The Leonard P. Howell Foundation was formed to preserve and protect the legacy of Leonard Percival “Gong” Howell, the Founding Father of the Rastafari Movement. The Leonard Percival Howell Foundation, Inc. would like to express our deepest appreciation for your generosity in support of LPH and The Save Pinnacle Heritage Site. Your personal commitment was incredibly helpful and is allowing us to reach our goal. Your assistance means so much to us, but even more to The Global Family of RasTafari.
Since its formation in 2005, the Leonard P. Howell Foundation has been embroiled in a legal battle with the St. Jago Hills developers over the legal title and ownership of the ancestral home of Pinnacle, the place in which Leonard P. Howell lived and cultured the teachings of Rastafari. The case remains unresolved in the Spanish Town resident magistrate court where, simultaneously, the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) also brought charges against the St Jago Hills Developers for building illegal sewage sites at Pinnacle without government permits. The foundation is currently seeking an injunction in the Supreme Court restricting the developer from further construction.
Rastafari’s Legacy under Attack:
An Appeal for Funding
The Leonard P. Howell Foundation (LPHF), which was established in 2005, needs your help to raise funds to challenge a property developer in Jamaica, who is seeking to use the court system to confirm ownership of the Pinnacle property, widely regarded as the birthplace of the Rastafari movement. This struggle has been going on since the 1958 forced removal from Pinnacle of Rastafari people, who had joined the movement’s most prominent founder, Leonard Percival Howell (1898-1981), at an independent community founded in the hills of St. Catherine’s parish, around five miles from Sligoville, the first free village formed by former enslaved people of the British after the abolition of slavery in 1834.
Pinnacle was an experiment in self-affirmation by blacks, using the indigenous religion of Rastafari to separate fully from British colonial domination, and to bring into fruition the economic prosperity of black people, even while still surrounded by colonial forces and their supporters among the ordinary citizens of Jamaica, who were of African and European descent, mixed ancestry, Indian and Chinese.
On March 7, 2013, the LPHF will be going back to the Supreme Court and March 17, 2014 to the Appellate courts to challenge the ownership of Pinnacle, which it intends to ask the government of Jamaica to declare as protected national heritage. So far, the foundation has won this declaration for a single lot. This is certainly not sufficient, given that Pinnacle was established as Rastafari’s first encampment on approximately 200-500 acres of land. The inhabitants built their own homes, a tabernacle for worshipping and communal dining room on the property. In addition, they operated a bakery, constructed a water well to independently supply water to the community, and they buried their dead on the land. This includes the remains of Tenet Howell, wife of the leader, who died in the early 1940s.
Not only is the land symbolic for the Rastafari movement, which is now global, it is sacred land holding the remains of ancestors. It would be a serious breach of the historical threads connecting the past, present and future if Pinnacle is allowed to be settled by homeowners with little to no knowledge of, or care for, its rich and important history. We are hoping that through this appeal you will donate if even one dollar to defray the legal costs of this important struggle in the courts in Jamaica.
You can make this donation on our website at www.lphfoundation.org, and we are also hoping that you will maintain the pressure needed to win this significant battle by talking publicly about the issue in the media, in whichever of the forms of this outlet that you find most accessible.
Thank you, and walk good—Jah Lives!
The Directors, LPH Foundation
Please sign up now and donate, applications are available on our website at www.lphfoundation.org