AWAKENED AFRICA STARTLES THE WORLD is an extract from the Negro World weekly newspaper for April 14, 1923. In this essay Marcus Garvey explains how Africa awakened from propaganda generated by the UNIA. It should be inspirational to those who see what has transpired since it was written and how African people at home and abroad can only achieve true freedom through building a unified nation in Africa.
RACE TO UNITE AND BUILD A NEW CIVILIZATION
CAN BE LOYAL TO DOMESTIC GOVERNMENTS YET LOYAL TO RACE AND AFRICA
DRUM WIRELESS IN AFRICA SURPRISES COLONIAL PLUNDERERS
400,000,000 NEGROES COMING TOGETHER
News has reached us of the wonderful success of the propaganda of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the Motherland, Africa. The natives of the “old home” are using every available means to disseminate the aims and objects of our association throughout the length and breadth of the continent, even though the “Colonial Bulldogs” have been trying to hound them into subjection.
BOOMERANG FOR COLONIAL POWERS
The Colonizing Powers in Africa thought that they could have easily suppressed the work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association by prohibiting the circulation of our newspaper, “The Negro World,” but they have come to realize that “there are more ways than one to kill a dog than putting the rope around his neck.” What we cannot achieve through the circulation of “The Negro World” in Africa, surely other means will be adopted for so doing and now find that the natives are broadcasting the new doctrine of Negro liberty, Negro freedom, emancipation and true democracy by “drum wireless.”
A cable report from London says that the Colonial authorities are very much disturbed over the native nationalist agitation; yet others laughed at us when we said that we were determined to have a free and redeemed Africa; they questioned the possibility of redeeming Africa. Now we see that Africa will redeem herself, not so much from without as from within. What we want is to implant the right kind of education in the minds of the natives, to let them realize that they are entitled to freedom like the other races of the world, and see to it that they push forward until they have succeeded in dislodging the alien enemy. We are determined to see to it that if democracy is good for one set of people that it will be good for all. No more of French hypocrisy and British deception in Africa; they must “come clean.” If they mean to Christianize and civilize Africa, they must do it “above board”; they must “deliver the goods.” In fact, we have trusted them for too long “delivering the goods”; we are going to do it ourselves. Surely they will not blame us. England, with her hundreds of years of professed Christian love for Africa, and France, with her centuries of profession of brotherly love, have done nothing more than ravish our dear homeland, robbed us of our land and wealth, and today are making still the effort to deceive us into believing that they wish us well. They might have succeeded in deceiving our fathers, but surely they shall not continue deceiving us.
HANDS AND HEARTS TOGETHER
Let us as Western Negroes further link hands and hearts with the millions of our brothers and sisters in Africa; let us encourage them to go on promulgating the doctrine of the Universal Negro Improvement Association until every nook and corner of the great continent is ignited with the doctrine of human liberty.
The fact that the Africans have taken up the cry of their own liberation is an answer to the critics who have so often stated the impossibility of building of a Negro nation in Africa.
Education will do much in changing the political aspect of the so-called “Dark Continent” than anything else in the twentieth century. Let us, therefore, give the natives the education that they need.
THE CRY FOR FREEDOM
Africa’s cry for freedom must be loud and long. We will make such a noise in proclaiming ourselves that the whole world will be stirred with the echo. During the period of 1914 to 1918 we heard the ringing cry of Woodrow Wilson for democracy and self-determination for weaker peoples. That cry has not yet died away, because Africa sleeping though she has been for ages, has bestirred herself, and the echo of democracy has reached her, and we are determined that the sentiments stirred up in our hearts through this great appeal shall not die.
The Universal Negro Improvement Association makes its supreme appeal to the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world for a better consideration of the African situation. All sensible men know that Africa, and Africa alone, will be the solution of the great Negro problem. Not until Africa gives out to the world a new civilization, not until Africa impresses the force and power of a black nationality, will men of color, the world over get the respect that they hope for.
BOUND BY THE FUTURE OF AFRICA
Fifteen million American Negroes and millions of West Indian and Central and South American Negroes are bound by the future of Africa. If Africa goes down in defeat before the great white man who is now making his tremendous onslaught for domination through exploitation and native extermination, then we may as well sing our requiem and hand over posterity of our race to the curse of a new slavery. But with determination on our part to link hands and hearts together, moving and marching in one mighty phalanx, we can give to the world a new nation, an emancipated race that will live forever.
NO NEED FOR GIVING UP RIGHTS
To fight for African redemption does not mean that we must give up our domestic fights for political justice and industrial rights. It does not mean that we must become disloyal to any Government or to any country wherein we were born. Each and every race outside of its domestic national loyalty has a loyalty to itself; therefore, it is foolish for the Negroes to talk about not being interested in his own racial, political, social and industrial destiny. We can be as loyal American citizens or British subjects as the Irishman or the Jew, and yet fight for the redemption of Africa, a complete emancipation of the race.
Fighting for the establishment of Palestine does not make the American Jew disloyal; fighting for the independence of Ireland does not make the Irish-American a bad citizen. Why should fighting for the freedom of Africa make the Afro-American disloyal or a bad citizen?
TEACHES LOYALTY TO GOVERNMENT
The Universal Negro Improvement Association teaches loyalty to all governments outside of Africa; but when it comes to Africa, we feel that the Negro has absolutely no obligation to any one but himself.
GOVERNMENT IN AFRICA
Whatsoever kind of government we have in Africa, whether it be one or the other, has been imposed upon us by stealth and deception; therefore, we are not compelled to recognize them.
NO CONSTITUTION FOR AFRICA
As far as Africa is concerned, there is no constitution but that which declares for Negro freedom. If it takes us a thousand years, we shall work for and probably fight for the freedom of our Fatherland.
LET US GIVE HELP
Let us, therefore, on this western side give our help and encouragement for the natives to go ahead. Let them scatter the news of freedom, whether they do it by “drum wireless” or by any other means. We are in earnest. We intend to fight to a finish. Every Negro must support this program, and why not every liberal minded white man? Negroes have helped white men to win their freedom; they may as well help us to win ours because we are going to get it anyhow.
Let everybody subscribe financially to the cause of this great movement. You can help us with $1, $5, $10, or $20 to carry on this work. If you have it, send it right away to the Secretary-General Universal Negro Improvement Association 56 West 135th Street, New York, U.S.A.
With very best wishes for your success, I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
Universal Negro Improvement Association
P.S. –the Parent Body of the Universal Negro Improvement Association desires the support of all Local Divisions, Branches, Chapters and all members at this time. Let every one who has a constitutional relationship to the Organization make all effort to support the Parent Body, because we are in need of funds to carry on the great work. The work has enlarged itself and it takes more to carry it today than a year or two ago. We have really expanded ourselves throughout the world and, therefore it takes much more to finance the cause than when it was purely a domestic movement.
Send in your report immediately and see to it that it is done every month and regularly.