Rastafari

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John Curry III
ENG 111
05 JAN 2011
Rastafari
Rastafarian is not just a religion but a way of life. When most people think of a Rastafarian they think of a pot-head or a dirty dread. Rastafarian is just as much of a religion as any other religion. Rastafarians have very strong beliefs in many aspects of life they go further than just religious beliefs. “A man without knowing of his past is like a tree without roots” (Marcus Garvey). “Rastafarians do not believe Haile Selassie is Jah God and that the Rastas are the chosen people. They claim to know these things and would never admit to believing them” (Robert Nesta Marley). Many people throughout the world have a hard time understanding what it means to be a Rasta. For many they look at Rastafari as only a religion and not as a way of life.

Rastafarians, Rastafaris, Rastas, or Ras Tafarians originated from the followers of the Rastafari movement. The movement is named for Ras Tafari Makonnen, who was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in 1930. Rastafaris dislike the term “Rastafarianism” because they reject the “isms and schisms” that characterize oppressive and corrupt white society. The Rastafarian movement began with the teachings of Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) a black Jamaican who led a “Back to Africa” movement. He taught that Africans are the true Israelites and have been exiled to Jamaica and other parts of the world as divine punishment. Garvey encouraged pride in being black and worked to reverse the mindset of inferiority that centuries of enslavement and ingrained on the minds of blacks. Garvey was regarded as a second John the Baptist and famously prophesied in 1927, “Look to Africa, for there a king shall be crowned.” On November 2, 1930, Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned emperor of Ethiopia (He ruled until 1974). At his coronation he took the name Haile Selassie, meaning “Might of the Trinity.” Selassie also took the titles, “Conquering Lions if the Tribe of Judah, Elect...
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