Marcus Garvey on Reparations

By August 4, 2017June 29th, 2020Reparations
Marcus Garvey on Reparations

Our Founder, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey delineates the ethical basis for reparations and repatriation in the following excerpt from a speech made circa 1919:

“I do not see why the world should be worried about the UNIA and worried about Marcus Garvey. If the world hasn’t done anything wrong to Negroes, why should it be worried about the activities of Negroes. We are too considerate of other people’s happiness to go out of our way to create disturbance.

Therefore, the world of honest people need not be afraid of us; but if there are any dishonest people in the world, who have held or who are holding what is belonging to other folks – if they have anything belonging to Negroes, naturally they will be disturbed because Negroes are going after those things.

America claims she has nothing for us; England says she has nothing for us; France says so and the different European governments say they have nothing for us… but we have decided we have something for ourselves – that we possess something of ourselves and we have understood that somebody has been keeping it for us.

Now, we are just about thanking them for in being so good in keeping that which was belonging to us and we are just asking them to cease their kindness for a while and hand over to us what is belonging to us. If somebody gave you something to keep for me and you are honest, when I approach you, you will give it to me.
They said we were heathens, we were pagans, we were savages and did not know how to take care of ourselves; that we did not have any religion; we did not have any culture; we did not have any civilization for all those centuries and that is why they had to be our guardians.

But, thank God we have them all now, as such we are asking that you hand back to us “our own civilization.” Hand back to us that which you have robbed and exploited us of in the name of God and Christianity for the last 500 years.

We are asking England to hand it back; we are asking France to hand it back; we are asking Italy to hand it back; we are asking Belgium to hand it back; we are asking Portugal to hand it back; we are asking Spain to hand it back
, and by God, the Moroccans made them hand it back. And if you will not hear the voice of a friend crying out in the wilderness to hand back those things, then, remember, one day you will find, marching down the avenue of time, 400,000,000 Black men and women ready to give up even the last drop of their blood for the redemption of their motherland, Africa!”


About IBW21

IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to building the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. to work for the social, political, economic and cultural upliftment, the development of the global Black community and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.