Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A millenarian movement of Afrocentric Black Jamaicans deriving their tag, “Rastafari,” directly from their deity, Emperor Haile Selassie I (Ras meaning duke or head combined with the emperor's precoronation name Tafari Makonnen), Rastas emerged from the Jamaican working classes in the 1930s. The group mirrors a number of African diasporic separatists in the western hemisphere, the most notable being Marcus Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association, the Afro-Athlican Constructive Church, the Moorish Science Temple, and the Nation of Islam of the United States, which were organized at roughly the same time. Rastafarians were by far the most successful in terms of longevity and influence on their home turf. Representing approximately one of every nine Jamaicans today, they are a considerable political force on their home island and have had a cultural impact on the arts and cuisine of the Caribbean and West African regions. Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia was the ...