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Message to the People: The Course of African Philosophy

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In September 1937, three years before his death, Marcus Garvey assembled a small group of his most trusted organizers. For almost a quarter of a century he had led the Universal Negro Improvement Association, at its peak the largest international mass movement in the history of African peoples. Now he wanted to pass on the lessons he had learned, to the group best suited t ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 1st 1986 by Majority Press
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Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've recently taken to rereading books from my bookshelf to determine if their impact has changed over the years, or rather my perception of the effectiveness of the message has dampened. In the case of Marcus Garvey's Message to the People, I would have to say no. This book wasn't published until 1986, some 46 years after the passing of Garvey, but essentially it is the instructions, training and philosophy he left for all would be members and leaders of the UNIA(Universal Negro Improvement Ass ...more
Bernard President
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must read. Put aside all the racist black/white stuff, its a great book to guide anyone on their life's journey. Great motivator to help you get where you want in life and tid bits to help you avoid trouble. There's advice on education,character,God,etc. And as we're on the subject of books according to Marcus Garvey in this book, pg. 10; "Never lend anybody the book that you want. You will never get it back. Never allow anybody to go to your bookshelf in your absence, because the very book th ...more
This was a doozy. Garvey starts off with dollar store philosophy on how reading books are good for the soul, one should aspire to read more books (but only the thought provoking ones) and that knowing your enemy is half the battle. It delves into the importance of the bible, faith in God and in yourself, and how you should model yourself after the great thinkers of antiquity etc. Then as if out of nowhere he begins a diatribe on the how "the White Man" usurped civilization from "the Negro race", ...more
Theophilus (Theo)
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Garvey pulls no punches in his characterizations of the "Negro" populace of his time, in his immediate area. He misses the larger scope of a developing black conciousness in the early twentieth century. The recent immigrant Garvey, looks around him and sees the need for an immediate change in the mindset of the black street hustlers and those mired in despair. He sets out to formulate a personal development plan for his followers to spread throughout the masses. His plan sounds similar to the tu ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Must Read
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
If possible I'd give this 3.5 stars. This text relies more on strategy than sentiment, which while incredibly worthwhile and necessary didn't always ideologically align with my belief systems. Of course that's just an over-intellectualized manner of saying: too much brain, not enough heart at times. But, then too, perhaps I'm relying too heavily on the value of emotion (and compassion) and failing to accept its dangerous qualities. I also adamantly support unification between racial groups, thou ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I highly respect Marcus Garvey and the role he played using the UNIA to create black solidarity and general nationhood. Although I appreciated many sections in the book for example the sections on propaganda, organisation, character and man I disagreed with his points in other sections. While I understand that Garvey came from a different country and may not have been as acquainted with communism I didn’t agree with his points on it. Garvey comes across in some points as using conjecture to put ...more
Nuel Weinchard
This book was always sold to me as a must read in any black mans book closet. But I must say I wasnt as impressed, as how I was with for example Malcolm X. He emphasizes too much on race, race what is a myth and something that I do not like, as there is only one HUMAN race. Also, some of the points he makes are just outdated like praising the cops, praising certain deeds which could be seen as unlawful and blatant distinction. If I had to say anything positive, it’s probably the motivational quo ...more
Nnamdi Azikiwe
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The closest thing to a book Marcus Garvey ever wrote. In here will be found his direct instructions on how to fulfill our destiny...the total, complete and absolute redemption of Africa.

Garvey gives chapter after chapter of his best guidance in spreading the philosophy which gave rise to the organization which he led throughout his life, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.) Lesson twenty-two gives us an explicit set of instructions (The Five Year Plan) for success.
Michael Strode
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Organized in 1937 near the end of his physical and organizational life, The School of African Philosophy is perhaps the most complete distillation we have available of the lessons Marcus Garvey was able to draw from his 23 years of leadership over the U.N.I.A. and A.C.L. More than any other single manuscript in the New Marcus Garvey Library, it displays many of the theistic, mystic, agnostic, paternalistic and politically conservative views underpinning the vision Garvey developed within the org ...more
Amber Renee
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018

The plan itself is constructed as precise as can be and handed down on a plate in book form :)

"The negro should indulge in every kind of business that is necessary to earn profit; because it is by profit that he will be able to obtain life’s necessities for himself and his race."
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poly-with-me
As the Charles L. James notes in the foreword, some of Garvey's notions seem stuck in early 20th century moral assumptions (in particular as they relate to interpersonal relationships). However, the substance of Garvey's philosophy is as strong as ever and hinged upon his insistence on the education and self-determination of Black Americans. Added bonus: this volume is small in size; great for tucking into a pocket or throwing in your bag for some Garvey on the Go. ...more
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Important, but outdated in places. I can't agree with everything he says as that would involve loss of friendships that are important to me, but I love the passion, the cause and his desire to help a marginalised people. ...more
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this book explains about about MARCUS GARVEYS child hood hardships and his princaples that can b used UNIVERSALLY even after his death, a self taught GENIUS .
May 28, 2010 rated it liked it
it's a good book not great, in the sence it is telling you what to do have some good points but i don't agree on everything ...more
Mark Jones
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great Life lessons and lessons on how to become a true leader of yourself and others.
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Tony Martin (February 21, 1942 – January 17, 2013) was a Trinidad-born professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. He retired in June 2007 as professor emeritus after 34 years teaching at the Africana Studies Department, where he was a founding member.

He was a lecturer and author of scholarly articles about Black History. His written works about the plagiarism by the Greeks of African phil

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