|excerpts from the book...|
The New Creation
by Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah
|Rastafari is a movment of Black people who know Africa as the birthplace of Mankind and the |
throne of Emperor Haile Selassie I, a 20th Century Manifestation of God who has lighted our
pathway towards righteousness, and is therefore worthy of reverence. Rastafari recognizes
Africa as the central origin of religious history, culture, science and technology, as well as the
modern-day repository of the world's wealth -- gold, diamonds, oil, industrial metals.
"The coronation of this African King (Selassie) caused some men of African descent both in
Jamaica and New York to study their Bibles and the teachings of Garvey more closely.
Prominent among the Jamaicans were Leonard Howell, Joseph Hibbert, Archibald Dunkley,
Paul Earlington, Vernal Davis, and Ferdinand Ricketts. These Jamaicans became the pillars of
the Rastafarian movement, while their counterparts in New York City became the founders of
the Ethiopian World Federation."
"The doctrine that Selassie I is the Living God is believed to have been first introduced into
Jamaica by Mr. Leonard Howell. Born in Jamaica, Mr. Howelll had traveled widely. He had
been a soldier in the Ashanti War of 1896 and is said to have spoken several African languages.
He had also traveled in the United States and while there had come into contact with racism
between Blacks and Whites.
The following is an attempt to present the reasons why Rastafari focus on HIM (His Imperial
Majesty) as the 20th Century Messiah and the key to the New Black Civilization of world peace.
The Book of Isaiah prophesies of the First Coming of the Christ, naming him King of Kings, Lord
of Lords, Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Jesus the Christ lived, was crucified and then resurrected to
Life again as testament of His Divinity and as proof of His promise that He would rise in flesh
The Revelation of St. John, the Divine and most loved disciple of the Christ, prophesied that the
heralding of the New Heaven and the New Earth was announced when one man alone was
found worthy to open the Seven Seals. He was named as "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the
Root of David, the Lamb that was slain." (Rev.5)
In assessing the claims of the Divinity of His Imperial Majesty, one must consider the divine
coincidences between Biblical prophecies and Selassie's life. If the prophecy that God will
reveal Himself again as Man is to be believed, then can be seen one reason why Rastafari can
believe that this new Revelation is H.I.M. As with the first Christ, the proof of Faith must rest
with the sincerity of the believers, and in the growth and strength of any faith which testifies it
has found a pathway to God.
The Emperor's names and titles... the appropriateness of a Black King come in this modern age
in the country which has been proven to be the original source of Mankind ... the fact that
because of Haile Selassie I a new and powerful testament to God JAH has found expression ...
all these facts should be carefully examined by those who wish to under(over)stand Rastafari's
claims of Selassie's divinity.
Selassie I does not replace Christ, but rather strengthens Christ's veracity by bringing to light a
new people who have a new interpretation of God's Holy Word and a full faith and
under(over)standing of the Revelations which promise God's Kingdom on Earth.
His Imperial Majesty can thus be worshipped as the Divine Ethiopian who inspired Ethiopians
everywhere to see God in a Black way that is relevant to help them live life in a Christly way.
For some Rastafarians, the link with Christ has been totally discarded and replaced with a
direct divine linkage from Emperor Haile Selassie I to the Creator as an Avatar in his own right,
thus doing away with the implied visual references to a Eurocentric image of Christos inherited
from existing religion. This new development takes the philosophy into a new belief phase still
being hotly discussed within and without the movement.
Regardless, the nourishing fountain of Rastafarian belief has been its roots in Orthodox
Judeo-Christianity, and the strength of Emperor Haile Selassie's Ethiopian Orthodox Faith
removes any possibility that the link between Rastafari and the pathway of JES-US KRYSTOS
will ever be broken.
LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH
When Solomon ruled in the heights of his Wisdom, building the great Temple of God to house
the Ark of the Covenant, Queen Makeda of Ethiopia (also called Sheba and Saba) travelled a
great journey to meet Solomon and learn the secret of his legendary Wisdom. This she found to
be his closeness to God. He seduced the Ethiopian Queen by a trick, and when she returned to
Ethiopia from Jerusalem she bore a son Menelik. From this union of Solomon and Makeda,
Menelik became the first in a line of Ethiopian Monarchs who trace their ancestry back through
Solomon to David -- the ancestors of Jesus, the Christos of Nazareth.
Ethiopia's religious and monarchical links continued through the birth of Christianity. Acts of
the Apostles Chapter 8, Verses 27-39 tells the story of how a high official travelling with
Ethiopian Queen Candace was baptised on his way to Jerusalem by disciple Phillip and
returned to establish in Ethiopia the first Christian church outside Jerusalem. The Ethiopian
Orthodox Church headed by all Emperors or Empresses, remains the oldest Christian church in
Haile Selassie I was born in 1892, Lij Tafari Makonnen. At the age of 14 Ras Tafari was ruling a
section of Harar Province, where he was being educated in a manner befitting a member of the
ruling dynasty. His father, Ras Makonnen, was a nobleman, statesman, soldier and trusted
kinsman of the great Emperor Menelik.
Menelik died in 1919 and was succeeded to the throne by his daughter Zaudito who,
recognizing the abilities of Ras Tafari, made him her chief advisor when he was aged 27. With
the freedom given him by the Empress, Ras Tafari supervised the building of hospitals and
schools, and was the major influence in Ethiopia's admittance to the League of National in
When the Empress died soon after, she was succeeded by her brother. He outlawed the
Christian religion and tried to force the country to convert to the Muslim faith to which he
adhered. The church and royal nobles (Rases) overthrew him for this heresy, and had him
chained with gold manacles in a cave prison.
They then elected Ras Tafari the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia. Upon his coronation he was given
the name Haile Selassie, which means "the Power of the Trinity". He also received the titles:
King of Kings, Elect of God, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
He at once instituted a campaign of education among the people which brought Ethiopia out of
the feudal age into the 20th Century. He caused numerous schools and universities to be built,
the highest of which were the institutions of religious education in which men were trained as
priests of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Archbishops of the Church had since early
Christianity been appointed from the Ethiopian Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt. Emperor
Selassie I trained and created the first native Ethiopian Archbishops.
He instituted 5 year agricultural plans and opened up Ethiopia to the world with the
inauguration of Ethiopian Airlines. At all times he ruled as a Godly King, his speeches filled with
references to God and always directing the people to Godly solutions to the problems of life
and the country.
In 1935 the fascist Dictator Mussolinsi of Italy invaded Ethiopia and attempted to colonise it.
Selassie went to Geneva to petition the League of Nations to denounce Italy and come to the
aid of Ethiopia. His speech was met with derision and boos, and Selassie condemned the
League of Nations for its ineffectiveness and unconcern for the plight of his Black nation. Rather
than returning to Ethiopia, the Emperor went to England and from there supervised the battle
against the Ethiopians led by his trusted Army General Ras Kassa. At the end of World War 11,
with Mussolini's troops in retreat, Selassie I returned to Ethiopia and set about reparing his
In 1954 he was consulted by Kwame Nkrumah -- then President of Ghana -- whose ideas for a
Unified Africa had been inspired by the philosophy of Marcus Garvey whose meetings he had
attended while a student in New York City. Together with Emperor Selassie, whom Nkrumah
regarded as the foremost African leader, they formulated the plan for the Organisation of
African Unity which was inaugurated in 1962 with headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The Emperor was visited during his reign by crowned heads and leaders of the world's most
powerful nations, including Elizabeth of England. He also travelled a great deal, visiting Jamaica
in 1996 and receiving the most tumultuous welcome ever afforded a visiting dignitary.
Thousands of Rastafari beardsman and locksman travelled to Kingston and converged on the
airport, surrounding the airplane and lighting chalices and spliffs, to the consternation of
officials who feared both for the safety of the Emperor as well as the fire hazard.
After a long delay, during which time the crowd could not be controlled, Rastafarian leader
Mortimo Planno mounted the steps of the plane and addressed the crowd -- asking them for
peace in which to allow the King to emerge. He was instantly obeyed and the Emperor set foot
on Jamaican soil to a welcome befitting a divinity.
For Rastafari, the Revelation of Selassie I unlocks the secrets of the Book of Revelations and
solves the mysteries contained therein. For Rastafari, the way to inheritance of the blessings
promised in that Book, is to live a righteous life guided by continuous study of the divine
principles and teachings of the Bible, and the Godly way of life demonstrated first by Jesus, the
Christos, and now by Emperor Selassie I.
It is a revelation which has enabled the Rastaman and Rastawoman to perceive the God and
Christ Spirit within in a powerful, positive and African way, and to use that power to connect
with our God, JAH and I&I God power to work for the creation of the NEW HEAVEN and the
ONE PERFECT RASTAFARI LOVE