I graduated in May 2011 with highest distinction from Penn State University with a BA in Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and a minor in Environmental Inquiry. For my thesis (PDF available here), titled “We Black Build the Music”: Rastafarian Perspectives on Participation of Whites in Reggae and Nyahbinghi Music, I conducted open-ended interviews with twenty Rastas in Jamaica, discussing ideas of cultural ownership, authenticity, and black supremacy. Like my major, this research consisted of an interdisciplinary approach with a primarily anthropological focus. I also produced a 32-minute documentary, Our Songs of Patience, summarizing my findings.
Me (Left) with Hon. Priest Oucal Dennyson, EABIC
Bobo Hill, Bull Bay, Jamaica - November, 2010
This fall (2012), I will begin work toward a Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. I am very excited for this opportunity, as it will allow me to continue pursuing many of the questions raised in my BA thesis, while giving me new information and skills to be used in any number of opportunities for cultural preservation. In the meantime, I am writing and performing music with my band, Steppin’ Razor. Based in the Philadelphia suburbs, we have been playing reggae music together since 2006, promoting our original material and paying tribute to the classics by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Third World, Gregory Isaacs, and others. We have been privileged to open for Jamaican reggae legends Barrington Levy and Toots & the Maytals in Philadelphia, and we look forward to seeing the local reggae scene grow in the coming years.
Playing bass at Musikfest
with Steppin' Razor
Bethlehem, PA - 2010