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What does earthstrong mean?

Updated June 13, 2017

Earthstrong is a slang term for birthday. It is common throughout Jamaica and occurs in other parts of the world due to the spread of Rasta and reggae culture. People often hold earthstrong celebrations for popular reggae musicians.

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Early History

Rastafari ideals developed within the slums of 1930s Jamaica. Marcus Garvey started the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Armed with the rallying prophesy, "Look to Africa where a black king shall be crowned, he shall be your redeemer," interest began to spread and a movement was born.

Rasta Gets Named

The prophecy was followed by the crowing of Etheopian king Ras Tafari Makonnen. Though he changed his name to Emperor Haile Selassie, the religion's followers were forever after referred to as Rastafarians. Selassie reunited Rasta believers worldwide under a belief that he is the Jah Rastafari, or Black Messiah.

Popular Culture

Reggae music of the 1960s spread Rasta beliefs and lingo to an international audience. The explosive popularity of Bob Marley, one of Rasta's most recognised figures, sparked an interest in the culture worldwide. With the mysterious disappearance of Haile Salassie in 1974, Rasta as a religion saw a decline, but its impact still permeates in world popular culture.

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About the Author

Jessica Brower is pursuing a B.A. in English and literature with The Evergreen State College. Writing since 1999, she has been published in various community publications. Brower's essays were published in "Beyond Parallax," the literary journal of Centralia College, which she also co-edited.

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