Title Image - Quotes by Author Marcus GarveyPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Marcus Garvey. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Marcus Garvey

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Sr. (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940) was a Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator. He was the founder and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL, commonly known as UNIA), through which he declared himself Provisional President of Africa. Ideologically a black nationalist and Pan-Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism.

Garvey was born to a moderately prosperous Afro-Jamaican family in Saint Ann's Bay, Jamaica, and apprenticed into the print trade as a teenager. Working in Kingston, he became involved in trade unionism before living briefly in Costa Rica, Panama, and England. Returning to Jamaica, he founded UNIA in 1914. In 1916, he moved to the United States and established a UNIA branch in New York City's Harlem district. Emphasising unity between Africans and the African diaspora, he campaigned for an end to European colonial rule across Africa and the political unification of the continent. He envisioned a unified Africa as a one-party state, governed by himself, that would enact laws to ensure black racial purity. Although he never visited the continent, he was committed to the Back-to-Africa movement, arguing that some people of African descent should migrate there. Garveyist ideas became increasingly popular and UNIA grew in membership. However, his black separatist views—and his relations with white racists such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to advance their shared interest in racial separatism—divided Garvey from other prominent African-American civil rights activists such as W. E. B. Du Bois who promoted racial integration.

Committed to the belief that black people needed to secure financial independence from white-dominant society, Garvey launched various businesses in the U.S., including the Negro Factories Corporation and Negro World newspaper. In 1919, he became President of the Black Star Line shipping and passenger company, designed to forge a link between North America and Africa and facilitate African-American migration to Liberia. In 1923 Garvey was convicted of mail fraud for selling the company's stock and imprisoned in the United States Penitentiary Atlanta for nearly two years. Many commentators have argued that the trial was politically motivated; Garvey blamed Jewish people, claiming that they were prejudiced against him because of his links to the KKK. Deported to Jamaica in 1927, where he settled in Kingston with his wife Amy Jacques, Garvey continued his activism and established the People's Political Party in 1929, briefly serving as a city councillor. With UNIA in increasing financial difficulty, in 1935 he relocated to London, where his anti-socialist stance distanced him from many of the city's black activists. He died there in 1940, although in 1964 his body was returned to Jamaica for reburial in Kingston's National Heroes Park.

Garvey was a controversial figure. Some in the African diasporic community regarded him as a pretentious demagogue and were highly critical of his collaboration with white supremacists, his violent rhetoric, and his prejudice against mixed-race people and Jews. He nevertheless received praise for encouraging a sense of pride and self-worth among Africans and the African diaspora amid widespread poverty, discrimination, and colonialism. In Jamaica he is widely regarded as a national hero. His ideas exerted a considerable influence on such movements as Rastafari, the Nation of Islam, and the Black Power Movement.

To spiritually regulate oneself is another form of the higher education that fits man for a nobler place in life.

--Marcus Garvey

We welcome the opposition of the world, because we are determined to see the battle through. Africa's battle-cry is not yet heard.

--Marcus Garvey

Unite all people of African ancestry of the world to one great body to establish a country and absolute government of their own.

--Marcus Garvey

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.

--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 all those who have come in contact with it and accepted it have become his slaves.

--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

The traitor of other races is generally confined to the mediocre or irresponsible individual, but, unfortunately, the traitors among the Negro race are generally to be found among the men with the highest place in education and society, the fellows who call themselves leaders.

--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

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

The race needs workers at this time, not plagiarists, sopists and mere imitators; but men and women who are able to create, to originate and improve, and thus make an independent racial contribution to the world and civilisation.

--Marcus Garvey


The Greatest Weapon Used Against the Negro is Disorganization.

--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

It is by education that we become prepared for our duties and responsibilities in life. If one is badly educated he must naturally fail in the proper assumption and practice of his duties and responsibilities.

--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

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

--Marcus Garvey

The UNIA teaches our race self-help and self-reliance... in all those things that contribute to human happiness and well-being.

--Marcus Garvey

I trust that you will so live today 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.

--Marcus Garvey

They said that the Negro had no initiative; that he was not a business man, but a laborer; that he had not the brain to engineer a corporation, to own and run ships; that he had no knowledge of navigation, therefore the proposition was impossible.
Oh! ye of little faith. The Eternal has happened.

--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

We are not engaged in domestic politics, in church building or in social uplift work, but we are engaged in nation building.

--Marcus Garvey

I pray God that we shall never use our physical prowess to oppress the human race, but we will use our strength, physically, morally and otherwise to preserve humanity and civilization.

--Marcus Garvey

If the enemy could only know that Marcus Garvey is but a John the Baptist in the wilderness, that a greater and more dangerous Marcus Garvey is yet to appear, the Garvey with whom you will have to reckon for the injustice of the present generation.

--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

Negro producers, Negro distributors, Negro consumers! The world of Negroes can be self contained. We desire earnestly to deal with the rest of the world, but if the rest of the world desire not, we seek not.

--Marcus Garvey

Africa has produced countless numbers of men and women, in war and in peace, whose lustre and bravery outshine that of any other people. Then why not see good and perfection in ourselves?

--Marcus Garvey

The value of knowledge is to use it. It is not humanly possible that a person can retain all knowledge of the world, but if a person knows how to search for all the knowledge of the world, he will find it when he wants it.

--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.

--Marcus Garvey

Black men of Carthage, Ethiopia, of Timbuktu and Alexandria gave the likes of civilization to this world.

--Marcus Garvey

Lose not courage, lose not faith, go forward.

--Marcus Garvey

Be as proud of your race today as our 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

To see your enemy and know him is a part of the complete education of man.

--Marcus Garvey

Take the kinks out your mind, not your hair.

--Marcus Garvey

Black men, you were once great; you shall be great again. Lose not courage or faith, go forward.

--Marcus Garvey

The thing to do is to get organized; keep separated and you will be exploited, you will be robbed, you will be killed. Get organized and you will compel the world to respect you.

--Marcus Garvey

What you do to-day that is worthwhile, inspires others to act at some future time.

--Marcus Garvey

Fascism is the cult of organised murder, invented by the arch-enemies of society. It tends to destroy civilization and revert man to his most barbarous state. Mussolini and Hitler might well be called the devils of an age, for they are playing hell with civilization.

--Marcus Garvey

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.

--Marcus Garvey

Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden.

--Marcus Garvey

Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.

--Marcus Garvey

Be Black, buy Black, think Black, and all else will take care of itself.

--Marcus Garvey

Let us not try to be the best or worst of others, but let us make the effort to be the best of ourselves.

--Marcus Garvey

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.

--Marcus Garvey

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.

--Marcus Garvey

Take advantage of every opportunity; where there is none, make it for yourself.

--Marcus Garvey

If I die in Atlanta my work shall then only begin, but I shall live, in the physical or spiritual to see the day of Africa's glory.

--Marcus Garvey

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

--Marcus Garvey

Progress is the attraction that moves humanity.

--Marcus Garvey

Look to Africa, for there a king will be crowned.

--Marcus Garvey

Longer Version:

Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned for the day of deliverance is at hand!


Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm.

--Marcus Garvey

Longer Version:

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.


Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will.

--Marcus Garvey

With confidence, you have won before you have started.

--Marcus Garvey

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!

--Marcus Garvey

This hour we are stretching forth our hands with the desire to teach the world the true principles of mercy and justice.

--Marcus Garvey

Africa for the Africans... at home and abroad!

--Marcus Garvey

A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.

--Marcus Garvey

Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.

--Marcus Garvey

Longer Version:

Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people. Action, self-reliance, the vision of self and the future have been the only means by which the oppressed have seen and realized the light of their own freedom.


There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike the blow for liberty.

--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

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.

--Marcus Garvey

Africa has become the big game of the nation hunters. Today, Africa looms as the greatest commercial, industrial and political prize in the world.

--Marcus Garvey

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences.

--Marcus Garvey

You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying.

--Marcus Garvey

I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together.

--Marcus Garvey

The whole world is run on bluff.

--Marcus Garvey

Longer Version:

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?


If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.

--Marcus Garvey

Longer Version:

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.

--Marcus Garvey

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