9 Facts You May Not Have Known About Haile Selassie I

Ras Tafari Makonnen lived from July 23, 1892, to Aug. 27, 1975. The Rastafari movement was born when political leader Marcus Garvey proclaimed: “Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black king.” A few years later, in 1930, Makonnen was crowned emperor of Ethiopia and took the name Haile Selassie I. Abroad, he was worshiped as a divine figure. In Jamaica, he is still considered by Rastafarians to be the spiritual leader of Black people worldwide.

His name, Haile Selassie, translates into “Power of the Trinity.” His legitimacy as a ruler passes through a line of Ethiopian royalty chronicled in the Kebra Nagast (Book of Kings) that includes King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

The lyrics of Bob Marley’s song War are from the English translation of a speech Selassie delivered to the United Nations in New York City in October 1963.

Selassie proved to be a model student. He was intelligent, hardworking, had an excellent memory and paid attention to the smallest detail. Recognizing his abilities, his father proclaimed him dejazmach (commander) of a local militia in 1905 at the age of 13. At 14, he had been governor of Gara Maleta, a province of Harar, and by 20, he was dejazmach of Sidamo province.

He was voted Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1936.

He took great pride in the suppression of slavery. When Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, he personally led troops in the field.

In 1923, he led Ethiopia into the League of Nations. The following year, he traveled to Europe, becoming the first Ethiopian ruler to go abroad.

Two commemorative stamps have been issued for the emperor. These include a stamp for his regime before the Italian 0ccupation in the period of 1930-1936, and another one after the occupation during 1942-1974.

Haile Selassie worked on various economic and social reforms for the progress of his people. However, his most significant work was creating a constitution in 1931 and helping to achieve a Re-Africanization of Ethiopia.

source: atlantablackstar.com  by

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