Most popular slavery quotes
I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.
I grew up like a neglected weed - ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.
I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
Quakers almost as good as colored. They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.
I had crossed the line of which I had so long been dreaming. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom, I was a stranger in a strange land, and my home after all was down in the old cabin quarter, with the old folks, and my brothers and sisters. But to this solemn resolution I came; I was free, and they should be free also; I would make a home for them in the North, and the Lord helping me, I would bring them all there.
I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.
I can't die but once.
I prayed all night long for my master. Till the first of March; and all the time he was bringing people to look at me, and trying to sell me. I changed my prayer. First of March I began to pray, 'Oh Lord, if you ain't never going to change that man's heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way'.
No man is good enough to govern another without the other's consent.
A free race cannot be born of slave mothers.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man's nature — opposition to it on his love of justice. These principles are in eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.
In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.
I do not understand that because I do not want a Negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone.
I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If he has a place and work for me and I think He has I believe I am ready.
This is a world of compensation; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself.
But, slavery is good for some people! As a good thing, slavery is strikingly peculiar, in this, that it is the only good thing which no man ever seeks the good of, for himself.
And then, the Negro being doomed, and damned, and forgotten, to everlasting bondage, is the white man quite certain that the tyrant demon will not turn upon him too?
We want, and must have, a national policy, as to slavery, which deals with it as being wrong.
The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man's right of property. Republicans, on the contrary, are for both the man and the dollar; but in cases of conflict, the man before the dollar.
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
I will say then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.
I was born to work up to my grave But I was not born To be a slave.
My people had used music to soothe slavery's torment or to propitiate God, or to describe the sweetness of love and the distress of lovelessness, but I knew no race could sing and dance its way to freedom.
I have nothing to lose by standing up and following my beliefs. So I'll go to jail, so what? We have been in jail for four hundred years.
Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it, and I didn't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God - and I insist people use it when speaking to me and of me.
I'm not involved in a power struggle between black and white. I'm not trying to get power over white. I'm involved in a freedom struggle. Not a power struggle. We're not trying to take power away or rule anybody—we're just trying to get up from under the rulers.
Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying down as self-evident the proposition that no people ought to be free until they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who had resolved not to go in the water until he had learnt to swim. If men are to wait for liberty until they become wise and good in slavery, they may indeed wait for ever.
Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.
The function of freedom is to free somebody else.
No man is free who is not master of himself.
It was asserted that we were "a ragged set, crying for liberty." I reply to it, the whites have so long and so loudly proclaimed the theme of equal rights and privileges, that our souls have caught the flame also, ragged as we are.
To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one.
The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. He frees himself and shows the way to others. Freedom and slavery are mental states.
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
If the State cannot survive the anti-slavery agitation, then let the State perish. If the Church must be cast down by the strugglings of Humanity to be free, then let the Church fall and its fragments be scattered to the four winds of Heaven, never more to curse the earth.
These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.