Rastafarianism is a religious movement that combines the cultural rituals of Jamaican folk Christianity with the Pan-Africanist movement lead by Marcus Garvey. The religion is influenced by the beliefs of the Nazarite Vow. This vow describes in great detail the significance of the Rastafari movement and the influence Samson has on Rasta’s. During the early twentieth century Marcus Garvey, “the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA),” prophesied the crowning of a black king (Olmos 183). Then a few years later his prophesy was considered fulfilled when Haile Selassie was named Emperor of Ethiopia. Rastafari was founded on November 2, 1930 with the crowning of Ras Tafari Makonnen, Haile Selassie, or Emperor of Ethiopia.
Garvey was born in St. Anne’s Bay, Jamaica on August 17, 1887. He was a decendant of the Maroons, Jamaica’s first freedom fighters, and he was said to be proud of his "pure black blood."(Nicholas, p 12) At the age of 14 he left school for financial reasons and moved to Kingston to become a printer and educate himself outside the classroom. He traveled and joined organizations in Jamaica.
The Rastafarian religion originated in Africa. It is often associated with the poorer black population of Jamaica. It is not just a religion, but a way of life. Rastafarians speak out against; poverty, oppression and inequality.....not just religious ideas but global problems. Rastafarians will use the Bible for guidence.
Rastafarianism Rastafarianism began as a religion of the dispossessed. In 1930, a prophecy of deliverance was fulfilled for Jamaica’s slum-dwellers and rural poor. Ethiopia symbolized Africa and the homeland for the slave-descended Jamaicans. Ras Tafari Makennen, in 1930, became Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
Marcus Garvey, who was a black, Jamaican nationalists, prophet to many Jamaicans and visionary, preached a message of black supremacy and initiated the “ Back to Africa” movement calling for all blacks to return home to Africa. Garvey proclaimed that a new black king would soon rise out of Africa to deliver all Africans from their oppressions all over the world. This prophecy was fulfilled at the time of the coronation of Haile Selassie I as Emperor of Ethiopia. The coming of the first Rastas, A shortened version of the word Rastafarian, was in Jamaica in the 1930. The Haile Selassie I, whose previous name was Ras Tafari, means power of Trinity. This is from where the Rasta movement took its name. “In fact, nearly every black movement in recent American history inherits some legacy from Marcus Garvey---through the Urban League, the Black Panthers, the Republic of New Africa, People United to save humanity (PUSH), the Nation of Islam, and other groups. Garvey’s influence lives on. His memory certainly lives among the Rastafarians of his homeland”(Nicholas 16).
“I have an ideal that is far above money, and that is to see my people really free. Others of my race oppose me because they fear my influences among the people, and they judge me from their own corrupt, selfish consciences.” In January 1922, Marcus Garvey made his statement of arrest with the previous quote summarizing his journey as a leader. Garvey is known widely for his “Back to Africa Movement” and many attempts to bring blacks back to power. However, more unpleasingly, Garvey is known to be controversial as regards to his leadership. There was no doubt Garvey wanted to do great things for blacks and had all intentions to create a prosperous future for them. However, some historians had other things to say about Garvey that did not line up with his grand narrative. Scholars like Alan Gray reviewed works from historians like Edmund Cronon that argued, “it is probable that Garveyism stood for the same things that the Klan did,” with counter arguments suggesting Garvey was a human that made mistakes, but certainly wanted to do good. Garvey explained in his own autobiography that his downfalls were molded by his enemies, most of them being black leaders. “I believe that all races have their peculiar characteristics, the Jew fights the Jew, the Irish fights the Irish, the Italian fights the Italian, and so we have the Negro fighting the Negro,” as Garvey further explains in his statement of arrest. Many of them craved his failure because he had conflicting plans. However, a man so passionate about blacks and their success could not possibly be as corrupt as accused. Furthermore, a man so passionate could not be held fully accountable for the downfall of his movement. With appropriate research, Marcus Garvey can be explained...
In the article Marcus Garvey, used this form of writing where he bolded each word he started his new paragraph with, and with each bolded word he would explain what it meant to him in his own words. He first started off the article with the word history; he started off with this word because history is what keeps people from forgetting about the hardships and trials. History tells the facts no matter how much the story gets changed around. Chance, Life, Criticism, Fear, Ambition, these are some of the words he used to go in depth with his point about the Negro race. While writing this article he talks a lot about awakening Africa and the Negros from Africa and restoring both to their former image of superiority and making Africa a mighty nation
Marcus Garvey is known most as the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which was to get African American’s ready to leave. He wanted them all to return to their “mother land”. Garvey believed that everyone should be in their correct homeland. Garvey also believed in unity of all Negros as a whole, working together. He wanted to better all living and economical condition for the African American race. His views differed from many other African American leaders. Which caused his to be an outcast amongst them. His beliefs and acts is what made him so controversial.
Rastafarianism is an African-based spiritual outlook that emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s. It is considered as a religion by few, but by many people it is considered as “a way of life” because it is not very organized. In 1927, Marcus Garvey who is an Afrocentric, black political activist, made a prophecy that his race will be emancipated after a black king is crowned. Three years later, in 1930 Haile Selassie was crowned as king in Africa. Selassie was later declared as the savior by four Jamaican ministers.
Rasta’s believe that they are Israelites and that the white persons have been persecuting them as a form of punishment. They believe in the days of slavery they were removed from Ethiopia and brought to Jamaica, but they believe that one day they will be returned to Ethiopia. They believe that they are the true Israelites, the fact that they adhere to the laws in the Old Testament. No sharp materials is to be used to damage man as was said in Leviticus 21:5 “They shall not make baldness upon their heads, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cutting in their flesh.” They still adhere to the ancient laws of Ethiopia and they also condemn hate, jealousy, envy, deceit, craftiness and treachery.