The woman is man’s field to produce his nation. If he does not keep the enemy out of his field, he won’t produce a good nation. If we love our vegetable crops, we will go out and turn up the leaves on that vegetable stalk and look carefully for worms that are eating and destroying the vegetables. We will kill that worm—right?
Again, we will go out into the cotton field and look for the enemies of our cotton and try to kill that enemy. We study poisons and chemicals of the earth and we pour these chemicals on the enemies of our crops to keep the enemies from destroying them. We love a crop that we can produce every year, every season, so well that we will kill every enemy that we find seeking to destroy it.
We will even kill one another if we find the other one out there trying to steal that crop.
Is not your woman more valuable than that crop of corn, that crop of cotton, that crop of cabbage, potatoes, beans, tomatoes? How much more valuable is your woman than these crops, that you should keep the enemies from destroying the crop? Yet you are not careful about your women. You don’t love them. Why? It is because you have allowed visitors to run in and out of your house, thus they have destroyed your love for your woman and your woman has not the love for you that she should.
That is a good sign. Until we learn to love and protect our woman, we will never be a fit and recognized people on the earth. The White people here among you will never recognize you until you protect your woman.
The Brown man will never recognize you until you protect your woman. The Yellow man will never recognize you until you protect your woman. The White man will never recognize you until you protect your woman.
You and I may go to Harvard, we may go to York of England, or go to Al Ahzar in Cairo and get degrees from all of these great seats of learning. But we will never be recognized until we recognize our women.
On visiting with a couple of my sons in what they call the Near East, in 1959, I began in Turkey. We traveled form Turkey down to Africa, to Ethiopia and the Sudan. We visited Arabia (Mecca and Medina), and we visited Pakistan. We returned home from Lahore, Pakistan, on or about the 6th of January, 1960. We didn’t even find on that entire tour such a thing as not recognizing the Black woman.
Everywhere we went, the Black man recognized his woman. He had great respect for her. We dined in many of the “top (as you say in slang) homes.” We dined with some of the most influential people of these countries—government people. In some of their homes, we never did see any of their family, only men.
The waiter was a man or a boy, not any woman. My beloved brothers in America, you have lost the respect for your woman and therefore you have lost the respect for yourself. You won’t protect her; therefore you can’t protect yourself.
She is your first nurse. She is your teacher. Your first lesson comes from your mother. If you don’t protect your mother, how do you think you look in the eyes of other fellow human beings?
(Excerpt from “Message to the Blackman,” 1965.)