Rastafarianism Essay

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The Development of Rastafarian The Rastafarian movement comes from the teachings of the great Jamaican leader and motivator, Marcus Moesia Garvey. Garvey told the African people of the world to unite and to return to African, the homeland. Garvey’s vision was for the “Blacks to overcome their feelings of inferiority and build upon their own unique and evolving culture, and ultimately return to Africa to redeem their homeland and to build a future” Garvey’s vision and ability to unite people made the Jamaican people enlightened to what was going on in the world. Garvey created the U.N.I.A. and the Negro World newspaper, which helped to inform the Jamaicans of what was going on in the African world. Garvey told his followers, “Look towards Africa for the crowning of a black king - he shall be the redeemer”. Garvey often used many biblical terms in his teaching to free his movement from the oppression of the “White Man”, whether he meant them to be taken literally is unclear, but what is clear is that many Jamaicans took them literally. An event that would happen in 1930 would be as important to a Rasta's as the birth of Christ is to a Christian. In 1930 a man named Tafari Makonne or Ras Tafari claimed himself Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I as well as the traditional titles “King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe Judah.” To some Jamaican people this meant that Garvey’s prophecy had been fulfilled. These people tuned to the Bible and through literal translation of the documents found much correlation into what had taken place. An important correlation to the Bible is the fact that Selassie claimed to be a direct descendent of King David. In Jamaica some people such as Leonard P. Howell, J.N. Hibert, and Archibald Dunkle, began to spread the word of the Messiah coming to save the African

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