129+ Best Marcus Garvey Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. ONH was a Jamaican political activist, publisher, orator and journalist. He advanced a Pan-African philosophy which inspired a global mass movement, known as Garveyism. Garveyism would eventually inspire others, from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement. Inspirational Marcus Garvey quotes will change your life by celebrating knowledge of self and confidence in self.

If you’re searching for best quotes by prominent activists that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of inspirational James Baldwin quotes, wise Susan B. Anthony quotes, and powerful Sojourner Truth quotes.

Most Famous Marcus Garvey Quotes

With confidence, you have won before you have started. – Marcus Garvey

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

No race has the last word on culture and on civilization. You do not know what the black man is capable of; you do not know what he is thinking and therefore you do not know what the oppressed and suppressed Negro, by virtue of his condition and circumstance, may give to the world as a surprise. – 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

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. – Marcus Garvey

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

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. – 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

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

Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will. – Marcus Garvey

It is unfortunate that we should find ourselves at this time the only disorganized group. Others have had the advantage of organization for centuries, so what seems to them unnecessary, from a racial point of view, becomes necessary to us, who have had to labor all along under the disadvantage of being scattered without a racial aim or purpose. – Marcus Garvey

I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province until Africa is free. – 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

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

Fascism is the cult of organized murder, invented by the archenemies 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

Go to work! Go to work in the morn of a new creation… until you have… reached the height of self-progress, and from that pinnacle bestow upon the world a civilization of your own. – Marcus Garvey

The history of a movement, the history of a nation, the history of a race is the guidepost of that movement’s destiny, that nation’s destiny, that race’s destiny. – 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

We were the first Fascists, when we had 100,000 disciplined men, and were training children, Mussolini was still an unknown. Mussolini copied our Fascism. – 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

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

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

There is nothing in the world common to man, that man cannot do. – 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

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

To have built up a new organization, which was not purely political, among Negroes in America was a wonderful feat, for the Negro politician does not allow any other kind of organization within his race to thrive. – Marcus Garvey

American suffragist, speech Is Woman Suffrage Progressing? at Stockholm, Sweden Radicalism is a label that is always applied to people who are endeavoring to get freedom. – Marcus Garvey

Our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa. – 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

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

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences. – Marcus Garvey

Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do. – 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

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

There is no humanity before that which starts with yourself. – Marcus Garvey

When the facts of history are written Haile Selassie of Abyssinia will go down as a great coward who ran away from his country to save his skin and left the millions of his countrymen to struggle through a terrible war that he brought upon them because of his political ignorance and his racial disloyalty. – Marcus Garvey

Billions of dollars have been lost to the Negro race within the last fifty years through disloyalty on the part of successful Negroes, who have preferred to give away their fortunes to members of other races, than to bequeath them to worthy institutions and movements of their own to help their own people. – 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

Take the kinks out your mind, not your hair. – 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

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

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

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

I like honesty and fair play. – Marcus Garvey

Why should not Africa give to the world its Black Rockefeller, Rothschild and Henry Ford? Now is the opportunity. Now is the chance for every Negro to make every effort toward a commercial, industrial standard that will make us comparable with the successful business men of other races. – Marcus Garvey

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

Behind the murder of millions of Negroes annually in Africa is the well organized system of exploitation by the alien intruders who desire to rob Africa of every bit of its wealth for the satisfaction of their race and the upkeep of their bankrupt European countries. – Marcus Garvey

Africa for the Africans… at home and abroad! – Marcus Garvey

Being satisfied to drink 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

Progress is the attraction that moves humanity. – 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

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? – Marcus Garvey

I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there. – Marcus Garvey

In a world of wolves one should go armed, and one of the most powerful defensive weapons within the reach of Negroes is the practice of race first in all parts of the world. – Marcus Garvey

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

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. – Marcus Garvey

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. – 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

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

Lose not courage, lose not faith, go forward. – Marcus Garvey

Great principles, great ideals know no nationality. – 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

Rise up Black Men, and take your stand. Reach up black men and women and pull all nature’s knowledge to you. Turn ye around and make a conquest of everything North and South, East and West. And then we you have wrought well, you will have merited God’s blessing, you will become God’s chosen people and naturally you’ll become leaders of the world. – 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

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

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

I do not speak carelessly or recklessly but with a definite object of helping the people, especially those of my race, to know, to understand, and to realize themselves. – 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

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

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

When all else fails to organize the people, conditions will. – Marcus Garvey

Take advantage of every opportunity; where there is none, make it for yourself, and let history record that as we toiled laboriously and courageously, we worked to live gloriously. – 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

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

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

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

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

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

Among some of the organized methods used to control the world is the thing known and called PROPAGANDA. Propaganda has done more to defeat the good intentions of races and nations than even open warfare. Propaganda is a method or medium used by organized peoples to convert others against their will. 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. – Marcus Garvey

The greatest possesion of man is character – Marcus Garvey

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the tongue is mightier than them both put together. – 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

You must not mistake lip-service and noise for bravery and service. – Marcus Garvey

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

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

The Greatest Weapon Used Against the Negro is Disorganization. – 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

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

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. – 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

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey

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

If we as a people realized the greatness from which we came we would be less likely to disrespect ourselves. – 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

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

A race that is solely dependent upon another for economic existence sooner or later dies. As we have in the past been living upon the mercies shown by others, and by the chances obtainable, and have suffered there from, so we will in the future suffer if an effort is not made now to adjust our own affairs. – 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

Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden. – 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

Do not remove the kinks from your hair–remove them from your brain. – 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

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

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

Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement. – Marcus Garvey

This propaganda of dis-associating 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. – 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

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

If you get up everyday and you don’t learn you are a fool. – Marcus Garvey

Ethiopia shall once more arise from the ashes of material ruin to the heights of temporal glory. – Marcus Garvey

We see a new Ethiopia, a new Africa, stretching her hands of influence throughout the world, teaching man the way of life and peace, The Way to God. – 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

Glorious shall be the battle when the time comes to fight for our people and our race. – 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

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

Real men laugh at opposition; real men smile when enemies appear. – 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

The enemies are not so much from without as from within the race. – Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey does not give a snap for anything human but justice, and that which is based upon righteousness. – Marcus Garvey

Up, up, you mighty race!/ You can accomplish/ what you will. – 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

Africa with 400 million Black People can do it. If you cannot do it, if you are not prepared to do it then you will DIE. You race of cowards, you race of imbeciles, you race of good for-nothings, if you cannot do what other men have done, what other nations have done, what other races have done, THEN YOU HAD BETTER DIE. – 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

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