It's not surprising that a Caribbean spiritual philosophy espousing peace, unity and love -- whose charismatic spokesmen delivered its message via a mesmerizing music, fueled by as much ganga as their lungs could hold -- found so many devotees in a mid-70s America that was still recovering from the divisive Vietnam War and race riots. This was also an America that was embracing gentle Easternisms and toking up with more and more frequency.
Even with the belief that Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was something akin to the Second Coming, Jamaica's Rastafarianism and reggae music spoke to millions of Americans, including a white guy from Riverdale, New York, with a trust fund and a camera. Thirty years ago he became one of its most unlikely missionaries.
Here is a good article about the project:
Reggae's Redemptive Songs
And, if you like Jamaican music, you should definitely check this site out. There is lots of great music to be had through this one:
Distinctly Jamaican Sounds