48 Inspirational, Wise, and Unifying Marcus Garvey Quotes

Marcus Garvey was a black nationalist in America whose charisma, dignity, and courage inspired many people all over the world, especially the black community, during The civil rights movement days. He was born in Jamaica in August 1887 in a family of eleven children.

Marcus’s character began being evident at his young age when he developed a keen interest in reading his father’s books and took advantage of The family library. After leaving school at fourteen years, he became a printer’s apprentice where he participated in a strike demanding higher salaries.

Marcus Garvey is well known for the activist movements he started to engage the concept of black nationalism in the United States. Some of his main movements included The Back to Africa movement, Universal Negro Improvement Association, Negro Factories Corporation, Black Star Line, among others.

These movements helped him build his great reputation across America and become a formidable speaker for black people. His great work in fighting for the rights and voice of the black people in America made him a great inspiration for many civil rights activists who came after him.

Marcus Garvey and his movements aimed to empower fellow black people, encourage economic indolence and improve black consciousness around the globe with his actions, ideas and wisdom. He died in June 1940 and he is remembered as The first national hero in Jamaica.

Note: The best book if you want to read more is the Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, Volume I.

Marcus Garvey Quotes

The following are 48 quotes by Marcus Garvey that inspired many people worldwide and helped advance the African people’s unity, economic and political voice across America and the whole world.

1. ”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

2. ”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

3. ”Whipped. It annoys me to be defeated; hence to me, to be once defeated is to find cause for an everlasting struggle to reach The top.” – Marcus Garvey

4. ”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

5. ”The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” – Marcus Garvey

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6. ”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

7. ”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

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

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

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

11. ”If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in The race of life.” – Marcus Garvey

12. ”Liberate The minds of men and ultimately you will liberate The bodies of men.” – Marcus Garvey

13. ”You at this time can only be destroyed by yourselves, from within and not from without. You have reached The point where The victory is to be won from within and can only be lost from within.” – Marcus Garvey

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14. ”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

15. ”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

16. ”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 worthwhile and strive for it. To go on without looking back, reaching to that which gives satisfaction.” – Marcus Garvey

17. “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 The strength to do it.” – Marcus Garvey

18. “To see your enemy and know him is a part of The complete education of man.” – Marcus Garvey

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

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

21. ”Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” – Marcus Garvey

22. ”Progress is The attraction that moves humanity.” – Marcus Garvey

23. ”Men, there is much to live for, and there is much to die for. The man, The race of nation that is not prepared to risk life itself for The possession of an ideal, shall lose that ideal. If you, I repeat, must be free, you yourselves must strike The blow.” – Marcus Garvey

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

25. ”Take advantage of every opportunity; where there is none, make it for yourself.” – Marcus Garvey

26. ”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

27. “There can be no peace among men and nations, so long as The strong continue 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

28. “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

29. “Let The sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.” –Marcus Garvey

30. “Take The kinks out your mind, not your hair.” – Marcus Garvey

31. “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

32. “A race that is solely dependent upon another for its economic existence sooner or later dies.” – Marcus Garvey

33. “All of us may not live to see The higher accomplishment of an African Empire – so strong and powerful, as to compel The respect of mankind, but we in our life-time can so work and act as to make The dream a possibility within another generation.” – Marcus Garvey

34. “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

35. “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

36. “If we live in our own district, Let us rule and govern those districts. If we have a majority in our communities, Let us run those communities. We form a majority in Africa and we should naturally govern ourselves there.” – Marcus Garvey

37. “The UNIA teaches our race self-help and self-reliance… in all those things that contribute to human happiness and well-being.” – Marcus Garvey

38. “The pen is mightier than The sword, but The tongue is mightier than them both put together.” – Marcus Garvey

39. “It is your mind that rules The body. You cannot go further than that mind to seek truth and to know The truth and to react to The truth.” – Marcus Garvey

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40. “Look for me in a whirlwind or a storm.” – Marcus Garvey

41. “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

42. “There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike The blow for liberty.” – Marcus Garvey

43. “Races and peoples are only safeguarded when they are strong enough to protect themselves.” – Marcus Garvey

44. “We demand complete control of our social institutions without interference by any alien race or races.” – Marcus Garvey

45. “The only protection against INJUSTICE in man is POWER… physical, financial, and scientific.” – Marcus Garvey

46. “We are men; we have souls, we have passions, we have feelings, we have hopes, we have desires, like any other race in The world. The cry is raised all over The world today of Canada for The Canadians, of America for The Americans, of England for The English, of France for The French, of Germany for The Germans – do you think it is unreasonable that we, The Blacks of The world, should raise The cry of Africa for The Africans?” – Marcus Garvey

47. “We are entitled to our own opinions and not obligated to or bound by The opinions of others.” – Marcus Garvey

48. “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

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Video: Marcus Garvey, Strongest Voice for Black Nationalism

Marcus Garvey was an orator for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements. At times he was considered controversial. In Jamaica, he is considered a national hero and inspired the Rastafari movement. 


In conclusion, Marcus Garvey was a famous and great black nationalist activist who lived during his time. He founded various movements fighting for The black people across America, which made him a hero of his time, for the black nationalists.

During his time, Marcus portrayed the great wisdom, ideas, and capabilities of the black people. The above article has provided you with a collection of inspirational, wise, and unifying quotes by Marcus Garvey.

Image Credit: A&E Television Networks, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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