The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers

W. A. Klagoe to the Negro World

As I was reading [the] Negro World, a paper most prized [by] the Africans on account of its intr[insi]c and extrinsic values, I had the lu[cky] chance of coming across your nam[e] as one who filled a part of one of the [p]ages. Assuredly I must need expre[ss] my amazement, so far as the facts [presen]ted in the paper were concerned, and at the same time I compared the stat[e] of America in the fifteenth century w[ith] her present position.
Though Africa h[as] got her "Non servi sed libri liber[i]"[1] from Dr. Livingston [Livingstone],[2] yet she needs [mo]re [li]ght for her advancement, and [it] can be accomplished in no other [w]ay but by seeking for aid here and [th]ere.
“Land of our birth, our faith, our pride For whose dear sake our Fathers died; O Motherland, we pledge to thee, Head, heart, and hand through years to be. —Kipling.[3]”
In what way can [Africa] be improved? Britain rose under t[he Ro]mans, and the civilization and re[fineme]nt brought to the land still [torn] [impro?]ved. America rose [torn] upon colonization and so did other continents. Communication we need for the development of Africa, and, furthermore, one needs a helper whereby he may advance his knowledge in America or Europe for the benefit of his race, the world and the Omnipotent.
Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, is situated nearly on the same degree as that of Greenwich, and so the time is somewhat corresponding. Her position is so natural that it forms the chief trading port in Nigeria. Boats go to and fro every day, and instead of viewing the blue sky in the morning smoke is seen. Lagos on account of her trade has grown so important that she earns for herself "The Liverpool of West Africa," which epithet is rightly affixed. Trade does not raise a country so much as knowledge, and knowledge leads to the fear of God. Statesmen, politicians, professors and men trained in the professions are needed for the uplift of the land, and this can in no way be done but by calling for aid outside the Fatherland.
Expecting your help and suggestion, I am, Yours obediently,
W. A. Klagoe
Printed in NW, 8 May 1920. Headline omitted.
[1] The English translation of this Latin phrase would be "Not slaves, but children (liberi) of the book (libri)." Perhaps, however, Klagoe meant to write "Non servi sed liberi," "Not slaves but free men (liberi)," libri being then just an initial miswriting of liberi.
[2] David Livingstone (1813–1873) was a Scottish missionary and explorer who was met by explorer Henry Stanley (1841–1904) in 1871 in central Africa.
[3] Rudyard Kipling, "The Children's Song," in Rudyard Kipling' s Verse: Definitive Edition (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1945), pp. 575–576.