Haile Selassie (1892-1975) was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 until 1974. He was born Tafari Makonnen in the city of Harar in Ethiopia, and became involved in politics at a young age. He rose to power in 1930 following the death of his predecessor, and was instrumental in modernizing Ethiopia and making it a member of the League of Nations.
Haile Selassie was also a prominent figure in the Pan-African movement, advocating for African unity and independence. He collaborated with the likes of Nigeria’s Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Egypt’s Gamal Abdul Nasser, and Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, and among others in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, which later became the African Union.
The African emperor was deposed in a coup in 1974 and placed under house arrest until his death in 1975. He is revered by followers of the Rastafari movement, who believe he is the messiah and call him “Jah” or “Rastafari.”