The Rastafarian

        In the 1930s, the “Rastafarian” movement developed in Jamaica. This is a religion classified as part new religion, and sociopolitical movement. Rastafarianism is believed to have sprouted from the suppression of the Afro- Jamaicans in ‘Babylon’, who had been traded as slaves and exiled as captives. According to, the movement began with Marcus Garvey, a political leader who led the Universal Negro Improvement Association, with the intention of bringing blacks back to their homelands, “Ethiopia”, being Africa.

        Haile Selassie I, born “Ras Tafari”, was crowned emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 – 1974, he became regarded as the “Second Coming of Christ”, the “Black Messiah”, the Redeemer. With Marcus Garvey’s push to, ‘look to Africa, where a black king shall be crowned, [where] he shall be your Redeemer’, Haile Selassie I became God incarnate among Rastafarians. Today, there seems to be a misconception; most will see Rastafarians as dread-headed ‘blissful stoners’. When actually, Rastas wear their hair in its natural and uncombed state in practice of a belief, coming from the Leviticus 21:5 of the Bible that they shouldn’t cut their hair, and believe smoking marijuana to be a religious ritual to increase spiritual awareness. They believe in salvation on earth, respect for nature, God in history, and God in every man. 

       The beliefs of this group of Jamaican people have been taken and twisted; onlookers may observe their religion and practices and misinterpret what they can not understand. As with any culture, there’s history and reason to their way of living, but the Rastafarian remains misunderstood and misrepresented. 

“BBC - Religions - Rastafari: Original and Modern Beliefs.”, 9 Oct.

          2009, Accessed 15

          February 2020

McAlister, Elizabeth A.. "Rastafari". Encyclopedia Britannica, 23 Jul. 2020,

 Accessed 15 February 2021

Morocco, Anthony. “Rasta Way of Growing Hair.” The Hair Shaman, 24 May 2017,


          15 February 2021



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