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!!!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s