Rastafari has its roots in the philosophy of Marcus Garvey.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey was born on the 17th of August 1887, in Jamaica. His teachings of black self empowermentare credited as being the sources behind the founding of the religion.
Although Marcus Garvey never actually followed Rastafari or believed in it, he is considered to be one of the religion’s prophets, because it was his ideologies that eventually grew into Rastafari.
He believed that all black people shouldreturn to their rightful homeland Africa, and was heavily involved in promoting the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) which he founded in 1914.
In the 1920s Garvey organised the black nationalist movement in America. A year later he had almost one million followers.
The black nationalist leader became an inspiration to black people all over the world and although he taught people to be proud of their race, he also offended other black leaders with his ideas of separatism within races.
Garvey’s powerful speeches (“Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will!”) gained him numerous supporters.
Many people believe that what Marcus Garvey said in 1920, (“Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand”), came true in 1930, when Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned the new Emperor of Ethiopia, and became known as Emperor Haile Selassie.
It is after the crowning of Selassie that the Rastafarian movement officially began.