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Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari)
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    (July 23, 1892-August 27, 1975)
    Birth name is Tafari Makonnen
    Ruled Ethiopia for forty four years
    Granted his subjects a constitution providing for universal suffrage (1931)
    Freed Ethiopian slaves
    Claimed to to be a direct descendent of King Solomon and Makeda, Queen of Sheba
    Selassie's mother (Wezero Yeshimebet Ali) was eleven when his father (Ras Makonnen) married her.
    He had dozens of siblings.
    Selassie was not a Rastafarian himself. He was a devout Christian.
    His chosen name 'Haile Selassie' means 'Might of the Trinity.'
    Rasta's refer to Selassie as H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty).
    Ras Tafari's full title is 'His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.'
    When a group of Rasta's went to Ethiopia to honor H.I.M., palace official's told them to leave.
    Under Selassie's rule, Eritrea (a neighboring African country) was annexed as a province of Ethiopia in 1952. This led to a 30-year struggle for Eritrean independence that ended in 1991.
    As Emperor, Selassie would put on the black, floor-length robe of a judge and stand on a platform to listen to a court case then decide the verdict. These were final verdicts, carried out immediately, without appeal, even death sentences.
    Under Selassie's rule, the Ethiopian famine of the early 1970's killed hundreds of thousands of people.
    Rasta's are known for good 'ganja.'
    He was a 'benevolent dictator,' ruling with almost absolute power but keeping Ethiopia's benefit in mind
    Rastafarianism Religion is named after Ras Tafari, and its prime belief is that Haile Selassie is the living God.
    Rasta music has given us reggae. Bob Marley was a Rasta.
    Selassie was an excellent diplomat, convincing the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and eventually Britain to kick Mussolini and then fascist Italy out of Ethiopia.
    Rastafarians speak out against poverty, oppression and inequality. The Rastafarian name for God is Jah.
    Haile Selassie was 'Time Magazine Man Of The Year' for 1935.
    Selassie died mysteriously under palace arrest and was buried under a toilet. Twenty five years after his burial, he was dug up and reburied with full honors (November, 2000)
    Haile Selassie visited Jamaica, making lots of Rasta's really happy (April 21, 1966).

Credit: SumoBear

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