Emperor Haile Selassie’s 1966 visit to Jamaica had a dramatic effect on the Rastafari movement. Since the man they worshipped as an incarnation of God was feted by politicians and given the keys to the capital city, the faith was awarded its first inkling of official recognition, giving credence to the beliefs of Jamaica’s most ostracised citizenry. A mere three years after the Coral Gardens Massacre, in which dozens of Rastas were killed by security forces, the incredible welcome accorded Selassie strengthened the determination of the faithful, and helped swell the movement’s ranks. The transformation was acutely evidenced in the island’s music scene; if not for Selassie’s visit, the spread of Rastafari through reggae probably never would have taken place.
ARTICLE: Rasta Shook Them Up: Haile Selassie’s 1966 Visit to Jamaica By David Katz on February 25, 2014
TUNE: Honour and Praises on the Nyahcoustic Chants Album
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