Marcus Garvey and Rastafari
prophecy for an African King was the seed for Jamaican Rastafari.
Garvey, who had been born in St. Ann in 1887 and founded the United Negro Improvement
Association, spoke to an audience at Madison Square Garden in New York of "Ethiopia, land of our fathers," and proclaimed that
'negroes' believed in "the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God."
Most significantly, he is often cited as the
first to announce "Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black King; He shall be the
Redeemer." (Later there was some debate about this: was it Garvey who said
these words? An associate of his, the Reverend James Morris Webb, the author of
A Black Man will be the Coming Universal King, Provey by Biblical History, had spoken
to the same effect at a meeting in 1924.)
The "Look to Africa
. . ." statement is customarily cited as the spark that galvanized
Garveyites into founding the sect that came to be known as Rastafarianism (so
called because "Ras Tafari" was Selassie's given name.)
White, Timothy. Catch A Fire: The
Life of Bob Marley Henry Holt and Co., New York © 1983,1989,1991,1992,1994,1996
Boot, Adrian and Chris Salewicz. Bob
Marley: Songs of Freedom © 1995, by Chris Salewicz.
Marcus Garvey and
Rastafari: The Life of Bob Marley
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