Marcus Garvey: African American Quotes

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Marcus Garvey

If the Negro is not careful he will drink in all the poison of modern civilization and die from the effects of it.
Marcus Garvey

How dare anyone tell us that Africa cannot be redeemed, when we have 400,000,000 men and women with warm blood coursing through their veins? The power that holds Africa is not Divine.
Marcus Garvey

Negroes should be more determined today than they have ever been, because the mighty forces of the world are operating against the non-organized groups of people, who are not ambitious enough to protect their own interests.
Marcus Garvey

We are men; we have souls, we have passions, we have feelings, we have hopes, we have desires, like any other race in the world. The cry is raised all over the world today 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 is unreasonable that we, the Blacks of the world, should raise the cry of Africa for the Africans?
Marcus Garvey

Let us in shaping our own Destiny set before us the qualities of human JUSTICE, LOVE, CHARITY, MERCY AND EQUITY. Upon such foundation let us build a race, and I feel that the God who is Divine, the Almighty Creator of the world, shall forever bless this race of ours, and who to tell that we shall not teach men the way to life, liberty and true human happiness?
Marcus Garvey

All peoples are struggling to blast a way through the industrial monopoly of races and nations, but the Negro as a whole has failed to grasp its true significance and seems to delight in filling only that place created for him by the white man.
Marcus Garvey

The Negro who lives on the patronage of philanthropists is the most dangerous member of our society, because he is willing to turn back the clock of progress when his benefactors ask him so to do.
Marcus Garvey

I am not opposed to the white race as charged by my enemies. I have no time to hate any one. All my time is devoted to the up-building and development of the Negro Race.
Marcus Garvey

The Negro has loved even under severest punishment. In slavery the Negro loved his master, he safe-guarded his home even when he further planned to enslave him. We are not a race of Haters, but Lovers of humanity’s Cause.
Marcus Garvey

All of us may not live to see the higher accomplishment of an African Empire?so strong and powerful, as to compel the respect of mankind, but we in our life-time can so work and act as to make the dream a possibility within another generation.
Marcus Garvey

No one knows when the hour of Africa’s Redemption cometh. It is in the wind. It is coming. One day, like a storm, it will be here. When that day comes all Africa will stand together.
Marcus Garvey

What do I care about death in the cause of the redemption of Africa?…I could die anywhere in the cause of liberty: A real man dies but once; a coward dies a thousand times before his real death. So we want you to realize that life is not worth its salt except you can live it for some purpose. And the noblest purpose for which to live is the emancipation of a race and the emancipation of posterity.
Marcus Garvey

Lagging behind in the van of civilization will not prove our higher abilities. Being subservient to the will and caprice of progressive races will not prove anything superior in us. Being satisfied to drink of the dregs from the cup of human progress will not demonstrate our fitness as a people to exist alongside of others, but when of our own initiative we strike out to build industries, governments, and ultimately empires, then and only then will we as a race prove to our Creator and to man in general that we are fit to survive and capable of shaping our own destiny.
Marcus Garvey

For us to examine ourselves thoroughly as a people we will find that we have more traitors than leaders, because nearly everyone who essays to lead the race at this time does so by first establishing himself as the pet of some philanthropist of another race, to whom he will go and debase his race in the worst form, humiliate his own manhood, and thereby win the sympathy of the ?great benefactor?, who will dictate to him what he should do in leadership of the Negro race? These leaders tell us how good Mr. So and So is, how many good friends we have in the opposite race, and that if we leave everything to them all will work out well.
Marcus Garvey

Not all black men are willing to commit race suicide and to abhor their race for the companionship of another. There are hundreds of millions of us black men who are proud of our skins, and to us the African Empire will not be a Utopia, neither will it be dangerous, nor fail to serve our best interests, because we realize that, like the leopard, we cannot change our skins, and so long as black is black, and white is white, the black man shall occupy a position of inferiority depending upon the justice of the great white race to lead and direct him. No race in the world is so just as to give to others a square deal in things economical, political, social and otherwise.
Marcus Garvey

The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.
Marcus Garvey

I read ?Up From Slavery? and then my dream — if I may so call it — of being a race leader dawned.
Marcus Garvey

Wake up Ethiopia! Wake up Africa! Let us work towards the one glorious end of a free, redeemed and mighty nation. Let Africa be a bright star among the constellation of nations.
Marcus Garvey

Wake up AFRIKA! let us work towards the one glorious end of a free, redeemed and mighty nation. Let AFRIKA be a bright star among the constellation of nations.
Marcus Garvey

Every man has a right to his own opinion. Every race has a right to its own action; therefore let no man persuade you against your will, let no other race influence you against your own.
Marcus Garvey

That we suffer so much today under whatsoever flag we live is proof positive that constitutions and laws, when framed by the early advocates of human liberty, never included and were never intended for us as a people. It is only a question of sheer accident that we happen to be fellow citizens today with the descendants of those who, through their advocacy, laid the foundation for human rights.
Marcus Garvey

The white man has succeeded in subduing the world by forcing everybody to think his way. The white man?s propaganda has made him the master of the world. And those who have come in contact with it and accepted it have become his slaves.
Marcus Garvey

They subjugate first, if the weaker peoples will stand for it; then exploit, and if they will not stand for SUBJUGATION nor EXPLOITATION, the other recourse is EXTERMINATION.
Marcus Garvey

There can be no peace among men and nations, so long as the strong continues to oppress the weak, so long as injustice is done to other peoples, just so long we will have cause for war, and make a lasting peace an impossibility.
Marcus Garvey

Present day statesmen are making the biggest blunder of the age if they believe that there can be any peace without equity and justice to all mankind. Any attempt at disarmament when half the world oppresses the other half is but a farce, because the oppressed will make their oppressors get armed sooner or later.
Marcus Garvey

A happy but miserable state in which man finds himself from time to time; sometimes he believes he is happy by loving, then suddenly he finds how miserable he is. It is all joy, it sweetens life, but it does not last. It comes and goes, but when it is active, there is no greater virtue, because it makes one supremely happy.
Marcus Garvey

We have a beautiful history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world.
Marcus Garvey

History teaches us no race, no people, no nation has ever been freed through cowardice, through cringing, through bowing and scraping, but all that has been achieved to the glory of mankind, to the glory and honour of races and nations was through the manly determination and effort of those who lead and those who are led.
Marcus Garvey

History is the land-mark by which we are directed into the true course of life.
Marcus Garvey

The history of a movement, the history of a nation, the history of a race is the guide-post of that movement’s destiny, that nation’s destiny, that race’s destiny.
Marcus Garvey

At no time within the last five-hundred years can one point to a single instance of the Negro as a race of haters.
Marcus Garvey

We are moving from one state of organization to another, and we shall continue until we have thoroughly lifted ourselves in the organization of GOVERNMENT.
Marcus Garvey

The world does not count races and nations that have nothing.
Marcus Garvey

Point me to a weak nation and I will show you a people oppressed, abused, taken advantage of by others. Show me a weak race and I will show you a people reduced to serfdom, peonage and slavery. Show me a well organized nation, and I will show you a people and a nation respected by the world.
Marcus Garvey

Nationhood is the highest ideal of all peoples.
Marcus Garvey

Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life.
Marcus Garvey

She makes one happy, then miserable. You are to her kind, then unkind. Constant yet inconstant. Thus we have WOMAN. No real man can do without her.
Marcus Garvey

DEATH is the end of all life in the individual or the thing; if physical, the crumbling of the body into dust from whence it came. He who lives not uprightly, dies completely in the crumbling of the physical body, but he who lives well, transforms himself from that which is mortal, to immortal.
Marcus Garvey

LIFE is that existence that is given to man to live for a purpose, to live to his own satisfaction and pleasure, providing he forgets not the God who created him and who expects a spiritual obedience and observation of the moral laws that He has inspired.
Marcus Garvey

Fear is a state of nervousness fit for children and not men. When man fears a creature like himself he offends God, in whose image and likeness he is created. Man being created equal tearsr not man but God. To fear is to lose control of ones nervees, ones will, to flutter, like a dying fowl, losing consciousness, yes, alive.
Marcus Garvey

To be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself.
Marcus Garvey

A form of religion practiced by the millions, but as misunderstood, and unreal to the majority as gravitation is to the untutored savage. We profess to live in the atmosphere of Christianity, yet our acts are as barbarous as if we never knew Christ. He taught us to love, yet we hate; to forgive, yet we revenge; to be merciful, yet we condemn and punish, and still we are Christians. If hell is what we are taught it is, then there will be more Christians there than days in all creation. To be a true Christian one must be like Christ and practice Christianity, not as the Bishop does, but as he says, for if our lives were to be patterned after the other fellow’s all of us, Bishop, Priest and Layman would ultimately meet around the furnace of hell, and none of us, because of our sins, would see salvation.
Marcus Garvey

No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers.
Marcus Garvey

Before we can properly help the people, we have to destroy the old education… that teaches them that somebody is keeping them back and that God has forgotten them and that they can’t rise because of their color.. we can only build… with faith in ourselves and with self-reliance, believing in our own possibilities, that we can rise to the highest in God’s creation.
Marcus Garvey

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.
Marcus Garvey

God Almighty created each and every one of use for a place in the world, and for the least of us to think that we were created only to be what we are and not what we can make ourselves, is to impute an improper motive to the Creator for creating is.
Marcus Garvey

If the white man has the idea of a white God, let him worship his God as he desires. If the yellow man’s God is of his race let him worship his God as he sees fit. We, as Negroes, have found a new ideal. Whilst our God has no color, yet it is human to see everything through one’s own spectacles, and since the white people have seen their God through white spectacles, we only now started out (late though it be) to see our God through our own spectacles. The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. We Negroes believe in the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God – God the Father, God the Son and 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.
Marcus Garvey

It is only the belief and the confidence we have in a God why man is able to understand his own social institutions, and move and live like a rational human being.
Marcus Garvey

Take away the highest ideal — FAITH and CONFIDENCE IN A GOD — and mankind at large is reduced to savagery and the race is destroyed.
Marcus Garvey

RELIGION is one’s opinion and belief in some ethical truth. To be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself. No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers.
Marcus Garvey

Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.
Marcus Garvey

Let it be your constant method to look into the design of people’s actions, and see what they would be at, as often as it is practicable; and to make this custom the more significant, practice it first upon yourself.
Marcus Garvey

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. To ambitious is to be great in mind and soul. To want that which is worth while and strive for it. To go on without looking back, reaching to that which gives satisfaction.
Marcus Garvey

There is a great deal of work to do and it calls for sacrifice and determination on the part of those who are leading, and if men believe that money should be the only consideration for leadership, then there can be no successful achievement.
Marcus Garvey

The power that holds Africa is human, and it is recognized that whatsoever man has done, man can do.
Marcus Garvey

Let us prepare TODAY. For the TOMORROWS in the lives of the nations will be so eventful that Negroes everywhere will be called upon to play their part in the survival of the fittest human group.
Marcus Garvey

Progress is the attraction that moves humanity.
Marcus Garvey

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.
Marcus Garvey

A man’s bread and butter is only insured when he works for it.
Marcus Garvey

CHANCE has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

So many of us find excuses to get out of the Negro Race, because we are led to believe that the race is unworthy?that it has not accomplished anything. Cowards that we are! It is we who are unworthy, because we are not contributing to the uplift and upbuilding of this noble race.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

There is always a turning point in the destiny of every race, every nation, of all peoples, and we have come now to the turning point of Negro, where we have changed from the old cringing weakling, and transformed into full-grown men, demanding our portion as MEN.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Let Africa be our guiding Star?OUR STAR OF DESTINY.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

A race without authority and power, is a race without respect.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

The world ought to know that it could not keep 400,000,000 Negroes down forever.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

The evolutionary scale that weights nations and races, balances alike for peoples; hence we feel sure that some day the balance will register a change for the Negro.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

EDUCATION is the medium by which a people are prepared for the creation of their own particular civilization, and the advancement and glory of their own race.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

The masses make the nation and the race. If the masses are illiterate, that is the judgment passed on the race by those who are critical of its existence.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province until Africa is free.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Every student of Political Science, every student of Economics knows, that the race can only be saved through a solid industrial foundation. That the race can only be saved through political independence. Take away industry from a race; take away political freedom from a race, and you have a group of slaves.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

For over three hundred years the white man has been our oppressor, and he naturally is not going to liberate us to the higher freedom?the truer liberty?the truer Democracy. We have to liberate ourselves.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Action, self-reliance, the vision of self and the future have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realised the light of their own freedom.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Be as proud of your race today as our fathers were in days of yore. We have beautiful history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

The whole world is run on bluff.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

What you do to-day that is worthwhile, inspires others to act at some future time.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

There is nothing in the world common to man, that man cannot do.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

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 even into eternity.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

LEADERSHIP mean everything?PAIN, BLOOD, DEATH.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

LEADERSHIP mean everything?PAIN, BLOOD, DEATH.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

The only protection against INJUSTICE in man is POWER?Physical, financial and scientific.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Any sane man, race or nation that desires freedom must first of all think in terms of blood. Why even the Heavenly Father tells us that “without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins.” Then how in the name of God, with history before us, do we expect to redeem Africa without preparing ourselves?some of us to die.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Slavery is a condition imposed upon individuals or races not sufficiently able to protect or defend themselves, and so long as a race or people expose themselves to the danger of being weak, no one can tell when they will be reduced to slavery.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey

The political readjustment of the world means that those who are not sufficiently able, not sufficiently prepared, will be at the mercy of the organized classes for another one or two hundred years.
Marcus Garvey, The Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey

Before you have a government, you must have the people. Without the people there can be no government. The government must be, therefore, an expression of the will of the people.
Marcus Garvey, Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey

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.

Read more: Marcus Garvey

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