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Rastafarianism

Satisfactory Essays
This religion traces its inception to Marcus Garvey (born in 1887), whose philosophical ideologies were the catalyst that would eventually grow into the Rastafarian movement in 1930. Rastafarianism is often associated with the black impoverished population of Jamaica. It is not just a religion to them but a way of life, a struggle for their rights and freedom.

In the early 1920's, Garvey an influential black spokesman was founder of the "back-to-Africa" movement. He spoke of the redemption of the black people through a future black African king .

"No race has the last word on culture and on civilization. You do not know what the black man is capable of; you do not know what he is thinking and therefore you do not know what the oppressed and suppressed Negro, by virtue of his condition and circumstance, may give to the world as a surprise."( Speech, June 6, 1928, Royal Albert Hall, London. Quoted in Adolph Edwards, Marcus Garvey) While Garvey tried to give blacks their rightful place he reversed the roles of the races. Garvey called the white religion a rejection of black culture, insisting that blacks must leave "Babylon" (the Western world) and return to their homeland of Africa. The first Universal Negro Improvement Association international convention (UNIA) opened at Liberty Hall in New York's Harlem under the leadership of Marcus Garvey . 25,000 delegates from 25 nations attended. Garvey began to exalt African beauty and promote a "back to Africa" campaign with a plan for resettlement in Liberia (Liberia was first African colony to gain independence) He promoted a steamship company that would provide transportation for blacks to return to Africa. In 1920 Liberia rejected Marcus Garvey's plan for resettlement of U.S. blacks, fearing that his motive was to foment revolution. Garvey was convicted the next year of fraudulent dealings in the now-bankrupt Black Star Steamship Co. he had founded, President Coolidge commuted his 5-year sentence. Garvey was then deported back to Jamaica in 1927.(reference used: The People chronology.)

Rastas believe that all people of the world are equal, bound together by one god, Jah. They also believe their ancestors offended Jah in some way, which brought them into an exile of slavery in Jamaica. To them blacks are still suppressed through poverty and illiteracy and deceived by the white man's system, which is Babylon.

In 1927 Garvey proclaimed, "Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black King, he shall be the Redeemer" (The Rastafarians, p.
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