SPEECH DELIVERED ON EMANCIPATION DAY AT
LIBERTY HALL, NEW YORK CITY, N. Y. U. S. A.
January 1, 1922
Fifty-nine years ago Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring four million
Negroes in this country free. Several years prior to that Queen Victoria of England signed the Emancipation Proclamation that
set at liberty hundreds of thousands of West Indian Negro slaves.
West Indian Negroes celebrate their emancipation on the first day of August of every year. The
American Negroes celebrate their emancipation on the first of January of every year. Tonight we are here to celebrate the
emancipation of the slaves in this country.
We are the descendants of the men and women who suffered in this country for two hundred and
fifty years under that barbarous, that brutal institution known as slavery. You who have not lost trace of your history will
recall the fact that over three hundred years ago your fore-bears were taken from the great Continent of Africa and brought
here for the purpose of using them as slaves. Without mercy, without any sympathy they worked our fore-bears. They suffered,
they bled, they died. But with their sufferings, with their blood, which they shed in their death, they had a hope that one
day their posterity would be free, and we are assembled here tonight as the children of their hope.
I trust each and everyone of you therefore will realize that you have a duty which is incumbent
upon you; a duty that you must perform, because our fore-bears who suffered, who bled, who died had hopes that are not yet
completely realized. They hoped that we as their children would be free, but they also hoped that their country from whence
they came would also be free to their children, their grand-children and great grandchildren at some future time. It is for
the freedom of that country—that Motherland of ours—that four and a half million Negroes, as members of the Universal
Negro Improvement Association, are laboring today.
This race of ours gave civilization, gave art, gave science; gave literature to the world. But
it has been the way with races and nations. The one race stands out prominently in the one century or in the one age; and
in another century or age it passes off the stage of action, and another race takes its place. The Negro once occupied a high
position in the world, scientifically, artistically and commercially, but in the balancing of the great scale of evolution,
we lost our place and some one, other than ourselves occupies the stand we once held.
God never intended that man should enslave his fellow, and the price of such a sin or such a
violation of Heaven's law must be paid by every one. As for me, because of the blessed past, because of the history that I
know, so long as there is within me the breath of life and the spirit of God, I shall struggle on and urge others of our race
to struggle on to see that justice is done to the black peoples of the world. Yes, we appreciate the sorrows of the past,
and we are going to work in the present that the sorrows of our generation shall not be perpetuated in the future. On the
contrary, we shall strive that by our labors, succeeding generations of our own shall call us blessed, even as we call the
generation of the past blessed today. And they indeed were blest. They were blest with a patience not yet known to man. A
patience that enabled them to endure the tortures and the sufferings of slavery for two hundred and fifty years. Why? Was
it because they loved slavery so? No. It was because they loved this generation more—Isn't it wonderful. Transcendent?
What then are you going to do to show your appreciation of this love, what gratitude are you going to manifest in return for
what they have done for you? As for me, knowing the sufferings of my fore-fathers I shall give back to Africa that liberty
that she once enjoyed hundreds of years ago, before her own sons and daughters were taken from her shores and brought in chains
to this Western World.
No better gift can I give in honor of the memory of the love of my fore-parents for me, and
in gratitude of the sufferings they endured that I might be free; no grander gift can I bear to the sacred memory of the generation
past than a free and a redeemed Africa—a monument for all eternity—for all times.
As by the action of the world, as by the conduct of all the races and nations it is apparent
that not one of them has the sense of justice, the sense of love, the sense of equity, the sense of charity, that would make
men happy, and make God satisfied. It is apparent that it is left to the Negro to play such a part in human affairs—for
when we look to the Anglo-Saxon we see him full of greed, avarice, no mercy, no love, no charity. We go from the white man
to the yellow man, and we see the same unenviable characteristics in the Japanese. Therefore we must believe that the Psalmist
had great hopes of this race of ours when he prophesied "Princes shall come om of Egypt and Ethiopia shall stretch forth her
hands unto God."
If humanity is regarded as made up of the children of God and God loves all humanity (we all
know that) then God will be more pleased with that race that protects all humanity than with the race that outrages the children
And so tonight we celebrate this anniversary of our emancipation, we do it not with regret,
on the contrary we do it with an abiding confidence, a hope and faith in ourselves and in our God. And the faith that we have
is a faith that will ultimately take us back to that ancient place, that ancient position that we once occupied, when Ethiopia
was in her glory.
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO THE NEGRO PEOPLES OF THE WORLD.
December 1921Fellow men
of the Negro Race,
Greeting:— To us is born this day the Child Jesus—the Christ. The Shepherds and
wise men are now wending their way toward Bethlehem, there to behold the Wonder of God. Because, there, in a manger, is to
be found the Baby Christ who is to be the Redeemer of the world.
And so our thoughts go back for more than nineteen hundred years. We hear the shout "Hosanna
in the Highest, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."
With all the preparation the human race has made to welcome into the world the Christ who is
to redeem us, we find ourselves still in confusion, still fighting, still exploiting, still merciless in our onslaught one
upon the other. But on this Christmas morn may we not all members and brothers of the great human family, forget our differences,
and in one glorious chorus sing put to the world "Peace, perfect peace?".
Christ died to free Mankind.When
we come to consider the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God, and that this Child of our own flesh, yet spirit of
the Great Creator has been sent to link us nearer to our common Father, will we not admit of the reason that there should
be but very little differences between us, What will we gain fighting the battle of man against man? Absolutely nothing but
death; and was not this Child Jesus sent into this world to teach us the new life, the life of Love, of Charity, the Life
of Mercy? What greater example do we desire than that which He gave in His own Life? He suffered, He died that others might
be free. Yet even with the great object of the Cross before us, even though He died on Mount Calvary to make us free; even
though He overcame death, the grave and hell to demonstrate to us the new life possible to each and everyone, we have not
yet turned from the path of sin to enter into the glory of His Eternal Kingdom.
The Spirit of Christmas Instead of planning a career of sin on this Christmas Morn, may we not
lift our thoughts to that grand and noble Father who save to us on this day His Royal Son, whom He has made our brother, and
ask Him to bless each and everyone of us that our hearts may be touched with the true spirit of the first Christmas morn?
That first day in the stable at Bethlehem was a beacon of a new born hope, for with the birth of the Prince of Peace there
came to us an age of spiritual grace, which in its course sought to link man nearer to his God, and coming down the ages for
more than nineteen hundred years, we have tried to preach Him as He appeared to us in His innocence, His Love and in His Charity.
Christ labored for thirty three years to teach us the way to glory, but in His career man, his
brother sought the life that he could not give; he persecuted Him, he derided Him, he jeered Him and at last he crucified
Him. But when that which was physical in the Christ died, the spiritual continued, and from earth betook its flight to heaven,
there, probably, for all eternity, to look down upon the sinful, wicked world, and still to shower upon us blessings that
we really need.
We shall never succeed in taking the Spirit of Christ out of the world, because in some of us,
still, there is that spark of love, charity, and mercy that links us to our God. But may we not ask the Great Omnipotent,
the Great Creator, our Eternal Father to send once more into the world, just at this time and oh, how we pray that it be on
this Christmas morn, our brother Christ, so that He may calm the raging storm and in truth pour out His benediction upon a
corrupt world, a soulless human race, and make us subjects fit for Eternal Life?
Hail! the New born KingAs
with the angels let us sing, "Hail the New Born King, the Prince of Peace, Hail to the Son of Righteousness, for with Thee
there is life, without Thee there is death". For as thou died upon Calvary's mount to make us better, to redeem us from our
sins, may we not hope for a continuance of that love even for today? and knowing Thee in Thy bountiful love for all mankind,
may we not further ask that Thy Spirit lighten up our hearts and bring to us by the touch of Thy grace, the knowledge of the
Everlasting Brotherhood of Man, and the Eternal Fatherhood of God?
As the angels now rejoice in heaven over this new birth, so we rejoice on earth, four hundred
millions of us, who are members of this Negro race, feeling that Thou art our King, that Thou art our Savior, that thou shalt
be our Emanuel. We love Thee because Thou art the Son of God. We praise, worship and adore Thee because Thou art the Prince
The Prince of Peace Our Guide to-day.Let others in their sin, in their wickedness seek after the infant Life that Thou gavest to all mankind. We in our
simplicity shall find refuge for Thee even in the land of Egypt. Yes, the world of sinful, wicked men cried out "Crucify Him!
Crucify Him! But Lord because Thou art our Master, because Thou art our Prince of peace, because Thou art our Redeemer, we
shall render unto Thee all help possible, even in bearing the Cross up the heights of Calvary, for in life Thou hast been
our friend; in death we know Thou shalt remember us, and now that Thou art sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, now
that Thou hast conquered death, the grave and hell, surely in Thy mercy Thou shalt remember us. So today even though hundreds
of years have rolled by since Thy crucifixion, we know that there is in Thine heart, there is in Thy soul a warm spot for
the Sons and Daughters of Africa whose forebears bore the cross for Thee up the heights of Calvary to Thy crucifixion.
We sing and shout with the angels; we ring our joy bells; we blow our horns in praise because
Thou art indeed the Jesus, the Christ, the Emanuel to us, the Son of Righteousness, the Prince of Peace.
As sons and daughters of Africa, may not four hundred millions of us the world over on this
Christmas morn pray for the redemption of that Motherland which sheltered our Blessed Redeemer when the wild, wicked men of
the world sought His life; in the same manner wild, wicked men seek the lives of Negroes today, and burn, lynch and kill them
because they have not the strength that makes man mighty. But with the Almighty Power of God and with the guidance and mercy
of our Blessed Lord we feel that one day Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hand, and whether it be at the second coming or
before, we shall all sing our Hosannas, shout our praises to God for freedom, for liberty, for life.
"For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above
mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars,
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God our King,
peace to men on earth."
THE RESURRECTION OF THE NEGRO
Easter Sunday Sermon Delivered at Liberty Hall
New York City, N. Y. April 16th, 1922.
The Lord is risen! A little over nineteen hundred years ago a man came to this world called
JESUS. He was sent here for the propagation of a cause—that of saving fallen humanity. When He came the world refused
to hear Him; the world rejected Him; the world persecuted Him; men crucified Him. A couple days ago He was nailed to the cross
of Calvary; He died; He was buried. To-day He is risen; risen the spiritual leader of creation; risen as the first fruit of
them that slept. To-day that crucified Lord, that crucified Christ sees the affairs of man from His own spiritual throne on
After hundreds of years have rolled by, the doctrine He taught has become the accepted religion
of hundreds of millions of human: beings. He in His resurrection triumphed over death and the grave; He by His resurrection
convinced humanity that His cause was spiritual. The world felt the truth about Jesus too late to have accepted His doctrine
in His lifetime. But what was done to Jesus in His lifetime is just what is done to all reformers and reform movements. He
came to change the spiritual attitude of man toward his brother. That was regarded in His day as an irregularity, even as
it is regarded to-day. The one who attempts to bring about changes in the order of human society becomes a dangerous imposter
upon society, and to those who control the systems of the day.
The desire to enslave others.It
has been an historic attitude of man to keep his brother in slavery—in subjection for the purpose of exploitation. When
Jesus came the privileged few were taking advantage of the unfortunate masses. Because the teaching of Jesus sought to equalize
the spiritual and even the temporal rights of man, those who held authority, sway and dominion sought His liberty by prosecution,
sought His life by death. He was called to yield up that life for the cause He loved—because He was indeed a true reformer.
The Example Set by ChristThe
example set by our Lord and Master nineteen hundred years ago is but the example that every reformer must make up his mind
to follow if we are indeed to serve those to whom we minister. Service to humanity means sacrifice. That has been demonstrated
by our blessed Lord and Redeemer whose resurrection we commemorate this day. As Christ triumphed nearly two thousand years
ago over death and the grave, as He was risen from the dead, so do I hope that 400,000,000 Negroes of to-day will triumph
over the slavishness of the past, intellectually, physically, morally and even religiously; that on this anniversary of our
risen Lord, we ourselves will be risen from the slumber of the ages; risen in thought to higher ideals, to a loftier purpose,
to a truer conception of life.
The Hope of the U. N. I. A.It
is the hope of the Universal Negro Improvement Association that the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world will get to realize that
we are about to live—new life—a risen life—a life of knowing ourselves.
How many of us know ourselves? How many of us understand ourselves? The major number of us for
ages have failed to recognize in ourselves the absolute masters of our own destiny —the absolute directors and creators
of our own fate.
To-day as we think of our risen Lord may we not also think of the life He gave to us—the
life that made us His instruments, His children—The life that He gave to us to make us possessors of the land that He
himself created through His Father? How many of us can reach out to that higher life; that higher purpose; that creative world
that says to you you are a man, a sovereign, a lord—lord of the creation? On this beautiful spring day, may we not realize
that God made Nature for us; God has given it to us as our province, our dominion? May we not realize that God has created
no superior being to us in this world, but Himself? May we not know that we are the true lords and creators of our own fate
and of our own physical destiny?
The work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association for the past four and a half years has
been that of guiding us to realize that there should be a resurrection in us, and if at no other time I trust that at this
Easter-tide we will realize that there is a great need for a resurrection—a resurrection from the lethargy of the past—the
sleep of the past—from that feeling that made us accept the idea and opinion that God intended that we should occupy
an inferior place in the world.
No Superiority or InferiorityMen
and women of Liberty Hall, men and women of my race, do you know that the God we love, the God we adore, the God who sent
His Son to this world nearly two thousand years ago never created an inferior man? That God we love, that God we worship and
adore has created man in His own image, equal in every respect, wheresoever he may be; let him be white; let him be yellow;
let him be red; let him be black; God has created him the equal of his brother. He is such a loving God. He is such a merciful
God. He is such a God that He is no respecter of persons, that He would not in His great love create a superior race and an
inferior one. The God that you worship is a God that expects you to be the equal of other men. The God that I adore is such
a God and He could be no other.
Some of us seem to accept the fatalist position, the fatalist attitude, that God accorded to
us a certain position and condition, and therefore there is no need trying to be otherwise. The moment you accept such an
attitude, the moment you accept such an opinion, the moment you harbor such an idea, you hurl an insult at the great God who
created you, because you question Him for His love, you question Him for His mercy. God has created man, and has placed him
in this world as the lord of the creation, as the sovereign of everything that you see, let it be land, let it be sea, let
it be the lakes, rivers and everything therein. All that you see in creation, all that you see in the world, was created by
God for the use of man, and you four hundred million black souls have as much right to your possession in this world as any
Created in the image of the same God we have the same common rights, and to-day I trust that
there will be a spiritual and material resurrection among Negroes everywhere; that you will lift yourselves from the doubts
of the past; that you will lift yourselves from the slumbers of the past, that you will lift yourselves from the lethargy
of the past, and strike out in this new life—in this resurrected life—to see things as they are.
See life as Others see It.The
Universal Negro Improvement Association desires that the four hundred million members of our race see life as the other races
see it. The great white race sees life in a attitude of sovereignty; the great yellow race sees life in a similar way, that
is to say that man, let him be white or yellow, sees that he is master and owner and possessor of everything that God has
created in this world, and given to us in Nature; and that is why by knowing himself, by understanding, himself, and by understanding
his God, man has gone, throughout the length and breadth of this world, conquering the very elements, harnessing Nature and
making a servant of everything that God placed within his reach.
As he has done that for thousands of years pleasing God and justifying his existence, so we
are appealing to the members of our race to do that now in this risen life, and if you have never made up your minds before
I trust on this Easter Sunday you will do so.
Masters of your own DestinyI
repeat that God created you masters of your own destiny, masters of your own fate, and you can pay no higher tribute to your
Divine Master than function as man, as He created you.
The highest compliment we can pay to our Creator; the highest respect we can pay to our risen
Lord and Savior, is that of feeling that He has created us as His masterpiece; His perfect instruments of His own existence,
because in us is reflected the very being of God. When it is said that we are created in His own image, we ourselves reflect
His greatness, we ourselves reflect the part of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and when we allow ourselves
to be subjected and create others as our superior, we hurl an insult at our Creator who made us in the fullness of ourselves.
I trust that you will so live to-day 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, because God has created it for your happiness wheresoever you may find it in nature. Nature is bountiful;
nature is resourceful, and nature is willing to obey the command of man—Man the sovereign lord; man who is supposed
to hold dominion and take possession of this great world of ours.
The difference Between Strong and weak Races.The difference between the strong and weak races is that the strong races seem to know themselves; seem
to discover themselves; seem to realize and know fully that there is but a link between them and the Creator; that above them
there is no other but God and anything that bears human form is but their equal in standing and to that form there should
be no obeisance; there should be no regard for superiority. Because of that feeling they have been able to hold their own
in this world; they have been able to take care of the situation as it confronts them in nature; but because of our lack of
faith and confidence in ourselves we have caused others created in a like image to ourselves, to take advantage of us for
hundreds of years.
For hundreds of years we have been the footstool of other races and nations of the earth simply
because we have failed to realize to recognize and know ourselves as other men have known themselves and felt that there is
nothing in the world that is above them except the influence of God.
The understanding that others have gotten out of life is the same understanding that 400,000,000
Negroes must get out of this existence of ours. I pray that a new inspiration will come to us as a race; that we will think
of nature as our servant; that we will think of man as our partner through life, and go through the length and breadth of
this world achieving and doing as other men, as other nations and other races.
SPEECH DELIVERED AT LIBERTY HALL N. Y. C. DURING
SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF NEGROES
Four years ago, realizing the oppression and the hardships from which we suffered, we organized
ourselves into an organization for the purpose of bettering our condition, and founding a government of our own. The four
years of organization have brought good results, in that from an obscure, despised race we have grown into a mighty power,
a mighty force whose influence is being felt throughout the length and breadth of the world. The Universal Negro Improvement
Association existed but in name four years ago, today it is known as the greatest moving force among Negroes. We have accomplished
this through unity of effort and unity of purpose, it is a fair demonstration of what we will be able to accomplish in the
very near future, when the millions who are outside the pale of the Universal Negro Improvement Association will have linked
themselves up with us.
By our success of the last four years we will be able to estimate the grander success of a free
and redeemed Africa. In climbing the heights to where we are today, we have had to surmount difficulties, we have had to climb
over obstacles, but the obstacles were stepping stones to the future greatness of this Cause we represent. Day by day we are
writing a new history, recording new deeds of valor performed by this race of ours. It is true that the world has not yet
valued us at our true worth but we are climbing up so fast and with such force that every day the world is changing its attitude
towards us. Wheresoever you turn your eyes today you will find the moving influence of the Universal Negro Improvement Association
among Negroes from all corners of the globe. We hear among Negroes the cry of "Africa for the Africans". This cry has become
a positive, determined one. It is a cry that is raised simultaneously the world over because of the universal oppression that
affects the Negro. You who are congregated here tonight as Delegates representing the hundreds of branches of the Universal
Negro Improvement Association in different parts of the world will realize that we in New York are positive ill this great
desire of a free and redeemed Africa. We have established this Liberty Hall as the centre from which we send out the sparks
of liberty to the four corners of the globe, and if you have caught the spark in your section, we want you to keep it a-burning
for the great Cause we represent.
There is a mad rush among races everywhere towards national independence. Everywhere we hear
the cry of liberty, of freedom, and a demand for democracy. In our corner of the world we are raising the cry for liberty,
freedom and democracy. Men who have raised the cry for freedom and liberty in ages past have always made up their minds to
die for the realization of the dream. We who are assembled in this Convention as Delegates representing the Negroes of the
world give out the same spirit that the fathers of liberty in this country gave out over one hundred years ago. We give out
a spirit that knows no compromise, a spirit that refuses to turn back, a spirit that says "Liberty or Death", and in prosecution
of this great ideal—the ideal of a free and redeemed Africa, men may scorn, men may spurn us, and may say that we are
on the wrong side of life, but let me tell you that way in which you are travelling is just the way all peoples who are free
have travelled in the past. If you want Liberty you yourselves must strike the blow. If you must be free you must become so
through your own effort, through your own initiative. Those who have discouraged you in the past are those who have enslaved
you for centuries and it is not expected that they will admit that you have a right to strike out at this late hour for freedom,
liberty and democracy.
At no time in the history of the world, for the last five hundred years, was there ever a serious
attempt made to free Negroes. We have been camouflaged into believing that we were made free by Abraham Lincoln. That we were
made free by Victoria of England, but up to now we are still slaves, we are industrial slaves, we are social slaves, we are
political slaves, and the new Negro desires a freedom that has no boundary, no limit. We desire a freedom that will lift us
to the common standard of all it men, whether they be white men of Europe or yellow men of Asia, therefore, in our desire
to lift ourselves to that standard we shall stop at nothing until there is a free and redeemed Africa.
I understand that just at this time while we are endeavoring to create public opinion and public
sentiment in favor of a free Africa, that others of our race are being subsidized to turn the attention of the world toward
a different desire on the part of Negroes, but let me tell you that we who make up this Organization know no turning back,
we have pledged ourselves even unto the last drop of our sacred blood that Africa must be free. The enemy may argue with you
to show you the impossibility of a free and redeemed Africa, but I want you to take as your argument the thirteen colonies
of America, that once owed their sovereignty to great Britain, that sovereignty has been destroyed to make a United States
of America. George Washington was not God Almighty. He was a man like any Negro in this building, and if he and his associates
were able to make a free America, we too can make a free Africa. Hampden, Gladstone, Pitt and Disraeli were not the representatives
of God in the person of Jesus Christ. They were but men, but in their time they worked for the expansion of the British Empire,
and today they boast of a British Empire upon which "the sun never sets." As Pitt and Gladstone were able to work for the
expansion of the British Empire, so you and I can work for the expansion of a great African Empire Voltaire and Mirabeau were
not Jesus Christs, they were but men like ourselves. They worked and overturned the French Monarchy. They worked for the Democracy
which France now enjoys, and if they were able to do that, we are able to work for a democracy in Africa. Lenin and Trotsky
were not Jesus Christs, but they were able to overthrow the despotism of Russia, and today they have given to the world a
Social Republic, the first of its kind. If Lenin and Trotsky were able to do that for Russia, you and I can do that for Africa.
Therefore, let no man, let no power on earth, turn you from this sacred cause of liberty. I prefer to die at this moment rather
than not to work for the freedom of Africa. If liberty is good for certain sets of humanity it is good for all. Black men,
Colored men, Negroes have as much right to be free as any other race that God Almighty ever created, and we desire freedom
that is unfettered, freedom that is unlimited, freedom that will give us a chance and opportunity to rise to the fullest of
our ambition and that we cannot get in countries where other men rule and dominate.
We have reached the time when every minute, every second must count for something done, something
achieved in the cause of Africa. We need the freedom of Africa now, therefore, we desire the kind of leadership that will
give it to us as quickly as possible. You will realize that not only individuals, but governments are using their influence
against us. But what do we care about the unrighteous influence of any government? Our cause is based upon righteousness.
And anything that is not righteous we have no respect for, because God Almighty is Our leader and Jesus Christ our standard
bearer. We rely on them for that kind of leadership that win make us free, for it is the same God who inspired the Psalmist
to write "Princes shall come out of Egypt and Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God". At this moment methinks I see
Ethiopia stretching forth her hands unto God and methinks I see the Angel of God taking up the standard of the Red, the Black
and the Green, and saying "Men of the Negro Race, Men of Ethiopia, follow me". Tonight we are following. We are following
400,000,000 strong. We are following with a determination that we must be free before the wreck of matter, before the crash
It falls to our lot to tear off the shackles that bind Mother Africa. Can you do it? You did
it in the Revolutionary War. You did it in the Civil War; You did it at the Battles of the Marne and Verdun; You did it in
Mesopotamia. You can do it marching up the battle heights of Africa. Let the world know that 400,000,000 Negroes are prepared
to die or live as free men. Despise us as much as you care. Ignore us as much as you care. We are coming 400,000,000 strong.
We are coming with our woes behind us, with the memory of suffering behind us—woes and suffering of three hundred years—they
shall be our inspiration. My bulwark of strength in the conflict for freedom in Africa, will be the three hundred years of
persecution and hardship left behind in this Western Hemisphere. The more I remember the suffering of my fore-fathers, the
more I remember the lynchings and burnings in the Southern States of America, the more I will fight on even though the battle
seems doubtful. Tell me that I must turn back, and I laugh you to scorn. Go on! Go on! Climb ye the heights of liberty and
cease not in well doing until you. have planted the banner of the Red, the Black and the Green on the hilltops of Africa.
STATEMENT ON ARREST
January, 1922I believe
that true justice is to be found in the conscience of the people, and when one is deprived of it by the machinations and designs
of the corrupt, there can be no better tribunal of appeal than that of public opinion, which gives voice to conscience and
that is why I now appeal to the conscience of the American people for justice.
I believe that all races have their peculiar characteristics, the Jew fights the Jew, the Irish
fights the Irish, the Italian fights the Italian, and so we have the Negro fighting the Negro. As a Negro schooled in the
academy of adversity, with the majority of my race, I have ever had a whole-souled desire to work for the race's uplift. Recently
out of slavery, we have had but a meagre chance to rise to the higher heights of human development as a people. At Emancipation
we were flung upon the civilized world without a program. Unlike the Irish and the Jew we had no national aspiration of our
own. We were left to the tender mercies of philanthropists and humanitarians who helped us to the best of their ability.
In the Negro's struggle to get somewhere every member of the race took a selfish course all
his own. There was no group program or group interest. The only cause that held us together as a people was RELIGION. During
the days of slavery Religion was the only consolation of the Negro, and then it was given to him by his masters. Immediately
after the Emancipation, when the Negro was thrown back upon his own resources, the illiterate race preacher took charge of
us, and with the eye of selfishness he exploited the zeal of the religious. Our emotions were worked upon by our illiterate
preacher—leaders of the early days.
The masses of us having found new employment for which we received pay, were able to contribute
to the partial upkeep of our own church life, thus making it profitable for the preachers of our race to exploit us in the
name of God, without giving us a program by which we could redeem ourselves.
After the illiterate preacher—leader, came the illiterate race-politician who also had
no program for the higher temporal development of the race. He, like the preacher, had his selfish plans of using and feeding
upon the emotions of the people. These two illiterate parasites, who extracted all that was worth while from the people travelled
hand in hand until we reached the first mile stone of higher intelligence, then the illiterate preacher and politician had
to give way to a more intelligent class, who, unfortunately, with only a few exceptions, scattered here and there, followed
and are still following in the footsteps of the old preachers and politicians to plunder and exploit the masses, because they
had no vision.
And now I come to the source of my troubles, in fighting the battles of the masses. I come to
the people in the role of the reformer and say to them, "A wake! the day is upon you, go forth in the name of the race and
build yourselves a nation, redeem your country Africa, the land from whence you came and prove yourselves men worthy of the
recognition of others".
This is the offence I have committed against the selfish Negro preachers and politicians who
have for more than half a century waxed fat at the expense of the people. The shout goes up, "We cannot allow Garvey to preach
his reformation and expose us to the people. The people will become too wise. We will lose our standing among them and they
will not support us. We must "get" Garvey. We must discredit him before the people. We cannot do it ourselves, because we
have no power. We will frame him up; we will lay traps for him; we will state all manner of charges against him to the various
departments of government so that the government will prosecute him for us."
Such have been the ravings, machinations and designs of a certain class of Negro politicians
and preachers against me because of my reform work of three and a half years among my people that has over four million followers.
Jews, Irish and Reformers of all races have had their troubles and trials with their own people,
so I am satisfied to bear the persecution of my own that they might be free.
I trust no one from the people would believe that I could be so mean as to defraud a fellow
Negro, either directly or indirectly. I have an ideal that is far above money, and that is to see my people really free.
Others of my race oppose me because they fear my influence among the people, and they judge
me from their own corrupt, selfish consciences. There is an old adage that says, "A thief does not like to see another man
carrying a long bag", and thus the dishonest ones of our preachers and politicians believing that I am of their stamp, try
to embarrass me by framing me up with the law.
I have had to dismiss from the employ of the Association, and caused the arrest of many dishonest
preachers and politicians, and now their fraternities are out for revenge.
Poor misguided mortals! How can they, when the conscience and soul of a man cannot be incriminated
The Negro Ministry needs purging and with the help of God and the people, we shall in a short
while, show to the world a new race by the purification of those who lead.
I desire to say that I have a great amount of confidence in several of the preachers and politicians
of my race today, but the great majority need purging, because among them we have gamblers, thieves, rogues, vagabonds and
these are the ones who are fighting me at this time.
CLOSING REGRETThere has
never been a Movement where the Leader has not suffered for the Cause, and not received the ingratitude of the people. I,
like the rest, am prepared for the consequence.