2022-11-28 02:16:37
Rev. James Morris Webb | DARC Foundation (Diaspora of The African Rastafari Congress)


Many people believe that it was Marcus Garvey who in 1920, said (“Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand”), came true in 1930, when Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned the new Emperor of Ethiopia, and became known as Emperor Haile Selassie.

However the fact is that it was Rev James Morris Webb who made the proclamation.




In Blues & Gospel Records there is a session by a Rev. Webb who recorded two sermons on Paramount 12575 in November 1927. Here are the transcriptions of both sides of this rare 78 that, which was reissued on Document DOCD DOCD- 5560 , Preachers and Congregations Vol. 6 (see review in Blues & Rhythm 125). For “Moses Was Rescued by a Negro Woman” I used David Evans’ copy of Pm 12575 which is superior to the Document reissue. For “Somebody’s Wrong about the Bible” I used Alex van der Tuuk’s Paramount test pressing which is superior to David Evans’ copy (Its flipside is “Sidewalks of New York” an accordion solo by an unknown artist, matrix 20176-1). The first songs sermon has is preceded and followed by female singing with piano accompaniment.


ch: There is somebody wrong about the Bible, and I believe, and I believe,

There is somebody wrong about the Bible, and I believe, I believe.

The reason I know there is somebody wrong, crying, Jesus have picked a man,

And in our home in the heaven above, there’s not a church designed by man.

Yes, somebody is certainly wrong about the Bible, tryin’ to say that the sun stands still and the earth moves. The Bible shows that the sun rises, the sun sets. Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. Evidently the sun was moving. The black man has a part in the Bible and the world should know about it. Solomon employed a Negro contractor to build his Temple . Solomon also instructed the contractor to employ Negro workmen on the Temple. The Bible shows that Solomon, the contractor, and also the workmen all had Hamitic blood in their veins. Hence they were Negroes! The Bible shows that the black man was the greatest instrument in God’s plan during the birth of Christ. A decree was issued against the babe of Bethlehem. God used the black man and his land, Africa, as a place of rescue for his son Jesus Christ to be rocked in the black man’s cradle, two years of his infancy. When Jesus was carrying the rugged cross of the sins of the world upon his shoulder, up Calvary, God used a black man to assist Jesus with the cross. The service which the black man has rendered to mankind ought to be preached, especially so since it is part of Biblical history.

Some Christians think they are sent from God, but they only preach from their minds,

Yet the Bible says: “He whom God seeks, will surely preach God’s word.”

While Jesus was eating His last Passover, and a virgin He did meet,

He put off His garments and girded himself, and He washed the disciples’ feet.


Friends, I am appearing before you with a literary, historical and racial sermon. The subject of my sermon will be:  “God used a Negro woman to rescue Moses from death.” This sermon is an extract from my book entitled: “The Black Man the Father of Civilization.” This book is sold throughout the world. I’ll prove this subject by Biblical history. I will admit that it is audacious to state that Negro men and women are quoted in Biblical history. However, the Bible shows that God did use Negro men and women in making Biblical history. Yes, God used Jethro, the black priest of Midian, who was the father-in-law of Moses, who is quoted in Biblical history as the one who gave the first judicial system for the governance of his people. Read Exodus, the 18th chapter, 17th to 23rd verse. Hence Jethro played a part in making Biblical history. God used King Solomon, who was a scribe. He was a black man to write three thousand proverbs and other books of wisdom of the Bible. God used Daniel the prophet, who was born out of a black tribe, to write the Book of Daniel which contained the fall of Babylon, pointed out that a black universal King with woolly hair is coming to rule the world in the last days. Again, God used a black Ethiopian eunuch to rescue Jeremiah the prophet from death in a dungeon. God also used Negro women. He used that Negro woman to carry the news to Joshua, which enabled him to compass the walls of Jericho, resulting in the defeat of the Canaanites. The Queen of Sheba, the Negro queen, who stands out in Biblical history, was head of a black special train from Africa to King Solomon’s Temple during the dedication of the Temple. She was the honored guest of King Solomon. All these characters about whom I have spoken have made some Biblical history. Friends, I’ll tell the world: they have! I could count more Negro characters in the Bible, but time won’t permit. This black woman is not quoted in – as a Negro woman by historians and commenters, but from the blood standpoint she is a Negro woman. She’s quoted in the Bible as Pharaoh’s daughter. Her father was Egyptian, Egyptians sprang from Mizraim, Mizraim was the son of Ham, Ham was the father of the Negro race. Read Genesis, the 10th chapter and the 6th verse. When that great Day of Judgment comes, and the book of activity of all mankind is read, I imagine that I can hear God saying: “Come forth, oh daughter of Pharaoh, the savior of Moses, the deliverer of slavery. Receive an everlasting blessing for rescuing Moses from death and slavery, for I am God, the creator of all mankind, recognized by me for the service they render to mankind, not by race, blood or color.”

While After listening to these sermons, I decided to start a search for Webb’s book and to investigate his life. James Morris Webb was a very influential African-American evangelist and lecturer on evidence for the black presence in the Bible. From the 2001 Magribine reprint of his book we learn that early as Christmas Day 1903 he lectured in an old Ranke’s Hall in Seattle, Washington, which then occupied on the northwest corner of Pike Street and Sixth Avenue. He spoke on the death Death of Sarah, the Father of the Ethiopians, Moses’ Wife, the killing of Goliath by David and the Genealogy of Jesus. By means of many quotes quotations from the Bible, mentioning chapter and verse, he tried to convince his audience that Jesus was black.

In November, 1913 Jas. M. Webb D.D. he published an advertisement in the Chicago Defender in which Jas. M. Webb D.D. tried to sell for his “Famous Picture of Jesus as a Black Man.” It The ad proclaimed: “Just finished and ready for sale is the wonderful picture, 12 x 18, of Jesus as he looked when on earth and how he will look at his second coming, including a specially prepared book of biblical references from Genesis to Revelation, proving in every detail the Doctor’s assertion.” It was available from newsstands for $1 and for $1.50 by P.O. or Express Order from Jas. M. Webb, 3519 State Street, Chicago, Ill.

In 1919 Webb published the book he mentions in on the Paramount sermons record:


By James Morris Webb, A.M. (1919, Reprinted in 1984 by Julian Richardson Associates, 1712 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, Ca 94115. 49 pages, illustrated. Second reprint 2001 by Magribine Press, 5723 N. McVicken, Chicago, IL 60646, 44 pages, illustrated)

In the preface Rev. Webb explains that he has published his book because he loves his race, that he wants to defend his race and that he, as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he does not harbor malice against the white race. The reader should is advised to have a Bible at his finger tips as it is the only authority on ancient history.

Next There follow a dedication to the memory of the poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar few, and short, illustrated tributes to African-Americans (and one white man) admired by Rev. Webb: the poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the author Dr. W.E. Burghardt B. Dubois, the classicist Prof. W.S. Scarborough, orator P. KaIsaka Seme (a South African orator, and one of the founder’s of the African National Congress), the thunder bolt “the thunderbolt” Frederick Douglas ( [ sic ] for Douglass throughout the book,), Abraham Lincoln the educator Dr. Booker T. Washington, Bishop H.M. Turner ( the historian of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop H.M. Turner ) and the artist Henry O. Tanner. Finally there is a photo of the Reverend Webb himself, with an open Bible in his hand, in his role of as Evangelist of the Church of Christ God, with an open Bible in his hand.

In the introduction Webb states that Ham, the father of the black man, was not cursed by his father Noah. This happened to Canaan, Ham’s son, when Noah was intoxicated. The timber work on Solomon’s Temple was completed by the black Sidonians, who as descendents of Canaan must have been black. Solomon married a daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh who was of Ethiopian descent “might have been of as dark skin or even as black as he was, for history shows that Egypt had two full blooded Ethiopian Pharaohs just before and during the reign of Solomon.” Solomon had dark blood himself as well as skin because his mother was a Hittite, a tribe descended from Heth, another son of Canaan.

Daniel states prophesied that Christ had would have woolly hair at the Last Judgment; and that consequently all modern pictures of him are wrong.

Although men have claimed racist professor has asserted that Negroes are beasts, but they are the Negro is “the only ONLY ones man who can trace themselves himself back through the ages to their his origin.”

The black man was the father of civilization, born in Egypt, and transmitted “the different branches of Science and Art” to other races. As for “the modern American Negro … as Tonsorial Artist he has no s uperior (!) … Negroes have inherited inherit the sweetest, most musical voices , and if you have not heard a Negro quartette or chorus after they have arranged the harmony of a piece they are to sing, you have not heard what is best and sweetest in vocal music.” Blind Tom and Blind Boone were examples of the instrumental musical qual abil ities of the Negro. “The Negro has given great America the only claim she ever did or ever will have to a National music,” which seems more likely to refer to spirituals than to ragtime or jazz.

Jesus had some Ethiopian blood and would be called a Negro in America. Jesus was b B orn out of the tribe of Judah and, he was therefore us a descendent of Canaan, the black son of Ham. Other black men in the Bible were are King David and Moses ‘ ‘ father-in-law, Jethro. Pharaoh’s daughter named Moses himself, the black woman who rescued him from the water, and raised by black Egyptians.

Chapter One is entitled “The Black Man.” It has often been falsely claimed that the Negro never had anything that he had not received from the white man , and modern writers have deliberately distorted and concealed evidence to the contrary. However, Nimrod founded Babylon and Menes was the first King of Egypt, and they were both descendants of Ham. There was a black Egyptian Queen, and Moses’ wife Zipporah was black. Webb passes via Hannibal, Alexandre Dumas, Toussant L’Overture [ sic ], Pouskin [ sic ], Crispus Octikus (i.e. Attucks) and Alexander Hamilton to modern times , where In more modern times war hero he cites Frederick Douglas s , Booker T. Washington and polar explorer Matt Henson were great black men , who accompanied Peary to the North Pole, and the heroism of black troops at El Caney and San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. Why do they receive so little attention? Because it would mean credit to black people.

Chapter Two bears the title “His First Home.” In the Psalms, David credited locates Ham with his homeland of Africa, and since the Bible is inerrant, this must be true. Of Ham’s four sons, Cush became the father of the Ethiopians, and his son Nimrod, Ham’s grand son, started civilization as the by founder of ing the Babylonian Kingdom on the Euphrates. Mizraim became the father of the Egyptians. Phut settled in North Africa, and Canaan became the father of the Canaanites in Palestine. The historian John Clark Ridpath claims admits that the Egyptians were the fathers of civilization, but that as Cushites they were no denies that they were either Semitic or Negroes. Why are such things said? T T he Bible contains facts only and leaves no room for probability; Webb reiterates the Biblical account of the descent of the Egyptians from Ham via Cush, and concludes that white historians who deny this are influenced by racial prejudice. Webb can prove that Ridpath is wrong. The According to theBiblical Gazette, the word “Egypt” comes derives from Mizraim and he, who was a son of Ham. Until Abraham’ visited Egypt in s time (1921 B.C .). the Egyptians were “a simon pure black race.” Later, intermarrying intermarriage with Shemitic migrants to Egypt “contaminated the pure Negro blood,” and which this explains why resulted in the Egyptians lost losing power the power of control in Egypt.

Chapter Three is called “His Rule in Egypt.” Webb asserts that the 18th Dynasty of Egypt marked the re turn of Egypt to black rule, and that all whites were expelled except the Jews, who were enslaved and made to do all the heavy labor. Consequently, the Egyptians had leisure for science, art and military expansion. We read in Exodus that the Jews were held in bondage in Egypt for 400 years after Abraham’s days. Moses, who was sent by God, asked for the release of the slaves. Merneptah is the pharaoh of the Exodus. Moses and Aaron performed miracles which allowed them to free the Jewish slaves Only because God chose to make mankind aware of his greater power was Moses able to free the slaves. This is when With the plagues of Egypt, the black man’s power began to decay and the white race began to rise, “2,500 years after the black man had worked out all the problems of civilization.”

Citing Revelation 13:11, “I beheld another beast coming out of the earth, and he had two horns, like a lamb’s, and he spoke as a dragon,” Webb interprets the beast as the United States of America and the two horns as “the two great political parties, that have done so much to corrupt this Government and misrule its people from their infancy to the present day.” The American government spoke “ spoke like the a dragon in Revelations when it allowed permitted slavery to exist.” Does it not say in despite the Constitution’s proclamation that all men were born free and equal?.

Although the black man is the father of civilization, the white man is now “at the helm, and the big I AM of the civilized world,” but they he too will have to make way for another race, probably for the yellow race. Most historians are prejudiced, and they do not give credit to the true account of man in the Bible Old Testament.

Jesus was saved in Egypt from Herod’s wrath by going to Egypt, “among black women and men, who were the founders of the tribe from which he sprang.”

At the appointed time Last Judgment, God will say to the black man heading the line: “Well done, thou good and faithful black servant, thou, My instrument, the Father of Civilization.”

The book is concluded by s with favorable comments on the Webb’s lecture tours of the writer by Bishop H.M. Turner , by a favorable review in and the Seattle Daily Times, by the and reprints of Dunbar’s poem “Colored Soldiers,” ”and by P. K a Isaka Seme’s oration“ The Regeneration of Africa” from 5 April 1906, delivered at Columbia University on 5 April 1906.It will be evident from the foregoing that various elements of Rev. Webb’s book are incorporated into both his recorded sermons, although as he himself admits, he found it hard to con dense his arguments in to the span of a 78-rpm disc.  

His data for the 8 January 1920 census show s that “James M. Webb.” was now residing at 1107 Yakima Avenue, Precinct 232, Seattle, Enumeration District 295, King County, Washington. He owned the property. He Webb was aged 42, and his occupation was given as “Minister, Church of God.” His birth state is given was Tennessee, as was his mother’s. The birthplace of h , and his father’s birthplace is given simply as “United States.”  James M. Webb’s wife was “Nannie F. Webb”, aged 34, and born in Tennessee. she (like Like the other female members of the household) she had no stated occupation. She had been born in Tennessee. Her father’s place of birth state is given as “United States.” but and her mother was born in ‘s as Virginia. Their children were Nannie T. Webb, aged 17, and Mary Ann, aged 9. The teenaged younger Nannie had been born in Montana to parents born in Tennessee, and Mary Ann was born in Washington State, to parents born in Tennessee. The final member of the household was James’  mother, Mary Ann Webb, a widow aged 61, widow. She had been born in Tennessee, but the birthplace of her parents is shown simply as “United States.” All The race of all five household members were shown is given as “Mulatto.”

In 1921 Webb joined the Marcus Garvey movement and became an active organizer, not only in Seattle, but also in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He gave lectures in Liberty Hall in NYC, made motion pictures of Garvey and Garveyite events, filmed Biblical pageants, and gave lectures in Liberty Hall, New York City, where on 22 October 1921 he showed the his films and his documentary material on Biblical history to the audience there on 22 October 1921. On 5 November of the same that year he preached on the topic “God is Waiting for the Gathering of Ethiopia” (Negro World, 5 November 1921). Webb asserted that Garvey was the “Moses of the Modern Age” in a lecture entitled “The Garvey Movement is Biblical”, and in the a pamphlet, “The Black Man Will Be the Coming Universal King” (Negro World , 29 July 1922).

On 6 September 1924 the Negro World, the official organ of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Rev. Webb published an ad in which Rev. Webb claiming claimed that Jesus, King Tut and King Solomon were Negroes by blood and that his book (price $1) would prove it ($1). (Tutankhamen’s grave tomb had been discovered by Howard Carter in 1922). A picture of Jesus as a colored man with woolly hair and a book proving the same also sold for one dollar. On 15 September 1924 the New York Times reported on a Webb address under the headline “Says a Black King Will Rule the World. ” In a 3 October 1925 ad in the Negro World for 3 October 1925, the reverend Reverend gave his address as, still giving his address as 1107 Yakima Avenue in Seattle, Washington. He, was now selling “four pictures in two forms:” No. 1 “Negro King Solomon” and “Colored Queen of Sheba.” No. 2 “The Negro King Tut and His Treasures.” ($1). Yet another advertisement, this time in the Chicago Defender and headed “Negro Universal King” asked purchasers to send the dollar bills ir money to Rev. James M. Webb, 3638 S. State Street, Chicago, Ill, care of Bailey’s Office.

The data for the 2 April 1930 census show s that “J.M. Webb” was still residing at 1107 Yakima Avenue, Block 5193, Seattle, Enumeration District 17-178, King County, Washington. He, and continuing to own e d the property, which was valued at $4,000.00. He was aged 45, having had married at age 23, and his occupation was ‘‘Clergyman, Evangelistic”. His birth state is given as Tennessee. The birthplace of both parents is given simply as “United States.” His J. M.’s wife was listed as “N. T. Webb.” [ sic ] aged 40, having married at 15, and her occupation was “Practical Nurse, Private family.” She had been born in Tennessee. Her father’s birth state is unknown, but her mother was born in Virginia. Their daughter, Mary, was aged 19, single, and her occupation working as a “Waitress, Café.” She was born in Washington State, to parents born in Tennessee. Only Mary’s age in 1930 is compatible with that given in 1920.

The following is a summary of the Polk’s Seattle city directories ‘ directory listings for this household (all middle initials [ sic ] ):

1930 Webb, Jas. M. Rev., evangelist h 1107 Yakima Ave.

Webb, Mary, wtrs. Mrs. Art Smith, h 1107 Yakima Ave.

1931 Webb, Nana L., nurse 1107 Yakima Ave., h. do 1107 Yakima Ave .

1932 Webb, Nannie M. Mrs., maid h 1107 Yakima Ave.

1933 Webb, Nana F. Mrs. maid h 1107 Yakima Ave.

1934 same as 1933.

1935 Webb, Nana F. (wid Jas. M) h 1107 Yakima Ave.

1936 same as 1935.

1937 Webb, Nana F., Mrs. h 1107 Yakima Ave.

1938, 1939 and 1940 same as 1937.

1941 No listing, and in the reverse street address listing for 1107 Yakima Ave. is listed shown as vacant.

The above information leads me to speculate is suggests that Rev. Webb left Seattle in the circa 1930/31 time period, but that his wife Nana remained in Seattle there. The use of “widow” where a divorce or separation had actually occurred is not unusual in the city directories for situations where a divorce is known to have occurred was not unusual.

The following A brief newspaper article from in the Seattle Times of 28 December 1940 is entitled reads:

“Rev. Webb to Speak at Negro Churches:” The Rev. James. M Webb, evangelist and former resident here who is remembered for his sermons in Seattle nearly thirty years ago, is a visitor in the city and plans to speak at Negro churches on “A Colored King is Coming to Stop All Wars.” Mr Webb believes the Bible makes reference to a “colored king” “coming to end war and has written a book on the subject.”

Rev. Webb’s visit to Seattle in 1940, a long with nd the absence of Mrs. Webb from the city directory in 1941 may makes me wonder if indicate that they were reunited, and that she left Seattle with him at that time. Alternatively, he may have returned to Seattle for her funeral.

The belief that the Ancient Egyptians were black is a persistent thread in African-American thought, stretching as far back as Frederick Douglass and continuing to be advanced today. Webb’s prophecy that “The Black Man Will Be the Coming Universal King” is part of the current of ideas that fed from Garveyism into Rastafarianism.

Overveen, The Netherlands, 1 May 2003.

Thanks to: Bob Eagle, Ahari El (Magribine Press), David Evans, Darlene E. Hamilton (Seattle Public Library), Chris Smith and Alex van der Tuuk.

For many people Webb’s prophesy that a black King would be crowned to rule the world was fulfilled when Ras (=Prince) Tafari Makonnen was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia on 2 November 1930. He laid down his civilian name and called himself “His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I (The Power of the Trinity), King of Kings, Lord of the Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God, Emperor of Ethiopia.” The Emperor saw himself as the 225th successor of David, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. On 21 April 1966 the Emperor visited Jamaica and founded the Ethiopian Orthodox Church there. After the Emperor’s death his Lion of Judah Ring was given to Bob Marley. It is unknown what happened to the ring after Marley ‘ s death. Rastafarianism has now spread the world and knows some 700.000 followers. They grow dreadlocks because they believe that these make them more similar to the Lion of Judah (based on Leviticus 21:5) and they smoke marijuana as a sacramental herb (Psalms 104:14). Their true foundation is the Black Man’s Bible, the Holy Piby, published in 1924, the same year in which Rev. Webb made his declaration.