Who founded the Rastafari movement?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I (1892-1975), whose given name was Ras Tafari, is considered the inspiration of the Rastafarian movement, which first emerged during the 1930s in Jamaica. Selassie, who claimed to be descended from both the Biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, is considered by Rastafarians to be a God-reincarnate, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Jamaican Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) is also considered a prophet by followers of the religion.  Known as the "first Rasta," Jamaican Leonard Howell (1898-1981) formed a Rasta commune in St. Catherine in 1939. He had previously been arrested for sedition because of his loyalty to Selassie, and he and his followers were jailed in 1941, and the commune, known as the Pinnacle, was eventually abandoned. Other early advocates of Rastafarianism were Archibald Dunkley, a "street preacher" in Port Antonio and, later, in Kingston; Joseph Hibbert, originator of the "Ethiopian Coptic Faith"; and Robert Hinds.


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