|king if rastafarians Haile Sellasie|
Rastafarian historyThe history of Rastafari begins with the colonisation of Africa, or 'Ethiopia' as it is known to believers, by Europeans.
The European powers took many Africans as slaves, and the people of Africa were divided up and sent into exile as captives throughout the world. The areas of captivity became known as 'Babylon'.
For Africans this exile marked the suppression of their culture by whites. However, Rast Rastafari believes afarians believe that the suppression of blacks in Babylon is ending and that soon they will all return to 'Ethiopia'.
1930sThe Rastafari movement began in Jamaica during the 1930s following a prophecy made by Marcus Garvey, a black political leader. Garvey led an organisation known as the Universal Negro Improvement Association, whose intention was to unify blacks with their land of origin.
Garvey preached "Look to Africa where a black king shall be crowned, he shall be your Redeemer." This statement became the foundation of the Rastafari movement.
The prophecy was rapidly followed by the crowning of Emperor Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia. Rastafarians see this as the fulfilment of Garvey's prophecy. The religion takes its name from Haile Selassie's original name.
Haile Selassie is therefore regarded by Rastafarians as the Black Messiah, Jah Rastafari. He is a figure of salvation and it's believed he will redeem blacks from white suppressors, reuniting them with their homeland, Africa.
1935The first branch of Rastafari is believed to have been established in Jamaica in 1935 by Leonard P. Howell.
Howell preached the divinity of Haile Selassie. He explained that all blacks would gain the superiority over whites that had always been intended for them.
Howell's action encouraged others to help develop and spread the message of Rasta theology, and as E.E. Cashmore explains: