons at the Help Desk on Level 2.

It is really quiet in the Summer. I thought I would work up a little birthday posting on account of His Imperial Majesty.

I went to the Marriott’s webpage and found a copy of the above photo: Drawn by Alvin Gittens. Hanging on the fifth floor of the Marriott Library.*

*Alvin’s son Chris trained me at KRCL 90.9FM. His father was flown in to Addis Ababa to paint an impatient Emperor. HIM was only willing to sit for about the half the time Gittens’ usually devoted to his portraits. Chris passed away about a decade ago of cancer.

As I was finishing the caption above, a dapper black gentlemen approached my desk. This is a case of serendipity or synchronicity or kismet. The patron wanted to know, in a crisp African accent,  where the Library kept its History books on Ethiopia. The Zion of Rastafari. The Kingdom of His Imperial Majesty. Goosebumps!

Ethiopia_shaded_relief_map_1999,_CIA
East Africa. Capital is Addis Ababa (New Flower)

The Library of Congress Classification for Ethiopian History  (or its former name Abyssinia) is in the DT 371-390 shelves.

While I walked this gentleman and his wife to the section, I asked him if he knew today (July 23) was Haile Selassie’s Birthday. His eyes lit up. “How did you know that!”. I told him about Smile Jamaica and my 26 years of devotion to Ethiopian-esque and especially paying tribute and respect to His Imperial Majesty.

He was amazed. I recommended several books I had read. This man is a Physician who was writing a novel set in his home country. We chatted about our mutual admiration for Selassie. He was proud that his country had come out of 25 years of Civil War and repression to be the fastest growing economy in Africa.

It was really nice to know that my admiration of Selassie could be of use in my professional job. And even better: I recruited another soldier of Jah’s Army by virtue of the Rastafari Gospel that I “preach” for 26 years doing Reggae Radio. I let the music function as hymns to HIM.

music
Go on the Google and search for Ethiopian Angel images. Love their art

A suggestion: It is preferred to call believers in HIM: Rastafari. Singular and plural. As Bob Marley said, “Don’t bother me with your isms and schisms”

<Carlene Davis – Isms and Schisms; 4 min>

That said there are two important caveats: The Rastafarians – the  Reggae group out of Rasta Cruz, Collie-fornya. And Leonard E. Barrett’s crucial academic book The Rastafarians

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Vinyl outta Rasta Cruz, Collie-fornya. Featuring the greatest performer name in the history of Reggae Music: Herb Daly

Barrett’s book was a huge influence on me. Some of the lessons learned were how important Hinduism was to early Rastas. When Jamaicans threw off the yoke of slavery, British plantation owners imported Hindu laborers from Britain’s India Colony. Blacks and Indians worked side by side.

Hindu influences include:

  • Reincarnation: Some sects of Rastafari believe that HIM is the embodiment of Christ returning to Earth.
  • Ganja – Hindus brought Cannabis from India to Jamaica where blacks partook of the Seven Leaf as well
  • Kali – The Hindu Goddess of destruction where the ritual consumption of cannabis was part of worship. Rastas also ritually smoke cannabis or Collie. “Collie gives you wisdom.”
  • Dreadlocks – Hindu Sadhus flashed dreads as a physical manifestation of belief. Rastas adopted the practice and modified it with the Old Testament Nazarite Vow
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Bookdigging in San Francisco, 1987

<Invoking Amharic; 45 sec.>

From the line of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Ethiopia)

  • Ras Tafari Makonnen – He Who inspires Awe, The Angel
  • Jah Rastafari
  • His Imperial Majesty
  • Light of the World
  • Negusa Negast (King of Kings)
  • Lord of Lords
  • Power of the Trinity
  • Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah
  • Elect of God, Everliving God
  • Earth’s Rightful Ruler
  • Iyesos Christos (Jesus Christ)
  • Gedamawi –  First among the Holy
  • Kibir Am Lak – The Great God
  • Igzaibeher Yimmasgan – Let Jah Be Praised
  • Ababa Janhoi – Father Majesty

bless, robt

2006-3-9lg

 

Greetings! The Empty Barrel

 

emptybarrel

Greetings,

This is Robert Nelson. I am the host of Smile Jamaica, Roots Reggae & Dub radio program on KRCL 90.9FM. Salt Lake City, Utah

4-7 PM Mountain Time since Oct. 1989.

  • KRCL.org
  • Mixcloud.com: Smile Jamaica Ark-ives podcasts. Search: Smile Jamaica or Bobbylon
  • Twitter: SmileJ_KRCL
  • Facebook: None. I hate Facebook. They spy for the Security State. Tom Green said of Facebook, “Voyeuristic narcissism”

I toil as a University Librarian at the Marriott Library, University of Utah. My title is Manager of the Audio Studio in the Digital Scholarship Lab.

This is my attempt to use New Media/social media to showcase how my avocation (Community Radio) intersects with my vocation (Academic Librarian/Digital Humanities)

So here is what I hope to accomplish with yet another blog on the Internet.

My Terrestrial Radio experiences: (KUTE 1987; KRCL 1988-); Postive Vibration, 3 o’clock Roadblock, Global Gumbo, Smile Jamaica, Radioactive

Smile Jamaica Ark-ives: Playlists, Podcasts/Mixcloud, Music reviews, reggae/music news, deejay/radio tips and stories, autobiography: 25+ years of radio, Mutant Dub Files

Cratedigging: music collecting, cataloging, organizing, obsessing, autobiographical story telling, vinyl formats, reggae archives,  Itunes archives/playlist hierarchy, rock/soul/techno/world interest

Academia: New Media, Multi-media Archives, Digital Humanities, University audio projects/digital archives, Interviewing for Research, Media Trends, Mass Media, KUER Music, Middle East Library, Curriculum Library/Education, Religious Studies: Islam, Eastern Rite Christianity, Rastafari

Interests: Progressive Politics, Ancient Aliens, UFO Watching, Seven Leaf, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco Giants.

All my heroes are named Bob: Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Bob (R.) Crumb

Magazines subscribed to: Rolling Stone (Lifetime Subscription), Mojo, Uncut, Mixmag, The Nation, Sports Illustrated, Vice Magazine

I have a steep distrust of social media long before Edward Snowden and really have a steep learning curve on social media. This is the first time I’ve not embraced the new media trend.  iTunes was the last media trend  I jumped into from the start. Social media baffles me. I have no instinct for it. So I will stumble along til it’s second nature.

So I am calling this The Empty Barrel. From the Jamaican saying, “The empty barrel makes the most noise!”