Black Star Line

Marcus Garvey: Gentlemen, will you let the tiger loose?

17 June 1923

IN JUNE 1923, Marcus Garvey was convicted on federal charges of mail fraud in connection with the sale of stock in the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s Black Star Line. Sentenced to five years imprisonment, Garvey delivered his last address while on bail pending an appeal before a crowd at Liberty Hall in New York City. It is a wonderful piece of oratory and ends with this defiant assertion: “I repeat that if they think they can stamp out the souls of 400,000,000 black men, they make a tremendous and terrible mistake. We are no longer dogs; we are no longer peons; we are no longer serfs—we are men.”

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