Marcus Garvey was born on the 17th August 1887 in Jamaica and he is well known as a political activist, journalist and public speaker. He was born into a relatively well off family, working around the world including England, before returning to Jamaica. He became involved in trade unions and established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), in 1914. His ideology caused him to diverge from other black civil rights activists when he moved to the United States because of his Garveyist approach was one of separatism and he even worked with the KKK because of a shared interest in racial separatism.
Garvey established multiple businesses in an effort to deliver on his belief that African-Americans should not be financially reliant on a white-dominant economy. These included factories and newspapers, as well as becoming President of the Black Star Line in 1919. Following periods in jail and a lack of success, he moved to London in 1935.
Whilst Garvey received praise in Jamaica and influenced many subsequent movements including the National of Islam and Black Power, he also received critiscism for his prejudice against the jewish community, violent rhetoric and belief that he should have power over all of Africa in a single state.
1. The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.
2. If you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.
3. A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
4. Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden…
5. The pen is mightier than the sword, but the tongue is mightier than them both put together.
6. God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.
7. I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together.
8. Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.
9. We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, for though others may free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is our only ruler; sovereign.
10. Great principles, great ideals know no nationality.
11. To be once defeated is to find cause for an everlasting struggle to reach the top.
12. You at this time can only be destroyed by yourselves, from within and not from without. You have reached the point where the victory is to be won from within and can only be lost from within.
13. We were like crabs in a barrel, that none would allow the other to climb over, but on any such attempt all would continue to pull back into the barrel the one crab that would make the effort to climb out.
14. If I die in Atlanta my work shall then only begin, but I shall live, in the physical or spiritual, to see the day of Africa’s glory.
15. Men, there is much to live for, and there is much to die for. The man, the race of nation that is not prepared to risk life itself for the possession of an ideal, shall lose that ideal. If you, I repeat, must be free, you yourselves must strike the blow.
16. Do not remove the kinks from your hair – remove them from your brain.
17. To have built up a new organization, which was not purely political, among Negroes in America was a wonderful feat, for the Negro politician does not allow any other kind of organization within his race to thrive.
18. There is no strength but that which is destructive, because man has lost his virtues, and only respects force, which he himself cannot counteract.
19. The Negro will have to build his own industry, art, sciences, literature, and culture before the world will stop to consider him.
20. The race needs workers at this time, not plagiarists, sophists and mere imitators; but men and women who are able to create, to originate and improve, and thus make an independent racial contribution to the world and civilization.
21. Let no voice but your own speak to you from the depths. Let no influence but your own raise you in time of peace and time of war. Hear all, but attend only that which concerns you.
22. The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.
23. Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.
24. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind.
25. Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences.
26. You must not mistake lip-service and noise for bravery and service.
27. The protection against injustice in man is power – physical, financial and scientific.
28. Take advantage of every opportunity; where there is none, make it for yourself.
29. Therefore, remove yourself as far as possible from ignorance and seek as far as possible to be intelligent.
30. What you do today that is worthwhile, inspires others to act at some future time.
31. There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike the blow for liberty.
32. The whole world is run on bluff.
33. Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm.
34. Be as proud of your race today as our fathers were in the days of yore. We have beautiful history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world.
35. If the Negro is not careful he will drink in all the poison of modern civilization and die from the effects of it.
36. When all else fails to organize the people, conditions will.
37. Lose not courage, lose not faith, go forward.
38. We must give up the silly idea of folding our hands and waiting on God to do everything for us. If God had intended for that, then he would not have given us a mind. Whatever you want in life, you must make up your mind to do it for yourself.
39. Always try to associate with people from whom you can learn something. All the knowledge that you want is in the world, and all you have to do is go and seek it.
40. Ambition is the desire to go forward and improve one’s condition. It is a burning flame that lights up the life of the individual and makes him see himself in another state.
41. I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
42. There is no force like success, and that is why the individual makes all effort to surround himself throughout life with the evidence of it; as of the individual, so should it be of the nation.
43. Whipped. It annoys me to be defeated; hence to me, to be once defeated is to find cause for an everlasting struggle to reach the top.
44. God does not give people positions or jobs or good conditions such as they desire; they must do that for themselves. God does not build cities nor towns nor nations, nor homes, nor factories; men and people do that and all those who want must work for themselves and pray to God to give them strength to do it.
45. I trust that you will so live today as to realize that you are masters of your own destiny, masters of your fate; if there is anything you want in this world, it is for you to strike out with confidence and faith in self and reach for it.
46. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind.
47. Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life.
48. We were the first Fascists, when we had 100,000 disciplined men, and were training children, Mussolini was still an unknown. Mussolini copied our Fascism.
49. When the facts of history are written Haile Selassie of Abyssinia will go down as a great coward who ran away from his country to save his skin and left the millions of his countrymen to struggle through a terrible war that he brought upon them because of his political ignorance and his racial disloyalty.
50. Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will.
51. Africa for the Africans…at home and abroad!
52. Our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa.
53. A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.
54. I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together.
55. Progress is the attraction that moves humanity.
56. Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.
57. I like honesty and fair play.
58. Look to Africa, for there a king will be crowned.
59. You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying.
60. God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.