I just wanted to tell you guys how much I appreciate those who visit my blog, and take the time to “like” posts, and leave comments etc. So as a way of saying thank you…I have included a segment of my new book ….entitled “Rastafari Is…”
Who was the First Rastaman?
The first documented Rastaman was, without a doubt, Jesus Christ. Every Rastaman knows this. I am not saying this to ‘big up’ my Meditation. I know this by the behaviour, and the words of the Mighty Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Christian Bible. As Rasta our whole life is to serve Jah, and teach the peoples about preparation to meet The Most High. Jesus Christ …withdrew to lonely places to pray, Jesus Christ began Ministering when he was 12, (because he was born with the gospel, same as Rasta) Jesus Christ was a Nazirite (he had dreadlocks) Yeshua (Jesus Christ) was often misunderstood by the masses. All of these things Rasta man and Rasta women of today do, and encounter today.
‘Leonard Percival Howell was known as The Gongor G.G. Maragh (forGong Guru), was a Jamaican Religious figure. According to his biographer Hélène Lee Howell was born in an Anglican family. He was one of the first preachers of the Rastafari Movement (along with Joseph Hibert, Archibald Dunkley and Robert Hinds), and is sometimes known as The First Rasta.
Born in May Crawle River, Jamaica, Howell left the country as a youth, traveling amongst other places to New York, and returned in 1932. He began preaching in 1933 about what he considered the symbolic portent for the African Diaspora—the crowning of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. His preaching asserted that Haile Selassie was the “Messiah returned to earth,” and he published a book called The Promise Key. Although this resulted in him being arrested, tried for sedition and imprisoned for two years, the Rastafari movement grew.
Over the following years, Howell came into conflict with all the establishment authorities in Jamaica: the planters, the trade unions, established churches, police and colonial authorities, and he was allegedly arrested more than 50 times. He formed a town or commune called Pinnacle in Saint Catherine Parish that became famous as a place for Rastafarians. Nevertheless, this movement prospered, and today the Rastafari faith exists worldwide. Unlike many Rastas Howell never wore dreadlocks. Leonard Howell died in Kingston Jamaica.’
Mr. Howell is known for writing the book, “The Promise Key” but I could only find a book called, “The Promised Key.”
‘In 1961, the Jamaican government decided to send a delegation of both officials and Rastafari leaders to meet Emperor Haile Selassie I. Rases Planno, D. Mack, and Fillmore Alvaranga were the three in the Rasta delegation. Their Minority Report of the mission differs in several significant aspects from that of the non-Rastafarian delegates,e.g.:
April 16, 1961: “Later in the afternoon the Rases were invited to visit His Holiness, Abuna Basilios the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church at his residence. The other delegates came along too. We discussed H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie, being the returned Messiah. His Holiness the Abuna told us at the conclusion of the discussion that the Bible can be interpreted that way. We had tea and honey with him.”
April 21, 1961: “The Mission was granted audience with H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I at the Imperial Palace, Addis-Ababa. We were introduced to H.I.M., by the Minister of the Imperial Guard. Emperor Haile Selassie I welcomed the delegation warmly. Speaking Amharic which was interpreted by the Minister of the Imperial Guard, H.I.M. told us that he knew the black people of the West and particularly Jamaica were blood brothers to the Ethiopians and he knew that slaves were sent from Ethiopia to Jamaica. He said we should send the right people. The Emperor said Ethiopia was large enough to hold all the people of Afrikan descent living outside Afrika and he would send a delegation to the West Indies. Dr. Leslie told H.I.M. that Jamaica had plenty of sugar cane factories making sugar and rum. H.I.M. replied that in Ethiopia there was a refinery making sugar but not rum. H.I.M. thanked the delegation and presented each of us with a gold medal.”
“All the rest of the delegation left His presence except the three Rastafarian Brethren (Bros. Fil, Mack, Planno, as we had presents for H.I.M.). Alvaranga presented H.I.M. with a wood-carved map of Afrika with a portrait of the Emperor on one side of the wooden case. The Emperor then spoke in English for the first time to us. He said, “That’s Afrika. Is it from the Rastafari Brethren?” (That showed that he knew us before). We said “Yes”. Brother Mack presented photographs of the Rastafari Brethren in Jamaica. H.I.M. said again in English, “Photographs; thank you”. Mack also gave H.I.M. a painting of Errol Flynn’s island in Jamaica (i.e. Navy Island, off the mainland of Port Antonio). Brother Planno gave H.I.M. a woven scarf in red, gold and green. H.I.M. said “Is it you that wove it”. He said “Yes”. He said “Thank you again”. We also gave H.I.M. a photograph of a widow and six children—her husband, a Rastafari Brethren, was shot and killed by the Police in Jamaica. H.I.M. asked us to who was taking care of them now. We told H.I.M. that we took the case to Jamaica’s Premier but left the island before it was settled. The Emperor said that he would do what he could to help. We then took leave.’
A Rastafari friend of mine says there is a book about Mr. Plannos life called “The Strangest Rastaman” but I could not find it on google.com, or amazon.com
Check out my book “How to Become a Rasta.” This one is published and available on amazon.com
Jah Bless You my beauties. Rastafari.