I am asking that we (the whole nation) sacrifice for the next three years and when we get enough in our bank, we will put it to work to make more money. We do not mean to let it lie idly for three years; we could invest in anything to help the Nation improve our economic condition.
Heretofore our distrust in each other has kept us down. We have to trust each other as other nations trust each other in order to do something constructive for the original Black people of this country.
We would like to raise at least $500 million in the next three years. If all would contribute willingly and honestly all that they could to this economic plan we would soon have billions and enough money to have something for ourselves, other than begging at the gate, door, and floor of the White man’s business places for that which we–if united–could get for ourselves.
I am sure that the White people would have more respect for us after giving us a job and salary, if we would try saving some of that salary to help ourselves in that which we could do for ourselves. If they give us jobs and pay us living wages, we should do more for ourselves than we are doing with high wages and salary that we are receiving today. If the wages were rightly distributed, they would prevent our begging for food and shelter.
No nation will ever respect us as long as we beg for that which we can do for ourselves. There has never been a leader of our people who went all-out to set up an economic plan for our people. I use the saying of Jesus, “All before me were thieves and robbers.”
There are millions of your dollars lying in the White man’s banks doing nothing for anyone. Put these millions of dollars to work buying farm land, since this is the basis of independence. Raise cotton, corn, wheat, rye, rice, chicken, cattle, and sheep. The sheep would clothe us with its wool and feed us with its flesh. The cow would also serve as food for us, as well as his hide being used in making shoes, belts, jackets, coats and hats. The cotton could be woven into cloth. Remember how America once had to spin its yarn to make clothes by a spinning wheel?
Today, if you have the money, you can buy machines which will weave and print thousands of yards of cotton goods per day. Do you say that you cannot do it?
The White man is not preventing you from doing these things.
He has many textile mills: he will help you and even weave your clothes at his own mills for a price. We can cobble our own shoes; the White man will sell us the machines. In fact, he will sell us almost anything to help us manufacture what we need.
However, you must first go to the farms, till the earth, and produce your own food. Build stores and warehouses to preserve your food throughout the seasons. We just are not trying to do anything for self. As I have repeated until my throat is dry, one day America (the White man) will not be able to carry this entire nation of 22 million Black people on her back.
Their world is getting very small and if you are dependent upon this world, yours too, is getting very small. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Everyone tries to provide a future of his own but the American so-called Negro.
Turn your millions of dollars over to our National Three-Year Economic Savings Plan and I will show you how you can do all of these things overnight and be a happy people right here in America. This will bring about peace between the two people because you will not have to fight, or beg the White man for that which you can get for yourself (if you were only united). You most certainly should be tired of being beaten and killed.
I am appealing to you–each and everyone of the 22 million Black people of America–to send every penny, nickel, dime, dollar, hundreds of dollars and millions of dollars that you can spare to the “Three-Year Economic Plan,” MUHAMMAD’S MOSQUE NO. 2–7351 South Stony Island Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649.
Russia did it and became independent. Pakistan did it and became independent and you can also do it and become independent. As soon as your money is received, it is banked in the Continental Bank of America and other federal banks until we reach the mark of $1 million. When our mark of $1 million is accomplished, we are going to build a national reserve bank for the Black people of America.
Thank you again and again for your contributions. We will prove to you that we are honest people and only want to see you out of the mud of dependency and on a rock of independence.
We can help accomplish this task by asking the government to do her once-slave a favor for the next ten years–by exempting us from tax.
(Reprinted from “Message To The Blackman,” 1965.)