Usually when you hear Rastafarian you think dreadlocks, marijuana and reggae music. I’m going to show you today that the Rastafarian religion is much more than that.
Born in 1887 Marcus Garvey was a very well known Jamaican Black Nationalist, journalist and entrepreneur. Throughout the 1920’s he preached often in his speeches something along the lines of “Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned for the day of deliverance is at hand!”
Many of his followers rejoiced when they saw this prophecy fulfilled in the 1930s. It was fulfilled with the crowning of Ras Tafari (a.k.a the crowned Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia).
Because of Garvey’s earlier prophecies he is thought of as a Religious prophet to the Rasta people. They also interpreted certain bible verses and combined it with the prophecy.
Rastafarianism really began in impoverished areas of Jamaica. Garvey’s Back-to-Africa preaching captured the minds of the suppressed people and the thought of having a black messiah made them feel empowered. Also the idea of unity as a race and a people made them feel less insignificant.
Another main belief of Rastafarianism is that Ethiopia is Zion of the destined Holy Land. This tied into Marcus Garvey’s talk of a Back-to-Africa idea for all black people.
Leonard Howell, who has been described as the "first Rasta," formed a commune which grew as large as 5,000 people at St. Catherine in Jamaica.
Even though the roots of Rastafarianism was prominent with mainly with black Jamaicans, it is important to understand that today it is spread worldwide with more than a million Rastafari faithful recorded in 2000.
Main spread of Rastafarianism is said to be due to interest generated by reggae music and most notably the singer/songwriter Bob Marley. (I will give you a sample of reggae music now This is a song by Bob Marley called buffalo soldier)