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Help self: What Must be Done With The Negroes?

By The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad | Last updated: Sep 5, 2013 - 12:13:18 AM

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Since our being brought in chains to the shores of America, our brain power, labor, skills, talent and wealth have been taken, given and spent toward building and adding to the civilization of another people. It is time for you and me, the so-called Negroes, to start doing for ourselves. We must not let our children be as are we, beggars of another man for his home, facilities, clothing, food and the means of providing a living. Man depends on land for the necessities, food, clothing and shelter for survival. A prime requisite for freedom and independence is having one’s own land. There can be no freedom without a people having their own land.

The acquisition of land has been the factor for more wars than any other cause. Economists agree that in order for any type of nation or system, capitalism or communism, democracy or totalitarian or what have you, to exist and have a degree of independence there must be ownership of land. The so-called Negroes are without a state they can call their own. We have nothing to show for our more than 310 years of forced slave labor and more then 100 years of our free servitude to our masters’ children.

We were brought here to work. We have worked! We are still the workers. Some of us say, "What will we do if we do not work for the White man? How will we live?" I say, when you are free and independent you have a job! You have a tremendous task of doing something for self. You have the job of building a civilization for yourself as other free and independent people are doing for themselves.

As a people, we must become producers and not remain consumers and employees. We must be able to extract raw materials from the earth and manufacture them into something useful for ourselves. This would create jobs in production. We must remember that without land there is no production. The surplus of what we produce we would sell. This would help develop a field of commerce and trade as other free and independent people whose population is less than that of the 20 million so-called Negroes who are dependent in America.

We must begin at the cradle and teach our babies that they must do something for self. They must not be like we, their fathers, who look to the slave-makers’ and the slave-masters’ children for all. We must teach our children now with an enthusiasm exceeding that which our slave-masters used in having our forefathers embed the seed of dependency within us. We must stop the process of giving our brain power, labor and wealth to our slave-masters’ children. We must eliminate the master-slave relationship.

We must educate ourselves and our children into the rich power of knowledge which has elevated every people who have sought and used it. We must give the benefit of our knowledge to the elevation of our own people.

Presently, in this country, in almost all of the major universities and colleges, there are thousands of young students from Africa and Asia. Yet, as young, primitive and backward as we say these countries of Africa and Asia might be, their students here are returning to their shores. Their intent and purpose is to give their people the benefit of their learning. All civilized people give the benefit of their knowledge, skill and wealth to their own people. Those who do not are called traitors, defectors, spies, tools and Toms.

Why should we spend 12 and 16 years seeking an education, only to give the benefit of our knowledge back to the one we sought it from? It is time for us to wake up! Why should we work to give the meager earnings of our labor back to our slave-masters’ children? Why can’t we have our own? Why can’t we do for our own? Why can’t we learn to spend with and support our own? Why can’t we strive toward keeping our brain power, labor and wealth within and among and elevating our own?

We must have that which will make us want to do for ourselves, as other people want and do for themselves. You ask, "How can this be done?" The so-called Negroes must be taught and given Islam. Why Islam? Islam, because it teaches first the knowledge of self. It gives us the knowledge of our own.

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Then and only then are we able to understand that which surrounds us. "Know thy- self" is the doctrine Socrates espoused, and this is the base of the educational system in America. The religion of Islam makes the so-called Negroes think in terms of self and their own kind. Thus, this kind of thinking produces an industrious people who are self-independent. Islam is actually our religion by nature.

Allah is the proper name for God. Islam is not a European-organized White man’s religion. It is the time for the so-called Negroes to help their own kind and be benefited by Islam.

(Reprinted from "Message To The Blackman," 1965.)

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