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APPENDIX THE RASTAFARIANS

The Rastafarian movement began in Jamaica in the 1930s. Its birth was inspired by Marcus Garvey, who advocated pride in black consciousness and a resistance to world-wide white domination. In a speech in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1916, Garvey is reported to have said: ‘Look to Africa for the crowning of a black king. He shall be the redeemer’ (Barrett 1977). When Crown Prince Rasi Tafari was crowned as His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, the followers of Garvey saw him as the Black Messiah of whom Garvey had spoken. The movement sees Ethiopia as the promised land and, whilst some members see the return as a physical journey to Africa, others acknowledge a cultural and spiritual unity with Africa and hope for social and political change. The words ‘Rasta’, ‘Rastamen’, ‘Rastafarians’, and ‘Rasta brethren’ are used interchangeably. When the cult first emerged in Jamaica its membership was drawn from black semi-skilled workers and the unemployed; now, however, Rastas have penetrated the middle classes and other minority groups in Jamaica (Barrett 1977).