100 Marcus Garvey Quotes from Jamaican Political Activist

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., born on August 17, 1887, was a Jamaican political activist renowned as the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

A significant figure in the Pan-African movement, Garvey championed Black nationalism and cultural pride, emphasizing the “back to Africa” movement.

His initiatives included the Black Star Line, a Black-owned passenger line facilitating travel to Africa and promoting Black economic independence through business ventures like restaurants and shopping centers.


Garvey, a proponent of racial separatism, often clashed with thought leaders like W.E.B Du Bois, making him a controversial figure.

In 1922, he was charged with mail fraud related to the Black Star Line, serving time in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary before being deported to Jamaica in 1927.

Related: Sophie Scholl Quotes from Anti-Nazi Political Activist

Despite his contentious reputation, Garvey‘s legacy continues to inspire Black people worldwide, impacting movements like the Nation of Islam, the Black Power movement and the Rastafari movement.

He died on June 10, 1940, in London.

Below is a collection of quotes from Marcus Garvey.

Best Marcus Garvey Quotes


Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden… ~ Marcus Garvey.


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


The greatest possession of man is character. ~ Marcus Garvey.


We believe in the supreme authority of our race in all things racial. ~ Marcus Garvey.


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


Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do. ~ Marcus Garvey.

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


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

The whole world is run on bluff. ~ Marcus Garvey.

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


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

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

Famous Marcus Garvey Quotes

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

Top Marcus Garvey Quotes

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.


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

Ideals of liberty, freedom and righteousness do not prosper in the 20th century excepts they coincide with oil, rubber, gold, diamond, coal, iron, sugar, coffee, and such other minerals and products desired by the privileged, capitalists and leaders who control the system of government. ~ Marcus Garvey.

Great principles, great ideals know no nationality. ~ 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.

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.


To be once defeated is to find cause for an everlasting struggle to reach the top. ~ Marcus Garvey.

There is no strength but that which is destructive, because man has lost his virtues, and only respects force, which he himself cannot counteract. ~ Marcus Garvey.

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

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

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.

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.

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.


Take the kinks out your mind, not your hair. ~ Marcus Garvey.

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

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. ~ 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.

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

Progress is the attraction that moves humanity. ~ Marcus Garvey.

Great Marcus Garvey Quotes

If you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started. ~ Marcus Garvey.

Let no voice but your own speak to you from the depths. Let no influence but your own raise you in time of peace and time of war. Hear all, but attend only that which concerns you. ~ Marcus Garvey.

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

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

The power that holds Africa is human, and it is recognized that whatsoever man has done, man can do. ~ 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.

We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, for though others may free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is our only ruler; sovereign. ~ Marcus Garvey.


I like honesty and fair play. ~ 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.

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.

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.

Powerful Marcus Garvey Quotes

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Every student of political science, every student of political economy, every student of economics knows that the race can only be saved through a solid industrial foundation; that the race can only be saved through political independence. Take away industry from a race, take away political freedom from a race and you have a slave race. ~ Marcus Garvey.

Ultimate Marcus Garvey Quotes

Having had the wrong education as a start in his racial career, the Negro has become his own greatest enemy. Most of the trouble I have had in advancing the cause of the race has come from Negroes. ~ 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.


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

It is your mind that rules the body. You cannot go further than that mind to seek truth and to know truth and to react to truth. ~ 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.

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

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

Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm. ~ Marcus Garvey.

You must not mistake lip-service and noise for bravery and service. ~ 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.

Inspiring Marcus Garvey Quotes

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

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the tongue is mightier than them both put together. ~ Marcus Garvey.

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

We are entitled to our own opinions and not obligated to or bound by the opinions of others. ~ 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.

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


Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life. ~ 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.

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.

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 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.

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

Look for me in a whirlwind or a storm. ~ Marcus Garvey.

So these were the 100 top Marcus Garvey quotes and sayings on confidence, race, God, intelligence, leadership and education.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Marc Anthony quotes and Marcel Proust quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar