Dr. King and the Ethiopia Connection


Happy Birthday Dr. King!

January 19, 2014

 

Ethiopian embassy invitation  to Dr. King.  Image courtesy of the King Center.

Ethiopian embassy invitation to Dr. King. Image courtesy of the King Center.

 

Ethiopia was front and center in the fight against racial inequality and colonial rule in the 21st century.

Emperor Menelik’s unprecedented victory against Italian forces in Adwa was an inspiration to black people and to all people under colonial rule. ¬†The victory at Adwa inspired the formation of the African National Congress in South Africa and the Garvey Movement in the Americas. ¬†Similarly, Emperor Haile Sellassie’s prophetic speech at the League of Nations and his subsequent victory against Italian fascists inspired a generation of freedom fighters and the formation of the Pan Africanist Movement.

His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I felt Ethiopia had the solemn obligation to support and encourage leaders such as Mandela and Dr. King who later became paragons of black freedom. Haile Sellassie supported freedom fighters even when it was not popular to do so.

His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I laying wreath at the tomb of Dr. King.  Photo courtesy of private collector, New York

His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I laying wreath at the tomb of Dr. King. Photo courtesy of private collector, New York

 

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