Jamaica petitions UN for King of Kings day

French President Georges Pompidou sitting at left, next to Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I during the former's visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Jan. 17, 1973.
French President Georges Pompidou sitting at left, next to Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I during the former’s visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Jan. 17, 1973.

Make no mistake about it, Jamaicans have staked a claim positioning themselves at the forefront of proclaiming Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, His Imperial Majesty, the Lion of Judah, the conquering Lion of Judah, direct descendant of King Solomon and Queen Sheba and have relentlessly extolled their messiah with a long list of reverent titles.

Undoubtedly members of the Rastafarian community on the island have been most consistent with attaching attribution to the African who promoted independence from colonial enslavers and through his persuasion and wise advisements emerged one of the continent’s avowed founding fathers when commonwealth countries chose self-governance.

Now it seems the government of Jamaica will echo and amplify the voices of their most Africa-centric nationals by petitioning the United Nations to declare the Nov. 2, coronation day of His Imperial Majesty I and Her Imperial Majesty Empress Woizero Menen Asfaw of Ethiopia for international recognition.

On that date in 1930, heads of states and high officials representing 72 countries gathered in the capital city of Addis Ababa to witness and honor the coronation of the royal African avowed as the heir to the throne of David, the Solomonic dynasty and the Abrahamic Covenant.

The petition proposes that because of his majesty’s ‘love and concern for the sick, the poor and the downtrodden…his condemnation of injustice…his respect for democratic principle and institutions…his exemplary life of service to humanity…his faith and Godly principles’ among other beneficence dedicated on behalf of his people “the stamp that the emperor and empress imprinted on the world will never be forgotten.”

The fact that in 1948, the royal couple “provided lands in Shashamane, Ethiopia for the return of those kidnapped and enslaved in the diaspora” stands as added testament to the global perspective HIM embraced during his lifetime.

Jamaicans, particularly Rastafarians responded to the generous gift and in droves repatriated there and in the second decade of this new millennium remain residents.

More than a few Caribbean nationals also followed suit and have established their own communities in the African nation they consider their homeland.

The emperor visited New York City and is the only head of state to receive two ticker tape parades down the city’s Canyon of Heroes.

A plaque along Broadway on the lower east side marks his historic visit to the city and notably a stop into the Trinity Church near the World Trade Center.

One of his most memorable speeches addressed race relations, equality and human rights which he delivered at the UN in 1963. A portion of that message was adapted by reggae king Robert Nesta Marley in a song he titled “War.”

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation; until the color of a man’s skin is no longer significant than the color of his eyes; until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without to race; until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; and until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and goodwill; until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of heaven; until that day the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary and we all know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”

The petition will be submitted to the UN with acquisition of 15,000 signatures endorsing “His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I International Day.”

The signing period will begin on Feb. 1 for a 40-day period that ends on March 11.

The address to participate is www.Petitionundayforhaileselassie.org or call 347-897-8211.

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