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Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics


An American Rasta’s retelling of episodes in American history with an anti-colonial thrust and a view toward charting a brighter future.

$15.95 $11.96

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What people are saying…

“A post-hardcore rock star, community activist, and social justice intellectual offers an alternative look at countercolonial history through the lens of the Rastafari movement . . . Sullivan offers a vibrant examination of American and African history with an anti-colonial patina, colored by episodes from the lives of fascinating and often controversial figures in both the past and contemporary history . . . An engaging and challenging read.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Outlining his philosophical influences and backpacking through history and criss-crossing continental borders, Sullivan puts his enlightenment journey and way of life, which includes activism for social justice, prison outreach, and cooperative economics, on paper.”
The Gleaner (Jamaica)

“[Sullivan] meticulously sources his work throughout, whether providing a Howard Zinn-like take on the settlement of America by Africans predating Columbus, or in discussing political prisoners like Marilyn Buck . . . Revolutionary Threads is an engaging, lively, well-thought book which provides a picture of Rastafarianism in action, for punks and beyond.”

“Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics is a groundbreaking study that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an appendix (Rastafari Historical Time Line), and a nine page bibliography.”
Midwest Book Review

“Most of what [Sullivan] talks about concerning non-European exploration of North and South America pre Columbus is accepted historical fact. That it’s not taught in history books in most schools is wrong and unfortunate. Sullivan has done a good job of presenting this information in an articulate and approachable manner, making it easy for almost anyone to comprehend.”

Included in the 2018 35 over 35 List

“This is a wildly provocative and worthwhile read, and I’m delighted that the late revolutionary Marilyn Buck emerges in these pages as the courageous and committed fighter that she was—in the radical abolitionist tradition of John Brown. Live like her!”
—Bill Ayers, author of Demand the Impossible! A Radical Manifesto

“This is a fascinating book that covers centuries and continents of connections between black liberation and cooperatives. Bobby Sullivan provides a refreshing perspective on both dynamic movements.”
—Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of Collective Courage


Revolutionary Threads offers an American Rasta’s retelling of episodes in American history with an anti-colonial thrust, accented by Bobby Sullivan’s own personal experiences. The book ties together various subjects while returning each time to the culture of Rastafari, social justice movements, and cooperative economics. From how we perceive history in general, America’s precolonial past, and global capitalism’s early development and the resistance to it, to political prisoners and a celebration of religious tolerance, the book approaches North America with an African-centric perspective. Sullivan aims to dispel the oversimplification of our perceptions of Rastafari, as well as other cultures, in the age of the Internet, where the loudest voices are often the most extreme and divisive. Revolutionary Threads hopes to serve as a unifying agent for our all-too-connected global village, and for the resistance to the consolidation of global capital and all its excesses.

Listen to interviews with Bobby Sullivan on Asheville, NC’s WordPlay Radio and A Better World.

Read a review of Revolutionary Threads on Brooklyn Digest.

Read a feature on Bobby Sullivan at the Laurel of Asheville.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Published: 12/4/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756559
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756979
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617757563


BOBBY SULLIVAN grew up in the Washington, DC, punk scene, fueled by Rasta rockers Bad Brains and the foundational Minor Threat. His most notable band continues to be Soulside (of which he is the singer), which had multiple releases on Dischord Records. Along the way, Sullivan became an activist, working with Food Not Bombs, the Anarchist Black Cross political prisoner support network, and a Rasta prison ministry. He currently manages a retail grocery co-op and sits on the board of the National Co+op Grocers. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his family. His latest work is Revolutionary Threads.

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