“Next month they’ll come up to show you another trick. They’ll come at you and me next month with this Negro History Week, they call it. This week comes around once every year. And during this one week they drown us with propaganda about Negro history in Georgia and Mississippi and Alabama. Never do they take us back across the water, back home. They take us down home, but they never give us a history of back home. They never give us enough information to let us know what were we doing before we ended up in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and some of those other prison states. They give us the impression with Negro History Week that we were cotton pickers all of our lives. Cotton pickers, orange growers, mammies, and uncles for the white man in this country—this is our history when you talk in terms of Negro History Week. They might tell you about one or two people who took a peanut and made another white man rich. George Washington Carver—he was a scientist, but he died broke. He made Ford rich. So he wasn’t doing anything for himself and his people. He got a good name for us, but what did we get out of it? Nothing. The master got it. Just like a dog who runs out in the woods and grabs a rabbit. No matter how hungry the dog is, does he eat it? No, he takes it back and lays it at the boss’s feet. The boss skins it, takes the meat, and gives the dog the bones. And the dog is going right on hungry again. But he could have gotten the rabbit and ate it for himself. And boss couldn’t even have caught him until later, because he can outrun the boss.
It’s the same way with you and me. Every contribution we make, we don’t make it for our people, we make it for the man, we make it for our master. He gets the benefit from it. We die, not for our people, we die for him. We don’t die for our home and our house, we die for his house. We don’t die for our country, we die for his country. A lot of you all were fools on the front lines, were you not? Yes, you were. You put on the uniform and went right up on the front lines like a roaring hound dog barking for master. And when you come back here—you’ve had to bark since you came back.
So Negro History Week reminds us of this. It doesn’t remind us of past achievements, but it reminds us only of the achievements we made in the Western Hemisphere under the tutelage of the white man. So that whatever achievement that was made in the Western Hemisphere that the spotlight is put upon, this is the white man’s shrewd way of taking credit for whatever we have accomplished. But he never lets us know of an accomplishment that we made prior to being born here. This is another trick”