The Holy Piby: The holy text of the Rastafari

The true foundation of Rastafari is the Holy Piby, the "Black Man's Bible," compiled by Robert Athlyi Rogers of Anguilla from 1913 to 1917. It was published, not coincidentally, in the same year Rev. Webb made his declaration-1924. A Barbadian minister named Rev. Charles F. Goodridge came upon the secret Bible in Colon, Panama.

But at the same time large quantities were being printed in Newark, New Jersey, by other believers, and from there, copies of the Piby were shipped to Kimberly, South Africa, where missionaries of black supremacy started a church for the diamond-field workers called the Afro-Athlican Constructive Church (AACC). Through these proselytizing efforts, Goodridge became associated with a woman named Grace Jenkins Garrison, and together they brought the doctrine of the Holy Piby to Jamaica in 1925, founding a branch of the AACC under the name the Hamatic Church.

Meeting immediately with much persecution from the Fundamentalist, Revivalist and more conventional Christian church leaders for their adherence to the occult Bible, Goodridge and Garrison fled into the bush country of the parish of St. Thomas, in Eastern Jamaica, and it was there that the seeds of Rastafarianism were implanted. Early Rasta leaders like Leonard P. Howell gravitated to the forbidden encampments to read the Holy Piby-purportedly the closest thing to the first Bible, which was said to have been written in Amharic (for centuries the official language of Ethiopia, and allegedly the original language of mankind).

Goodridge and Garrison maintained that under the early popes white church scholars distorted the Amharic Bible in the translating and editing process to make God and His prophets Caucasian instead of black. Among the chapters in the Piby was one called "The Black Man's Map of Life," which spelled out his difficult but ultimately glorious destiny from Creation to Armageddon and beyond.