How To Get and Keep Employment
Muhammad Speaks Newspaper
P.O Box 44261
Detroit, MI 48244
How To Get and Keep Employment
By Messenger Elijah Muhammad
Reprinted from the November 12, 1965 issue of Muhammad Speaks
No. 1-We must recognize people, their office and authority whom we are
seeking employment from-that they are the people who own the country and
are in authority. They are the people who created the job which we are
seeking. They are the people from whom we are actually seeking our
existence, whether we work or play.
No. 2-It is true that we are free for the last 100 years. We are
supposed to have been free to do something for self — make our own job.
But we have not the unity or the wisdom to create jobs for
ourselves–usually without the desire to shoulder the responsibility of
doing something for self.
Today I say right here, that we are proving ourselves unworthy of
the freedom to become an independent nation, by our refusing the
responsibility to go out like men and women seeking the necessities of
life and well-being of our own self and nation.
We now are actually making ourselves a shameful people by begging our
slavemasters to continue carrying our responsibilities after 100 years of
freedom–from the master’s mouth.
REGARDLESS how treacherously this freedom was granted, we have had
100 years in which to side-step this treachery and find the most positive
way out of it — unity, education, love of self and kind first, instead
of trying to love everybody on the face of the earth and trying to please
everybody before self, or work towards the things which are most pleasing
Now, to prove the ignorance in this matter, is the Civil Rights
Movement — which is not asking for anything but a chance to become a
permanent free slave to the same people to whom our fathers were in
servitude slavery. We could not be justified in asking the slavemaster
for equal freedom, equal justice and equality in what is his, if we have
the freedom to go for self.
WE SHOULD even ask them to forgive us for asking them for
employment or for even asking them for a bowl of soup or a piece of
bread, after they gave us 100 years to do for self. You may not like
this–but truth is truth.
Go to the employment office of the white man –the creators of your
jobs–with the above words in mind. You would not disgrace yourself if
you pulled your hat off — since you had all this time to make employment
YOU MAY HAVE in your possession a degree or a diploma from their
schools or colleges. This makes it all the worse–you should be across
the street making a job for yourself. Speak nice to your would-be
employer (good manners).
Do not count how many of his own kind he hired before he talked
to you and turned you down. You are in no position to do so. Probably
those of his own kind to whom he gave employment had helped to create job
and founded the factories throughout the country, manufacturing and
supplying the needs of others — Perhaps of yourself.
So, you are in no position to act equal and independent with the
employer. Our greatest trouble sometimes is leaving out the intelligence
which we should display.
IF HE HIRES you:
No.1 – God to work to give him a full day’s work. Do not seek to do
other than that. Respect the foreman as a foreman; the lieutenant as the
lieutenant; the superintendent as the superintendent.
RESPECT ALL who go towards the making up of American Citizens and
who care for the unemployed people of this country. Do not hide around
corners on the job and rob the owner of 5 or 10 minutes or an hour’s
work. One who does so is not a man who needs a job — this is the action
of a man who needs a rest — or job to keep from working.
You are free and you have no right to come back and beg a man for a
job and then not give him the labor you promised him in exchange for
payment. He bargained for your labor; not you idle time. This is nothing
GIVE YOUR employer your full time. Never let him catch you idling
on the job. Be honest with yourself and others.
Do the best that you can to please your employer. Do not say, “I
will work as slowly as I can” in order to deny the employer an honest
day’s work. Say “I will do whatever I can to keep pace with the other
workers without becoming exhausted on the job.” Do so.
WE CALL THIS a full day’s work when a man does the best that he
can. Employers like a good laborer like you. I used to be a foreman
myself in several places, even in the South.
The reason this warning is given you, is because I have received a
lot of complaints about your unemployment.
GO AS clean as possible. Keep a clean mouth on the job and do not
use filthy, unclean, wicked or profane language. This is also
disrespecting the employment he has given you. Let that person know that
you respect his authority.
Do not have unnecessary conversations on the job. He hired you to
work; not to converse — whether it is religion or whatever. Speak when
you think it is necessary. Do not try to advertise something without his
permission. You should keep your mouth shut — and when you speak, do
so in the right manner. Do not take up the time of other employees with
IF YOU follow these suggestions, I am sure that you will tell me
next time that you are now employed and that your employer and you, both,
like your work. Thank you.