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Gary Younge
Selassie and Africa: the Rasta creed

In 1930, Prince Tafari Makonnen was crowned the new emperor of Ethiopia, claiming the title of Emperor Haile Selassie. But the more spiritual followers of Garvey saw the coronation as a sign from God.

They worshipped Selassie as a living god and hailed him as a direct descendant of King Solomon and Queen Sheba.

But they also knew him as Ras (meaning king or head) Tafari, giving birth to the Rastafarian movement, which preached that one day all black people would return to Africa.

Selassie remained devoted to the Ethiopian Orthodox church and, although nonplussed by his following in Jamaica, in 1963 at Shashemene, 155 miles south of Addis Ababa, granted Rastafarians land. Several hundred continue to live there.

However, successive governments have refused to give Rastafarians citizenship in their adopted country.

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