Slavery Quotes

 A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction. 
Author: Rita Mae Brown
Nationality: American
b. 28 November 1944
  
 To what purpose should I trouble myself in searching out the secrets of the stars, having death or slavery continually before my eyes? 
Author: Anaximenes
Nationality: Greek
b. December 585  - d.  December 525
  
 A strict belief in fate is the worst of slavery, imposing upon our necks an everlasting lord and tyrant, whom we are to stand in awe of night and day. 
Author: Epicurus
Nationality: Greek
b. December 341  - d.  December 270
  
 Am I not a man and a brother? 
Author: Josiah Wedgwood
Nationality: English
b. 12 July 1730  - d. 3 January 1795
  
 Men must have the right of choice, even to choose wrong, if he shall ever learn to choose right. 
Author: Josiah Wedgwood
Nationality: English
b. 12 July 1730  - d. 3 January 1795
  
 I wish they'd had electric guitars in cotton fields back in the good old days. A whole lot of things would've been straightened out. 
Author: Jimi Hendrix
Nationality: African-American
b. 27 January 1942  - d. 18 September 1970
  
 You are either to abolish slavery or it will abolish you.  
Author: Walt Whitman
Nationality: American
b. 31 May 1819  - d. 26 March 1892
  
 Slavery, properly so called, is the establishment of a right which gives to one man such a power over another as renders him absolute master of his life and fortune. The state of slavery is in its own nature bad. It is neither useful to the master nor to the slave; not to the slave, because he can do nothing through a motive of virtue; nor to the master, because by having an unlimited authority over his slaves he insensibly accustoms himself to the want of all moral virtues, and thence becomes fierce, hasty, severe, choleric, voluptuous, and cruel. ... where it is of the utmost importance that human nature should not be debased or dispirited, there ought to be no slavery. In democracies, where they are all upon equality; and in aristocracies, where the laws ought to use their utmost endeavors to procure as great an equality as the nature of the government will permit, slavery is contrary to the spirit of the constitution: it only contributes to give a power and luxury to the citizens which they ought not to have. 
Author: Charles de Montesquieu baron de Montesquieu
Nationality: French
b. 18 January 1689  - d. 10 February 1755
  
 Were I to vindicate our right to make slaves of the negroes, these should be my arguments: The Europeans, having extirpated the Americans, were obliged to make slaves of the Africans, for clearing such vast tracts of land. Sugar would be too dear if the plants which produce it were cultivated by any other than slaves. These creatures are all over black, and with such a flat nose that they can scarcely be pitied. It is hardly to be believed that God, who is a wise Being, should place a soul, especially a good soul, in such a black ugly body. It is so natural to look upon color as the criterion of human nature, that the Asiatics, among whom eunuchs are employed, always deprive the blacks of their resemblance to us by a more opprobrious distinction. The color of the skin may be determined by that of the hair, which, among the Egyptians, the best philosophers in the world, was of such importance that they put to death all the red-haired men who fell into their hands. The negroes prefer a glass necklace to that gold which polite nations so highly value. Can there be a greater proof of their wanting common sense? It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures to be men, because, allowing them to be men, a suspicion would follow that we ourselves are not Christians. Weak minds exaggerate too much the wrong done to the Africans. For were the case as they state it, would the European powers, who make so many needless conventions among themselves, have failed to enter into a general one, in behalf of humanity and compassion? 
Author: Charles de Montesquieu baron de Montesquieu
Nationality: French
b. 18 January 1689  - d. 10 February 1755
  
 I have told you, mister, that I would not discuss anything with the people who have murdered sixty million of my people, and I will not discuss Stalin with you." And "I will discuss Stalin when I may be among the Russian people some day, singing for them, I will discuss it there. It is their problem." Asked if he had praised Stalin during his previous trip to the Soviet Union, Robeson replied, "I do not know. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Whatever has happened to Stalin, gentlemen, is a question for the Soviet Union, and I would not argue with a representative of the people who, in building America, wasted sixty to a hundred million lives of my people, black people drawn from Africa on the plantations. You are responsible, and your forebears, for sixty million to one hundred million black people dying in the slave ships and on the plantations, and donít ask me about anybody, please. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 If the American Negro is to have a culture of his own he will have to leave America to get it. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 I found a special eagerness among the younger, and I am sorry to say, the more intelligent Negroes, to dismiss the spiritual as something beneath their new pride in their race. It is as if they wanted to put it behind them as something to be ashamed. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 In the early days of my carer as an actor, I shared what was then the prevailing attitude of Negro performers - that the content and form of a play or a film scenario was of little importance to us. What mattered was was the opportunity, which came so seldom to our folks. Later I came to understand that the Negro artist could not view the matter simply in terms of of his individual interests, and that he had a responsibility to his people who rightfully resented the traditional stereotyped portrayals of Negros on stage and screen. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 For the first time since I began acting, I feel that I've found my place in the world, that there's something out of my own culture which i can express and perhaps help others preserve..i have found out now that the African natives had a definite culture a long way beyond the culture of the Stone age - an integrated thing, which is still unspoiled by western influences. I think the Americans will be amazed to find how many of the modern dance steps are relics of African heritage. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Films make me into some cheap turn. You bet they'll never let me play apart in a film where a Negro is on top. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 I was deeply fascinating to watch how strikingly American audiences from coast to coast found Shakespeare's Othello painfully immediate in it's unfolding of evil, innocence, passion, dignity and nobility and contemporary in it's overtones of a clash of cultures, of the partial acceptance of and a consequent effect upon, one of a minority group. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 One does not need a very long racial memory to loose on oneself in such a part. As I act, civilization falls away from me. My plight becomes real, the horrors terrible facts. I feel the terror of the slave mart, the degradation of man bought and sold into slavery. Well, I am the son of an emancipated slave and the stories of old father are vivid on the tablets of my memory. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 I found it very offensive to my people. It makes the Negro childlike and innocent and is in the old plantation hallelujah shouter tradition, the same old story, the negro singing his way to glory. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Could I say that the reason that I am here today, you know, from the mouth of the State Department itself, is: I should not be allowed to travel because I have struggled for years for the independence of the colonial peoples of Africa. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 The artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative. The history of the capsulize era is characterized by the degradation of my people: despoiled of there lands, their true culture destroyed, denied equal protection of the law, and deprived their rightful place in the respect of their fellows. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 If the United States and the United Nations truly want peace and security let them fulfill the hopes of the common people everywhere Ė let them work together to accomplish on a worldwide scale, precisely the kind of democratic association of free people which characterizes the Soviet Union today. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 I am truly happy that I am able to travel from time to time to the USSR - the country I love above all. I always have been, I am now and will always be a loyal friend of the Soviet Union. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 From what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet Government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot! It is the government's duty to put down any opposition to this really free society with a firm hand, and I hope they will always do it, for I already regard myself at home here. This is home to me. I feel more kinship to the Russian people under their new society than I ever felt anywhere else. It is obvious that there is no terror here, that all the masses of every race are contented and support their government. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 You want to shut up every Negro who has the courage to stand up and fight for the rights of his people, for the rights of workers, and I have been on many a picket line for the steelworkers too. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Yes, all Africa remembers that it was Litvinov who stood alone beside Haile Selassie in Geneva, when Mussolini's sons flew with the blessings of the Pope to drop bombs on Ethiopian women and children. Africa remembers that it was the Soviet Union which fought the attempts of the Smuts to annex Southwest Africa to the slave reservation of the Union of South Africa, if the peoples of the Congo refuse to mine the uranium for the atom bombs made in Jim Crow factories in the United States; if all these peoples demand an end to floggings, an end to the farce of 'trusteeship' in the former Italian colonies.The Soviet Union is the friend of the African and the West Indian peoples. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Vast quantities of U.S. bombers, tanks and guns have been sent against Ho Chi Minh and his freedom-fighters; and now we are told that soon it will be 'advisable' to send America GI's into Indo-China in order that the tin, rubber and tungsten of Southeast Asia be kept by the "free world"-meaning white Imperialism. 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Because my father was a slave, and my people died to build this country, I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you. And no Fascist-minded people will drive me from it. Is that absolutely and completely clear? I am here because I am opposing the neo-Fascist cause which I see arising in these communities. You're the Alien and Sedition Act, and Jefferson could be sitting here, and Frederick Douglass could be sitting here and what would you say? 
Author: Paul Robeson
Nationality: African-American
b. 09 April 1898  - d. 23 January 1976
  
 Whenever this question shall be settled, it must be settled on some philosophical basis. No policy that does not rest upon some philosophical public opinion can be permanently maintained. 
Author: Abraham Lincoln
Nationality: American
b. 12 February 1809  - d. 15 April 1865
  
 Are you a man? Then you should have an human heart. But have you indeed? What is your heart made of? Is there no such principle as Compassion there? Do you never feel another's pain? Have you no Sympathy? No sense of human woe? No pity for the miserable? When you saw the flowing eyes, the heaving breasts, or the bleeding sides and tortured limbs of your fellow-creatures, was you a stone, or a brute? Did you look upon them with the eyes of a tiger? When you squeezed the agonizing creatures down in the ship, or when you threw their poor mangled remains into the sea, had you no relenting? Did not one tear drop from your eye, one sigh escape from your breast? Do you feel no relenting now? If you do not, you must go on, till the measure of your iniquities is full. Then will the Great GOD deal with You, as you have dealt with them, and require all their blood at your hands. 
Author: John Wesley
Nationality: American
b. 28 June 1703  - d. 02 March 1791
  
 No circumstances can make it necessary for a man to burst in sunder all the ties of humanity. 
Author: John Wesley
Nationality: American
b. 28 June 1703  - d. 02 March 1791
  
 And if my disclosures regarding the terrible Ujijian slavery should lead to the suppression of the East Coast slave trade, I shall regard that as a greater matter by far than the discovery of all the Nile sources together. 
Author: Dr. David Livingstone
Nationality: Scottish
b. 19 March 1813  - d. 01 May 1873
  
 We passed a slave woman shot or stabbed through the body and lying on the path. Onlookers said an Arab who passed early that morning had done it in anger at losing the price he had given for her, because she was unable to walk any longer. 
Author: Dr. David Livingstone
Nationality: Scottish
b. 19 March 1813  - d. 01 May 1873
  




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