by Ideisha Jackson
On this day in history, November 2, 1930, the coronation of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I took place. 38-year-old Ras Tafari Makonnen, the 225th descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia, receiving the title of Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. More than 72 nations converged on Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the coronation.
At 7:30 am on Tikimt 23, 1923 (November 2, 1930), their Majesties, dressed in white silken communion robes, emerged from the church behind the incense bearers. The Emperor made a vow on that day to uphold the Orthodox religion, to uphold and administer the laws of the land for the betterment of the Ethiopian people, to maintain the integrity of Ethiopia, and to found schools for developing the spiritual and material welfare of his subjects.
After the ceremony for the Emperor, the Empress entered with her attendants to take her throne. The following reading from the Psalms of David (Psalms 45:9-11) was made as a prayer.“Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”
The crowning of Haile Selassie I was indeed a momentous occasion, today marks the 88th anniversary of the coronation. The coronation of his Majesty broke with tradition because on this day he had his wife Empress Mennen coronated as well. This for me shows the respect and balance the King placed on his relationship, acknowledging and giving his Queen her rightful place by his side.
Rastafari has grown since the inception of the movement, we have made significant progress as a people, our contribution to Caribbean culture through our music, art, craft and language is undeniable, we have advocated for a healthy lifestyle for our people, with less salt and sugar in our diet, we have stood up for the oppressed people, we have built links with the homeland – Africa, but there is still so much work to be done.
I have been in the movement here for 22 years and I must say that I have had some good years, but I am still yearning for the time when the Movement will be a vibrant and effective impetus for change and progress. I yearn to see Rastafari Schools, Businesses, Youth Organisations, Daughters Groups, I yearn to see massive family gatherings, and a sense of togetherness that can be a beacon for others, I yearn to see us living the Rastafari Creed which most importantly for me states: “Let the hungry be fed, the naked clothed, the sick nourished; the aged protected, and the infants cared for.”
“We know that unity can be and has been attained among men of the most disparate origins, that difference of race, of religion, of culture, of tradition, are no insurmountable obstacles to the coming together of peoples.” These are Words of Haile Selassie I. We need to make this our Mantra…and work towards unity amongst us. With unity we can be an even greater influence of positivity and a movement for change and progress. Happy Coronation day to All my Brothers and Sisters.
Information gathered from the following: