I&I Rasta

Jah No Dead

INTERVIEWER: “What do you think happened to Selassie and his family?”
TOSH: “Nothin’ ado Emperor Haile Selassie I Man, Igziabeher, Amassagana, nothin’ can do him. He’s the Allmighty. What you hear is what you hear.”
INTERVIEWER: “But somebody came into his country and took over and cut off the heads of his family members and destroyed his regime.”
TOSH: “Well them cut off the heads of some of them and them kills plenty and them kill many people too. But then again that is what the people asked for, seen. The people was tired of the monarchy of his Imperial Majesty and wanted to be or was influenced by Westerns what they call civilization, or western way of life, seen. And many of them wanted that so Jah gave them what they wanted and now that they are suffering the consequences of influences then they are beginning to call back His Imperial Majesty and remembering the good old days when those things never use to happen. Seen, administers of propaganda spread many dangerous public mischief on Emperor Haile Selassie, seen, and we know them all but they cannot hide because they cannot tell themselves no lie, neither can they invent destructive weapons to destroy those who speak the truth because we attack them from the heart. (strums guitar) this time (laughs) seen. So when a guy thinks a well him safe, it’s right into your heart (strums).”
Ancient Ras Peter Tosh,
Interview with Doug Wendt, San Francisco 1983
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Chicago Defender, December 15 1923


American Missionary Saw Ras Tafari Lugging Stones for Mending of Roads.
His royal highness, Ras Tafari, king of Abyssinia, is not above going to a rock pile and carrying stones to mend a road, and doing so with the humblest of his subjects, according to Dr. Thomas Lambie, an Amerian medical missionary at Addis Ababa, Abyssinia. (…)
The king of Abyssinia has just given the site to erect the first modern hospital in his kingdom. (…) The medical missionary wrote that in his mind the stone carrying incident revealed ‘an unusual spirit on the part of an eastern king’. He said he thought this was a good illustration of the Bible command, ‘bear ye one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ’. (..)
‘When we got to the race track I noticed a big crowd of people coming along (…) Some very great man is riding out today, I thought to myself. (…) Yes, it most centrainly was his highness Ras Tafari himself, the ruler of Abyssinia. He saw me at the same time I saw him. We both raised our hats and I attempted to dismount from my horse that I might do him honor before his men. Over the heads of the crowd he smilinglu motioned me not to do so and passed on.
His Majesty Bears His Burden
(…) Everyone was carrying a stone on his shoulder. They had gone to Kugbana river and each had picked up a great stone and was carrying it back to mend the road in preparation for the rainy season which will soon be upon us. Yes, the ruler was with them: but surely he would not have to carry a stone. No, he would not have to, but nevertheless he was doing so. And as I saw him going out to do some menial work, as an example and to encourage his people, the words quoted above came to my mind. <<Bear ye one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ>>.
Dare anyone criticize and say, <<better to hire some one to do this work than to give his valuable time to such service>>. Abyssinia is not America or England. Our Lord in coming to earth might also have used different methods. He might have come as a ruler on an ivory throne, a place He was lifted to occupy as David’s greater son: instead, however, He washed His disciples feet. The servant should not be greater than his Lord.
And so I saw the ruler of Abyssinia, going to the rock pile and carrying stones to encourage his men, I felt he was doing a very great and kind service to them and to the country. He was teaching them not to be ashamed to work. I personally believe he is the hardest worked man in all this country. From morning until night he is engaged in seeing people, in giving judgment between disputants, and in a thousand and one duties that daily press upon him as the ruler of this great land, so that his friends tell me that he often has a tired and worried expression. In one sense he is the ruler of all, in another sense a servant of all.
An officer said that he did not ask anyone to do a work that he was not willing to do himself. (…) He has some who hinder and prevent him in his own country, and some of his greatest difficulties arise from the type of Europeans who come to this country, but I feel that a ruler who shows this spirit of willingness to help and willingness to serve will overcome all difficulties and will with patient effort place Abyssinia alongside of the great countries of the world.
Here is a lesson for each one of us. Do not set another to do something you think yourself too great to perform. Share their burden with them and thus you bear the burden for them.”
Haile Selassie I - Teachings

The Modern is not above the Ancient

“Since the way of living of people at any period is closely tied up with the particular conditions prevailing at the time, we cannot look back to Ethiopia prior to the 20th Century and criticize the manner of administration of our forefathers. The reasons and difficulties that made the way of living then what it was can be accurately known.”
Don’t criticize I&I biblical fathers through your modern age mindset. Understand the different needs and opportunities of our Ancients through serious and original Ethiopian education.
Haile Selassie I - Teachings

How can we Express without Education ?


“The extensive development of education should rank high in the list of your objecives. We have repeatedly stated in Our public utterances that ‘Knowledge is power and unity is strength’. If We had not developed education in our people, to whom could We have expressed this wish ? Praise be to Him, who has enabled Us to express it to the present as to future generations”. 


Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

The Tribute of the Indian Community of Ethiopia

“This statue was erected by the Indian Community in Ethiopia in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the Coronation of Haile Selassie I Emperor of Ethiopia, November 1955.”

Ethiopian History

“Ethiopia” is not a Greek name

In the list of Ethiopian Kings given by Haile Selassie I, we find the name of King Etyopis, buried under the obelisks of Axum, which is the same of Ethiopia as country. It is dated 1800 years before the birth of Christ.
King Etyopis came about 1000 years before the birth of the Greek archaic literature. Why Ethiopia should be a Greek name, if Greek civilization never ruled Ethiopia and it is clearly younger ?
This is just an absurd dogma of the euro-centric colonial academic system, trying to inculcate some form of western historical or cultural domination. Indeed, the rational historical path should be the inverse, so the Greek have taken this word from Africa and built their notions around it.
In fact, in ancient Greek, the word “topos” τόπος means “place”: as Homer said, Ethiopia was the perfect place where the gods loved to stay, and then the Greek people adopted the name of Ethiopia as archetypical idea of place.
Haile Selassie I - Teachings

1st of March 1896 – Adwa Victory

“Just seventy years ago, Ethiopian armies formed almost as if by magic and hurled themselves upon a grasping invader to gain the immortal triumph of Adowa.
The victory of Adowa has long been hailed as one of the major events of the nineteenth century in Africa. Its effects upon Ethiopia and her relations with the colonial powers were far-reaching. Certainly it preserved the nation’s age-old independence from the greedy incursions then being made elsewhere against our brethren on this continent.”
H.I.M. Haile Selassie I
Haile Selassie I - Teachings

The Importance of Ethiopian Dams

“Almighty God in His infinite wisdom and bounty has blessed our Empire with various incomparable riches, not the least of which is the wealth of our country’s water resources. The development of these resources has been our constant preoccupation and we are today taking the first step in our programme for the fullest utilization of this God-given gift for the benefit of our people, marking thereby the high place which we have ascribed to the matter of water resources in our overall planning. Unlike so many lands around her, Ethiopia has been especially blessed with an abundance of natural resources, and the prolific amount of her annual rainfall makes her fitly to be called: ‘The Water Tower of the Horn of Africa’. Millions of square miles of territory, together with millions of human beings and their livestock depend on the water that flows from Ethiopia’s mountains, and from her comes more than two-thirds of the waters of the Nile.
It is the duty and privilege of this generation and of posterity to conserve and develop these precious resources. To fail to do so will be to fail in our God-given responsibility. In building dams for impounding these waters and utilising the hydro-electric power to be secured from them, we are giving a powerful impetus to all the programmes we have laid out for the economic development of our country. We are thereby protecting from erosion the rich and precious soil of our Empire, and are storing up waters for the irrigation of lands not as yet under cultivation, for increasing our agricultural and plantation potential. We are thus providing the sinews of industry through the generation of electric power, and finally, we are aiding the development of transportation in securing the means for its eventual electrification.” (…)
“Today is a day of deep historic significance, for in laying this foundation stone, we are establishing for our beloved people a source of wealth. This project constitutes the initial step both in the development and utilisation of the water resources of our Empire, and in the programme designed by us for enhancing the progress and expansion of all fields of economic endeavour of our country – agriculture, industry, transportation and communications. And we shall never cease to strive, as we have done in the case of the resources of these Awash waters, to exploit to the maximum each individual source of wealth which God Almighty in His mercy has bestowed upon us. It is our duty to see that yet other barrages are build in order to ensure that this bounty of Providence does not go to waste and is utilised to the greater glory of His handiwork.
This project is but the first step in a similar programme we have in mind for the other water courses of our Empire, such as the Nile with its volume and potentialities so vastly greater, as well as the Baro, the Atbara, the Sobot, the Akobo and the Webi Shebeli.”
H.I.M. Haile Selassie I
Laying the Foundation of the Koka Dam, 1958
Marcus Mosiah Garvey

The Role of Marcus Garvey as John the Baptist

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” (John 1: 6-8)
Through the last prophet of the Old Covenant – Malachi – in the third chapter of his vision, the Lord predicted that His coming would be introduced and prepared by a forerunner, having the spirit of Elijah for strength and prophetic guidance: “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before Me.
As we clearly learn from the Gospel narrative, this role is attributed to John the Baptist, so named because he administered unto the crowds a symbolic baptism of redemption: he denounced the limits of the Old Covenant and the need for spiritual and moral renewal, thereby evoking the remission of sin that Christ would perform through the sacramental baptism of water.
Unto his father Zacharias, the Angel of the Lord said about John:
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1,15)
And Christ said about him:
“And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17,10)
He is the point of contact and the bridge between the Old Law and the New Law, and the nearest figure of Christ; John did not judge himself enough for the fulfillment of Jah plan, but his ministry was aimed at preparing the way of the Lord, to establish the conditions where the true Redeemer could come and be accepted: in this context, he continually preached His imminent arrival in Israel, and when Jesus appeared, he pointed to Him as the fulfillment of those messianic expectations. John said, in fact:
“This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” (John 1,15)
“I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3,16)
“Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3,28-30)
In full accord with the tale depicted in the Gospels, the second coming was introduced by an extraordinary character, Hon. Marcus Garvey, head of the large black ferment called Messianic Ethiopianism. Exponent of an African Christian Baptist congregation looking to Ethiopia to achieve its political and religious redemption, he announced to the African nation and diaspora the need for liberation from white roman systems of iniquity, preaching self-determination, freedom and fundamental human rights, at a time when colonialism and racism constituted the basic principles of collective political culture. He was thus to administer a kind of baptism of fyah for the Nations, waiting for the One who had to give it in pure sacramental power.
His powerful and energic tone of speaking before the oppressed crowds and his influent and pungent elocution remind the word of prophecy:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Mark 1,3)
In the preface of the second volume of his important literary work, Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, he is explicitly presented in this prophetical role: <<Less than a decade ago, Marcus Garvey appeared in Harlem, that crowded section of New York city which has been termed the “Mecca” of the Negroes of the world. Coming unheralded, like John the Baptist, he brought a message which carried conviction to all open-minded listeners.>> (1925)
“And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not” (Luke 3, 15)
Although he was an extraordinary man, Garvey was also conscious of being subject to an Other One, and he channeled the attention of the African crowds towards the true Liberator, the One who, according to his visions, had to come soon upon the throne of Ethiopia.
“If the enemy could only know that Marcus Garvey is but a John the Baptist in the wilderness, that a greater and more dangerous Marcus Garvey is yet to appear.”
(“Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey”, p.132)
“We feel that one day Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hand, and whether it be at the second coming or before, we shall all sing our Hosannas, shout our praises to God for freedom, for liberty, for life.” (Philosophy and Opinions, Vol. I, p. 86)
“I trust that there will be a spiritual and material resurrection among Negroes everywhere” (The Resurrection of the Negro, Philosophy and Opinions Vol. I, p. 87)
Out of the clear of God’s Eternity
Shall rise a kingdom of Black Fraternity; (…)
In the fair movement of God’s Abounding Grace
There is a promised hope for the Negro race;
In the sublimest truth of prophecy,
God is to raise. them to earthly majesty,
Princes shall come out of Egypt so grand,
The noble black man’s home and Motherland,
The Psalmist spoke in holy language clear,
As Almighty God’s triune will declare.
(Tragedy of White Injustice, Garvey’s Poem, 1927)
When the Lord took His place on the throne of David, Garvey hailed the event as the realization of the divine expectations, and he saluted the Lion of Judah saying:
“The Psalmist prophesied that Princes would come out of Egypt and Ethiopia would stretch forth her hands unto God. We have no doubt that the time is now come. Ethiopia is now really stretching forth her hands. This great kingdom of the East has been hidden for many centuries, but gradually she is rising to take a leading place in the world and it is for us of the Negro race to assist in every way to hold up the hand of Emperor Ras Tafari.” (Blackman, 8th November 1930)
The same spirit of what have been said by John, when Christ was anointed High Priest at the age of 30: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.”
(John 1 29-31)
Since then, the attention of the faithful gradually left him and moved towards the King, then constituting the first social body of Rastafari movement. It is written in fact that many of the first followers of Christ, in the beginning were followers of John the Baptist (John 1, 35-42). Marcus Garvey continued to preach and operate separately and did not become a “Rasta” follower, just like John the Baptist remained at his own place and continued to baptize on his own account.
“After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.” (John 3, 22-28)
As it is written, in fact, John the Baptist was still under the Law of Moses, and He did not fully enter the Christian time and faith, but worked as element of transition between those two stages of revelation. That’s why Christ said about him, in order to explain his personality:
“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11,11)
During the last years of his life, Marcus Garvey suffered heavy persecution by white governments, and he went to jail like John the Baptist. During this period of distress and desperation, he saw the King going into exile during the war in 1936: he scandalized, and wrote very offensive words against our Lord. He was not able to understand the victorious strategy of His Majesty, when all things appeared to go in the wrong direction, and Africa’s cause seemed to be lost. Similars feelings have been manifested by John the Baptist, when he was in prison and Christ was apparently disappointing his expectations of liberation:
“Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, <<Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?>> Jesus answered and said unto them, <<Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.>>” (Matthew 11, 2-6)
John was evidently “offended in Him”. The disciples of Christ were surprised by such an insolence, and the Lord had to speak with them to justify John and keep his prophetical reputation and position:
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, <<What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.>> “
(Matthew 11, 7-10)
Before the liberation of Ethiopia, in 1940, Marcus Garvey died in England of brain tumor, as result of the affliction and oppression of his conditions. This is the fulfillment of the death of John, who was beheaded during his imprisonment.
“Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger”, the wicked said. (Matthew 14,8)
I&I Rasta

Rastaman Greatest Fear and Greatest Love

INTERVIEWER: “Peter, what is your greatest fear?”
TOSH:My fear for Jah Almighty! He is so powerful that to love him you must fear him… I man love him!
INTERVIEWER: “Is that, therefore, also your greatest love?”
TOSH:It is… for Jah“.
INTERVIEWER: “Peter, what is your greatest desire?”
TOSH:To serve Jah through passing on his message and to see the brighter day when ‘Right Is Right’ and ‘Wrong Is Wrong’, and every man gets pay according to his work -no more, no less. So keep on working as long as you work for the right, because payday is not far away!!
Ancient Ras Peter Tosh, Interview with Bagga Brown, 1983