Mural of Haile Selassie
Location: 5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
The walls of Meaza Restaurant in Falls Church contain murals of Ethiopia rulers including Emperor Haile Selassie.
“Haile Selassie (1892-1975) was the last emperor of Ethiopia. His death ended a long line of emperor and empresses going back centuries. He brought his country into the mainstream of African politics in the modern period…. As the best-known African in the world during the twentieth century because of his heroic stand against Italian facism, Haile Selassie became a symbol of freedom to African across the continent….” (Brockman, 198-201).
Colonel John Charles Robinson, a black American volunteered to help Ethiopia against fascist Italy’s invasion in 1935. When news reached Emperor Haile Selassie about Colonel Robinson’s desire to come to Ethiopia to fight the Italians, the Emperor officially invited him to Ethiopia. Robinson contributed by directly taking part in missions against the fascist forces, in training Ethiopian air force pilots, reconnaissance mission, and by transporting soldiers and supplies to the war front. Later Robinson was called the Father of the Tuskegee Airmen Tigraionline.com.
Selassie’s slow pace of change in the postwar period and mishandling of the 1973 drought which caused over 100,000 death angered many. His government was dismantled in 1974. In 1975, he was murdered by order of the Dergue military regime.
Photo credits: Africa Access