Marcus Garvey, African Fundamentalism
By The Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey
The time has come for the Blackman to forget and cast behind him his hero worship and adoration of other races, and to start out immediately to create and emulate heroes of his own. We must canonize 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 sainthood alongside of Joan of Arc. Crispus Attuck and George William Gordon are entitled to the halo of martyrdom with no less glory than that of the martyrs of any other race. Jacques Deselines’ and Moshesh’s brilliancy as soldiers and statesmen outshone that of a Cromwell, Napoleon, or Washington: hence they are entitled to the highest place as heroes among men.
Africa has produced countless numbers of men and women, in war and in peace, whose lustre and bravery outshines that of any other people. Then 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. The right is the Blackman’s and Africa’s. Let contrary sentiments and cross opinions go to the winds. Oppositions to Race Independence is the weapon of the enemy to defeat the hopes of an unfortunate people.
We are entitled to our own opinions and 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. They have no more right to dishonor, disrespect or
disregard your feelings and manhood than you have in dealing with them. Honor them when they honor you; disregard them when they vilely treat you. Their arrogance is but skin deep and 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 ran wild and naked, lived in caves and in branches of trees like monkeys as ours; they made sacrifices, ate the flesh of their own dead and the raw meat of wild beasts for centuries even as they accuse us of doing. Their cannibalism was more prolonged than ours; when we were embracing the Arts and Sciences on the banks of the Nile, their ancestors were still drinking human blood and eating out of the skulls of their conquered dead.
When our civilization had reached the noon-day of progress, they were still running naked and sleeping in holes and caves with rats, bats, 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 blatant darkness.
The world today 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 resurrected and reintroduced by the intelligence of our generation and our posterity.
Why should we be discouraged because somebody laughs at us today? Who can tell what tomorrow will bring forth? Did they not laugh at Moses, Christ, and Mohammed? Was there not a CARTHAGE, GREECE and ROME? We see and have changes everyday; so plan, work, be steadfast and do not be dismayed. As the Jew is held together by his religion, the white races by the assumption and the unwritten law of superiority, and the Mongolian by the precious tie of blood; so likewise the Blackman must be UNITED in one grand RACIAL HIERARCHY. Our union must know no climate, boundary or
BLACK MEN THE WORLD OVER MUST PRACTICE ONE FAITH, THAT OF CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES, WITH: ONE CAUSE, ONE GOAL, ONE DESTINY.*
Let no religious scruples, no political machination divide us, but let us hold together under all climates and in every country; making among ourselves 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 Race, then to your family and your
Country. Remember always that the Jew in his political and economic urge is always first a Jew, the white is first a white man under all circumstances; and you can do no less than being first and always a Blackman; then all else will take care of itself. Let no one inoculate you with evil doctrines to suit their conveniences. There’s no humanity before that which starts with yourself, “CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.” First to thyself be true and thou canst not then be false to any man.
NATURE first made us what we are and then out of our own creative genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that GREAT LAW. Let the SKY be your limit, and Eternity our Measurement. There’s no height to which we cannot climb by using the active intelligence of our own mind. Mind creates, and as much as we desire in NATURE, we can have through the creation of our own minds. Being at present the scientifically 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 be sure to develop a RACE of SCIENTISTS par excellence, for in Science and NATIONALISM lie our only hope to withstand the evil designs of modern materialism.
Never forget your Cause. REMEMBER! We live, work and plan for the establishment of a great and binding RACIAL HIERARCHY; the founding of a RACIAL EMPIRE whose only natural, spiritual and political limits shall be: LIBERTY FOR AFRICANS, AT HOME AND ABROAD.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey (August 17, 1887 to June 10, 1940), President-General, Pro Temp, United States of Africa
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Marcus Garvey—born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica—left school at 14, worked as a printer, joined Jamaican nationalist organizations, toured Central America, and spent time in London. Content at first with accommodation, on his return to Jamaica, he aspired to open a Tuskegee-type industrial training school. In 1916 he came to America at Booker T. Washington’s invitation, but arrived just after Washington died.
As the leader of the largest organized mass movement in black history and progenitor of the modern “black is beautiful” ideal, Garvey is now best remembered as a champion of the back-to-Africa movement. In his own time he was hailed as a redeemer, a “Black Moses.” Though he failed to realize all his objectives, his movement still represents a liberation from the psychological bondage of racial inferiority.
When he settled in New York City, he organized a chapter of the U.N.I.A., which he had earlier founded in Jamaica as a fraternal organization. Drawing on a gift for oratory, he melded Jamaican peasant aspirations for economic and cultural independence with the American gospel of success to create a new gospel of racial pride. “Garveyism” eventually evolved into a religion of success, inspiring millions of black people worldwide who sought relief from racism and colonialism.
|By 1920 the U.N.I.A. had hundreds of chapters worldwide; it hosted elaborate international conventions and published The Negro World widely disseminated weekly, though banned in many parts of Africa and the Caribbean. In 1922 the federal government indicted Garvey on mail fraud charges stemming from Black Star Line promotional claims and he suspended all BSL operations. Two years later, the U.N.I.A. created another line, the Black Cross Navigation and Trading Co., but it, too, failed. Garvey was sentenced to prison. The government later commuted his sentence, only to deport him back to Jamaica in November 1927. He never returned to America.
In Jamaica Garvey reconstituted the U.N.I.A. and held conventions there and in Canada, but the heart of his movement stumbled on in America without him.
Garvey remained a keen observer of world events, writing voluminously in his own papers. His final move was to London, in 1935. He settled there shortly before Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia and his public criticisms of Haile Selassie’s behavior after the invasion alienated many of his own remaining followers. Garvey died June 10, 1940.