Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Double volume on Prince Emanuel launched

Published:Tuesday | November 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
A number of priests leading the closing of Sunday's book launch at the UWI's Undercroft.
Barbara Blake Hannah
A banner of the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress at the Undercroft, UWI, Mona, on Sunday.
A flag bearer at Sunday's launch of The Black Christ Unveil: The Biography & Philosophy of Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards (Volumes 1 and 2) at the Undercroft, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
The cover of volume 1 of The Black Christ Unveil: The Biography & Philosophy of Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards.
The cover of volume 2 of The Black Christ Unveil: The Biography & Philosophy of Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards.
Ionie Mathews Wallace, author of The Black Christ Unveil: The Biography & Philosophy of Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards (Volumes 1 and 2), speaks at the Undercroft, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, on Sunday.
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On Sunday evening, the Undercroft of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, resounded with drumming and song to cap off the launch of a double volume on Price Emanuel. Written by Ionie Matthews Wallace, The Black Christ Unveil: The Biography & Philosophy of Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards (Volumes 1 and 2) was welcomed by a gathering of predominantly Rastafarians.

Matthews Wallace being visually impaired increased admiration for the author and text in a launch moderated by Tekla Mekfet, several persons speaking about the books' importance. However, one of them was able to speak more personally about the author, and Edgar Wallace did so about his wife, emphasising their partnership in doing many projects together. The connection was made physical as Ionie and Edgar held hands as he spoke.

Barbara Blake Hannah said she knows as an author how hard it is to write a book and have it published, her presence representative of Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange's interest in the book launch.

Among the chapter titles in volume two of The Black Christ Unveil: The Biography & Philosophy of Prince Emanuel Charles Edwards are Women's Freedom Liberation League, while there is a chapter on The Development of the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress in volume one. The chapter on Destruction of Backa Wall precedes the one titled Bobo Ashanti Moving On.

In the preface to volume one Matthews Wallace writes about the purpose of her book, saying "this compilation was inspired and created to give other persons outside the Bobo Ashanti order a clear understanding of Prince Emanuel's philosophy and his contribution to the world." However, she also gives details about her life's journey which led to the book, starting with being born in Jamaica and growing up in Clarendon.

After moving to Kingston and living with her mother and stepfather from about five years old, she writes that "there was a space under my house where I hid and read books to escape my stepfather's wicked world." At eight years old she was reading about Idi Amin.

Matthews Wallace moved to New York in 1978 to live with her father and stepmother. After many turbulent experiences (including taking to the streets at 14 years old) and progressive glaucoma hindering her pursuing nursing, in 1987 she met members of the Miami branch of the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress, learning about Prince Emanuel.

Eventually, she writes, "after a while I moved to the camp in Jamaica, where I net Prince Emanuel and lived under his principles. Prince Emanuel played the role of a father and mother figure."

And her hope is that readers will be "educated and be inspired to stand up for freedom, redemption and international, universal repatriation."