Today, the 17th day of August is the anniversary of the birth of The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. In honor of this great man’s birth and his contribution to the world, I decided to do another Garvey post. This post will be my third on Marcus Garvey following on Marcus Garvey: Look For Me In The Whirlwind and The Emperor and The Prophet: The Strange Relationship between Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie. There is no shortage of inspirational and powerful quotes and speeches by Garvey, after all, he was among other things a master orator. These are my favorite Marcus Garvey quotes:
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 fears not man but God. To fear is to lose control of one’s nerves; one’s will, to flutter, like a dying fowl, losing consciousness, yet alive.
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.
We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. 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.
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.
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.
The whole world is run on bluff. No race, no nation, no man has any divine right to take advantage of others. Why allow the other fellow to bluff you?
Never forget that intelligence rules the world and ignorance carries the burden. Therefore, remove yourself as far as possible from ignorance and seek as far as possible to be intelligent.
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.
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.
Lift up yourselves, men, take yourselves out of the mire and hitch your hopes to the very stars themselves. Let no man pull you down, let no man destroy your ambition, because man is but your companion, your equal; man is your brother; he is not your Lord, he is not your sovereign master.
The greatest weapon used against the Negro is disorganization.
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.
A People without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.
If the Negro is not careful, he will drink in all the poison of modem civilization and die from the effects of it.
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 will we have cause for war, and make a lasting peace an impossibility.
Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life.
We are living in a civilization that is highly developed. We are living in a world that is scientifically arranged in which everything done by those who control is done through system; proper arrangement, proper organization, and among some of the organized methods used to control the world is the thing known and called “propaganda.”
We of the Negro race are suffering more than any other race in the world from propaganda — Propaganda to destroy our hopes, our ambitions and our confidence in self.
This propaganda of disassociating Western Negroes from Africa is not a new one. For many years white propagandists have been printing tons of literature to impress scattered Ethiopia, especially that portion within their civilization, with the idea that Africa is a despised place, inhabited by savages, and cannibals, where no civilized human being should go, especially black civilized human beings. This propaganda is promulgated for the cause that is being realized today. That cause is colonial expansion for the white nations of the world.
Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do.
What the night is to the day, is woman to man. The period of change that brings us light out of darkness, darkness out of light, and semi-light out of darkness are like the changes we find in woman day by day. 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.
Government is not infallible. Government is only an executive control, a centralized authority for the purpose of expressing the will of the people. 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.
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.
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 have 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 let Him exist for the race that believes in 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.
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.
Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life.