LKJ at the interview.
(Photos: Martina Markwart)
linton kwesi johnson and rastafari

"You make reggae music but you do not call yourself a Rasta. Why?"
LKJ: "Are you catholic?"
(Laughing)"No."
"Why are you not a catholic?!"
(Smiling) "I think I need YOUR answer and I don't need mine! (Both laughing) I can tell you much about it."
Listen to Linton Kwesi Johnson! (105 K)

"I'm not a Rasta, because I don't believe that Emperor Haile Selassie is God. I don't believe in the whole, say, repatriation of black people back to Africa."
Listen to LKJ! (90 K)

"But I RESPECT Rastafari. Rastafari was an important movement. People see it sometimes as a religion. But Rastafari is rooted in the anti-colonial struggle. It began as an anti-colonial movement that said we are tired of being dominated by white European cultural imperialism and political domination and so on."
Listen to LKJ! (270 K)

"We want to have our own way of life. We want to have our freedoms. We want to reassert our African heritage."
Listen to LKJ! (117 K)

"We want to emphasize our African roots and we want to be positive about our blackness."
Listen to LKJ! (75 K)

"So Rasta was a kind of an important antidote to fourhundred years of colonial brainwashing which made a lot of black people feel inferior about their blackness. Rasta was a POSITIVE antidote to that kind of negativity."
Listen to LKJ! (165 K)

"And what kind of religion do you have?"
"I don't have any religion."
"You are an atheist?"
"You asked me a question. I gave you an answer."
Listen to LKJ! (66 K)

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CLICK NEXT INTERVIEW TOPIC!

RASTAFARI
"Rastafari was an important antidote to 400 years of colonial brainwashing!"

BLACK AND WHITE RELATIONSHIP
"Love transcends race, colour and class..."

LKJ ABOUT REGGAE
"I don't want to spread messages and I don't want to write love songs!"

LKJ AT THE BLACK PANTHERS
"My worst personal experience of racism was when I was beaten..."

FEMALE SUPPRESSION
"Circumcision of women is a barbaric and backward thing!"

JAMAICAN NATIONAL LANGUAGE
"The term 'Patois' is unhelpful!"

DEFINING THE TERM 'DUB'
"Let's say it's the art of deconstruction."

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