Ras Robert Hinds


Marcus Garvey, considered a prophet by some citizen of the RasTafari Nation, had already formed in 1916 the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association). In 1929 it was alleged the he prophesied that redemption would come when a Black King, descending from the lineage of David, would be crowned. The fact is that is was Rev. James Morris Webb made the prophecy in 1920. This prophecy was confirmed when on November 2nd 1930 Negus Tafari was crowned King of Ethiopia, and chose his baptismal name of Haile Sellassie 1st. With the enthronement of Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st the RasTafari Nation was inaugurated. Soon after the enthronement Leonard Howell, Joseph Hibbert, Archibald Dunkley, Robert Hinds and other members of the UNIA, decided to follow Emperor Haile Sellassie as his disciples, and established the RasTafari.

After the RasTafari Nation had started in the early1930s, Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st created in 1937 the Ethiopian World Federation (E.W.F.) and in 1938 opened a branch in Jamaica giving a considerable impulse to the movement. By 1940 Howell had established the first Rasta community at Pinnacle, Jamaica. In 1954 this community was dismembered by the police, which, in fact contributed to the dissemination of RasTafari ideas.

On October 31, 1933, Elder W. E. Barclay wrote to the Jamaican authorities, complaining, “The Ras Tafari gang are defying British law by proclaiming their kingdom is in Africa … They are collecting funds from people and promising free transportation to Africa …. [Hinds & Howell] denounces minister’s, myself included, and has the audacity to call us thieves and vagabonds at his open meeting”. This action magnified the disdain foo the Ras Tafari Nation. Add to this the fact that Howell and Hinds’ assembled masses began meetings with a rousing rendition of the British National Anthem, only to insist that it was Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st and George V whom they should have in mind when reciting the line “God Save the King”

Ras Hinds and Ras Howell were put on trial for sedition. Both were found guilty. Hinds was sentenced to one year and Howell to two years. The Ras Tafari Nation thus had its first martyrs.