In the Ethiopian language of Amharic, Haile Selassie means might or power of the Holy Trinity. It is also the last full name taken (given at birth) by His Imperial Majesty, Negus (King), Ras Tafari Makonnen upon taking the crown of Ethiopia on November 2, 1930. Haile Selassie I, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, would come to be the last ruling Emperor of Ethiopia standing at the end of an ancestry dating back some 3,000 years to the time of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
In Selassie’s time of rule he knew only 5 years of peace in some 45 years of leadership. He helped to advance Ethiopia into the modern age as well as fought to remain the only free country in Colonial Africa. Throughout his life Selassie was a strong activist for freedom and equality. Two historical speeches, one in 1933 to the then League of Nations in which Selassie warns the western world about the dangers of Mussolini and Hitler (8 years before the US would enter WW2,) and the other in 1968 addressing the United Nations from the United States (Northern California,) would come to embody his dedication to justice. The words of his UN address are now sung throughout the world in Bob Marley’s militant song “War” and His Imperial Majesty’s image has become a symbol of the highest principles of man.