SUNDAY

Mecca was to Malcolm X what Ethiopia is to Neville Garrick. Like his predecessor, Kingston, Jamaica, native Garrick remembers that the only history he was taught as a boy was European. Africa was mentioned only as a place that supplied bodies for the slave trade. Garrick didn’t learn about the long-historied African continent until he started hanging out with members of Jamaica’s Rastafarian community. Ostracized for their nonconformist beliefs, Rastafarians honored their African heritage, believed in Marcus Garvey’s back-to-Africa movement, and adopted Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia and descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, as their living God. Years later, after Garrick attended UCLA and became actively involved in Black Panther demonstrations and Angela Davis-led rallies, he returned home to become a full-fledged Rasta and Bob Marley’s art director. So in 1992, when the lanky-locked photographer, filmmaker, and writer got a brief chance to discover the Rastafarian spiritual homeland for himself, he was so overwhelmed that he later returned for a two-month exploration—this time with camera in hand. The result is A Rasta’s Pilgrimage: Ethiopian Faces and Places, a vivid photodocumentary of Ethiopia’s enduring grace, even amidst poverty and civil war. Garrick discusses and signs his book, and presents an exhibit of 40 of his Ethiopian photographs (a boy who guided Garrick to Tissisat Falls is pictured), at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8, at Zanzibar on the Waterfront, 700 Water St. SW. Free. For reservations call (202) 722-0545. (Ayesha Morris)