Click on image to heat audio of the Honorable Marcus Garvey
A Partial Recording and Transcript of a Speech Delivered (speculation) in Harlem, New York circa 1924
...and protect the integrity of the Black millions and suffer! I decided to do the latter.
There is no future for a people who deny their past. My foreparents, my grandparents, my mother, my father, did not suffer and die to give me an education to slight, oppress or discourage my people.
Because whatsoever education I acquired out of their sacrifice of over 300 years, I shall use for the salvation of the 400 million Black people of the world. And the DAY when I forsake my people, may God almighty say there shall be no more life for you!
I unequivocally rejected the racist assumption of much white American Christianity. Namely, that God had created the Black man inferior, and that he'd intended Negroes to be a servant class, heavers of wood and drawers of water. Well, I predicated my view of man on the Doctrine of Imago Dei, "All men, regardless of color, are created in the image of God".
Now, from this premise comes the equality of all men and brotherhood of all men. The Biblical injunction of Acts 17:26 reminds us that he created, of one blood, all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and is most interested in brotherhood within his own race. Because if Negroes are created in God's image, and Negroes are Black, then God must, in some sense, be Black!
If the white man has the idea of a white God, let him worship his God as he desires. We have found a new ideal. Because once our God has no color, and yet it is human to see everything through ones own spectacles, and since the white people have seen their God through their white spectacles, we have only now started to see our God through our own spectacles.
But we believe in the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God, God the father, God the son, God the holy ghost, the one God of all ages. That is the God in whom we believe, but we shall worship him through the spectacles of Ethiopia.
For two hundred and fifty years we have struggled under the burden and rigors of slavery. We were maimed, we were brutalized, we were ravaged in every way. We are men. We have hopes, we have passions, we have feelings, we have desires, just like any other race.
The cry is raised all over the world of Canada for the Canadians, of America for the Americans, of England for the English, of France for the French, of Germany for the Germans. Do you think it unreasonable that we, the Blacks of the world, should raise a cry of Africa for the Africans?
The Negro is a MAN. We represent the New Negro. His back is not yet against the wall. We do not want his back against the wall, because that would be a peculiar and desperate position. We do not want him there. It is because of this that we are asking for fair compromise.
Well, the Belgians have control over the Belgian Congo which they cannot use. They have not the resources to develop, nor the intelligence. The French have more territory than they can develop. There's certain parts of Africa in which you cannot live at all, so it is for YOU to come together and give us a United States of Africa.
We are not going to be a race without a country. God never intended it, and we are not going to abuse God's confidence in us as men. We are men, human beings, capable of the same acts as any other race, possessing under fair circumstances, the same INTELLIGENCE as any other race.
Now, Africa's been sleeping, not dead, only sleeping. Today, Africa's walking around not only on her feet, but on her brains.
You can enslave, as was done for 300 years, the bodies of men. You can shackle the hands of men. You can shackle the feet of men. You can imprison the bodies of men. BUT YOU CANNOT SHACKLE OR IMPRISON THE MINDS OF MEN!
Dive down Black men and dig. Reach up Black men and women, and pull all nature's knowledge to you. Turn ye around and make a conquest of everything North and South, East and West. And then when you have wrought well, you will have merited God's blessing, you will have become God's chosen people, and naturally you will become leaders of the world.
And as you bow down to white man today, so will other races bow down to you and call you a race of masters, because of the superiority of your mind and your achievements.
Because, no race has the last word on culture and on civilization. They do not know what we are capable of. They do not know what we are thinking. They are thinking in terms of dreadnoughts, battleships, airplanes, submarines. You know what we're thinking about?... That is our own private business.
So give us credit for being able to use our minds. And with people becoming conscious of themselves, determined to use their minds, you do not know to what extent they can go. Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.
We love the white race, not for social fellowship, but for the common brotherhood that God intended we should live. What satisfaction can anyone get in being happy and see his brother wallowing in filth, dirt and disease? How can you be happy living in luxury and your brother's living in disease, and then when you try to help the one out of the disease, the subtle culprit talks about disloyalty?
Black men at Carthage, Black men of Ethiopia, of Timbuktu, of Alexandria, gave the likes of civilization to this world. Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God, and Princes shall come out of Egypt.
Those classes, nations, races, have been quite quiet for over four centuries... who have merely born abuse, insult, humiliation,... whose forbearance can only be compared to the Prophet Job as likewise lifted his bowed head and raised it up to God's skies, and likewise cried out, "I am a man and demand a man's chance, and a man's treatment in this world!"
As I shall teach the Black man... I shall teach the Black man to see beauty in his own kind and stop bleaching his skin and otherwise looking like what he's not!
Back in the days of slavery, race mixture and race miscegenation had occurred BECAUSE THE AFRICAN WOMAN HAD NO PROTECTION FROM THE SLAVEMASTER. Therefore there is no need today for Black people to themselves freely continue a PRACTICE that SMACKS so much of slavery.
Our critics say that the race problem will be solved through higher education, through better education, then Black and white will come together. That day will never happen until Africa is redeemed. Because if those who, like W.E.B. du Bois, believe that the race problem will be solved in America through higher education, they will walk between now and eternity and never see the problem solved.
God made man lord of his creation, gave him possession and ownership of the world. And you have been so darned lazy, that you've allowed the other fellow to run away with the whole world, and now he's bluffing you and telling you that the world belongs to him and that you have no part in it!
I don't have to apologize to anybody for being Black, because God Almighty knew exactly what he was doing when he made me Black!
If Black people knew their glorious past, then they would be MORE inclined to respect themselves.
Yes. You heard of Johnnie Walker Red, and Black? Well, he had his adversities, but he's "still going strong".
Well, I intend with your help and God's grace to continue, because my work has only just begun. And future generations shall have in their hands the guide by which they shall know the sins of the 20th century. I know, and I know you too believe in time, where we shall wait patiently for 200 years if need be, to face our enemies through our posterity. When my enemies are satisfied... In life I shall come back, or in death even to serve you as I served before. In life I shall be the same, in death I shall be a TERROR to foes of African liberty.
If death has power, then count on me to be the real Marcus Garvey I would like to be!
If I may come in an earthquake or a plague or a pestilence, or if God would help me, then be assured that I shall NEVER desert you and make your enemies triumph over you!
Will I not go to hell a million times for you?
If I should die in Atlanta, my work will only just then begin. For I shall live in the physical or the spiritual to see the day of Africa's Glory.
When I am dead, wrap the mantle of the red, the black and the green around me, for in the new life I shall RISE UP with God's grace and blessings to lead the millions of the heights in the triumph, that you well know!
Look for me in a whirlwind or a storm! Look for me all around you! For with God's grace, I shall come back with countless millions of Black men and women who have died in America, those who have died in the West Indies, and those who have died in Africa, to aid you in the fight for liberty, freedom and life!
Any leadership that teaches you to depend upon another race is a leadership that will enslave you.
Any leadership that teaches you to depend upon another race is a leadership that will enslave you.
They gave leadership to our foreparents and that leadership made them slaves.
But we have decided to find a leadership of our own... to make ourselves free men. Our great scholars have advanced through the colleges and universities, have thrown away the blackened record.
Babylon did it.
France under Napoleon did it.
Germany under Prince Von Bismarck did it.
America under George Washington did it.
AFRICA WITH 400 MILLION BLACK PEOPLE CAN DO IT.
If you cannot do it, if you are not prepared to do it, then you will DIE!
You race of cowards!
You race of imbeciles!
You race of good for nothings!
If you cannot do what other men have done, what other nations have done, what other races have done, THEN YOU HAD BETTER DIE!
Can we do it?
We can do it?
We shall do it.
We'll pray to God for vision and for leadership. And he has given us a universal vision... a vision that will not limit our possibilities to America,... a vision that will not limit our possibilities to the West Indies,.. but a vision that says there must be a free and redeemed Africa.
Christ the crucified.
Christ the despised.
We appeal to you to help, for succor, for leadership.
When you endeavored to carry your burden up the heights of Calvary...
When white men spurned you,...
when white men scorned you,...
when white men spat upon you,...
when white men pierced your side...
out of which blood and water gushed forth, it was a BLACK MAN, in the name of Simon the Cyrenian, who took your cross and bore it up the heights of Calvary.
And now that we are bearing our burden as being so heavy, we just ask that you just help us on up the heights.
Oh yes, the cause is grand, the cause is glory. Surely will shall not turn back. Oh sail on! Sail on! Sail on! Oh Mighty Ship of State, "Sail on!". Sail on until the flag of the red, the black and the green is perched upon the hilltops of Africa.
Because the time has come for the Black man to forget his hero worship of other races, and to create and emulate heroes of his own. We must canonize our own Saints, create our own Martyrs, and elevate to positions of fame and honor Black men and women who have made their distinct contributions to our racial history.
Sojourner Truth is worthy of a place of sainthood alongside of Joan of Arc. Crispus Attucks and George William Gordon are entitled to the halo of martyrdom with no less glory than the Martyrs of any other race. Toussaint L'Ouverture's brilliancy as a soldier or a statesman outshine that of any other people, hence, he's entitled to the highest place as a hero among men.
Because Africa's created millions and countless millions of Black men and women, in war and peace, whose luster and bravery outshine that of any other people. So why not see good and perfection in ourselves?
We must inspire a literature and promulgate a doctrine of our own without ANY APOLOGIES to the powers that be. That right is ours from God. Let sentiments and cross opinions go to the winds. We are entitled to our own opinion, and are not obligated to or bound by the opinions of others.
If others laugh at you, return the laughter to them. If they mimic you, return the compliment with equal force. Because they have no more right to dishonor, discredit you in manhood than you have in dealing with them. Honor them when they honor you. Disrespect and disregard them when they vilely treat you.
Their arrogance is but skin deep... an assumption that has no foundation in morals or in law.
They have sprung from the same family tree of obscurity as we have. Their history is as rude in its primitiveness as ours. Their ancestors were running wild and living in trees of branches like monkeys, as ours. They made human sacrifices, ate the flesh of their own dead and wild meat from beasts for centuries, even as they have accused us of doing. Their cannibalism is more prolonged than ours.
When we were embracing the banks of the Nile, they were still drinking blood out of the skulls of their conquered dead. After our civilization had reached a new day of progress, they were still living in holes with bats, rats and other insects and animals. After we had already unfathomed the mystery of the stars and reduced the heavenly constellations to minute and regular calculus, they were still backwoodsmen, living in ignorance and in blatant darkness.
The world is indebted to us for the benefits of civilization. They stole our arts and sciences from Africa. Then why should we be ashamed of ourselves?
Their modern improvements (are but duplicates of a grander civilization that we reflected thousands of years ago, without the advantage of what is buried and still hidden), to be reflected and resurrected by our generation and our posterity.
Why should we be discouraged if somebody laughs at us today? Who is to tell what tomorrow will bring forth? Did they not laugh at Christ, Moses, Muhammad? Was there not a Carthage, Greece and Rome? So we see and have changes every day, so pray, work, be steadfast and be not dismayed.
Because as the Jew is held together by his religion, the white race is, by the assumption and the unwritten law of superiority, the Mongolian by the precious tie of blood, likewise the Black man must unite in one grand racial hierarchy. Our union must know no clime, no nationality. But let us all hold together in every country, in every clime, making a racial empire upon which the sun shall never set.
Let no voice but your own speak to you from the depths. Let no influence but your own rouse you in time of peace and time of war. Hear all, but attend only to that which concerns you. Your allegiance shall be to your God, your race, your country.
Remember that the Jew in his political and economic urge is always first a Jew. The white man is first a white man under ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. So you can do no less, BE BLACK, BUY BLACK, THINK BLACK, AND ALL ELSE WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF!
Let no one inoculate you with evil doctrines to suit his own conveniences. Charity begins at home. So first to thyself be true, and thou canst not then be false to no man.
Because God and Nature first made us what we are, and out of our own creative genius, we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let God and the sky be our limit, and eternity our measurement.
There is no height to which you cannot climb without the active intelligence of your own mind. Mind creates, and as much as we desire in nature, we can have through the creation of our own minds. And today being scientifically the weaker race, you shall treat others only as they treat you.
But in your homes and everywhere possible you must teach the higher development of science to your children, and make sure... and make sure that we have a race of scientists par excellence. For in religion and science lies our only hope to withstand the evil designs of modern materialism.
Never forget your God. Remember that we live, work, and pray for a binding racial hierarchy, whose only natural, spiritual and political limits shall be God and Africa, at home and abroad.
With one... With God's dearest blessings, I leave you for a while. ONE LOVE.