The MLK That’s Never Quoted

“…if the negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-asserted manhood his own emancipation proclamation.”

That quote is from a video of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on youtube. We are surprised that Dr. King. did not know our own emancipation proclamation had already been signed. Our “own emancipation proclamation” is known as the “Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World.” It was presented to the world on August 13, 1920 in Madison Square Garden with 20,000 members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in

Cover from the July 31, 1926 edition of the Negro World Newspaper.
Cover from the July 31, 1926 edition of the Negro World Newspaper containing the text of the 1920 Declaration of Rights of Negro Peoples of the World.

attendance. UNIA President-General Marcus Garvey acted as chairman of the occasion. The Red, Black and Green Flag was part of the declaration of rights.  Declaration 39 states:

“That the colors, Red, Black and Green, be the colors of the Negro race.”

Below is a transcript of the video linked above:

…and I come here tonight and plead with you
believe in yourself and believe that you’re somebody
as I said to a group last night
nobody else can do this for us
no document can do this for us
no lincolnian emancipation proclamation can do this for us
no kennesonian or johnsonian civil rights bill can do this for us
if the negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-asserted manhood his own emancipation proclamation.

Don’t let anybody, take your manhood.
Be proud of our heritage.
As somebody said earlier tonight:
We don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Somebody told a lie one day. They couched it in language. They made everything black ugly and evil. look in your dictionary and see the synonyms of the word black. It’s always something degrading, low and sinister. Look at the word white. It’s always something pure, high and clean.

Well I wanna get the language right tonight. I wanna get the language so right that everybody here will cry out:
YES I’M BLACK!!! I’M PROUD OF IT!!! I’M BLACK AND BEAUTIFUL!!!

By Nnamdi Azikiwe

The Mhotep Corporation uses its Keyamsha The Awakening brand to heighten perceptions and expand awareness. By producing content that engages, entertains and educates we create value for value relationships with our audience for mutual benefit. Mhotep is derived from the name of the architect and builder of the first pyramid in Kemet, so-called ancient Egypt. I formed the Mhotep Corporation in 2003 to produce and distribute 3D animation videos based on traditional African stories. Since then it has evolved to being a media production company including books. In a previous life I worked as a systems analyst developing solutions for government and multinational organizations. Born and educated in Washington, D.C. I have traveled to several places including Haiti, the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, Nigeria (several times), Ethiopia (several times), Benin, Togo, and South Africa. I am married with three children.

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