Oppression

You may try but you can never imagine what it is to have a man’s form of genius in you, and to suffer the slavery of being a girl. George Eliot (1819–80), English novelist, editor. Deronda’s mother, in Daniel Deronda, bk. 7, ch. 51 (1874– 76).1

Slavery
Forced from home, and all its pleasures, Afric’s coast I left forlorn; To increase a stranger’s treasures, O’er the raging billows borne. Men from England bought and sold me, Paid my price in paltry gold; But, though theirs they have enroll’d me, Minds are never to be sold. William Cowper (1731–1800), English poet. The Negro’s Complaint (written 1788; published 1793).

Slavery
So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to the master—so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil—so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the bestregulated administration of slavery. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96), U.S. novelist, anti-slavery campaigner. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, ch. 1 (1852).2

1

2Civil Rights
Civil Rights: What black folks are given in the U.S. on the installment plan, as in civil-rights bills. Not to be confused with human rights, which are the dignity, stature, humanity, respect, and freedom belonging to all people by right of their birth. Dick Gregory (b. 1932), U.S. comedian, civil rights activist. Dick Gregory’s Political Primer (197

The Blues
The music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), U.S. civil rights leader and author. The Souls of Black Folk, ch. 14 (1903).

African Americans
An American, a Negro . . . two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), U.S. civil rights leader, author. The Souls of Black Folk, ch. 1 (1903). “The history of the American Negro,” wrote Du Bois, “is the history of this strife.”

Federico García Lorca (1898–1936). 1988). .” in Nation (New York. he is obliged to. “A Poet in New York. Madrid (published in Poet in New York.5 African Americans There is a man who exists as one of the most popular objects of leadership. 1989). cannot make himself be heard. attack. civil rights activist. and vast activity. March 1932. Auden (1907–73). 3 4 5 .S. let alone understood. We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. .Slavery Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master’s commands when.” in Egyptian Gazette (25 Aug.” address. playwright. repr. Russians. his own desires. Howard University (published in Moving Towards Home: Political Essays. 1989). June Jordan (b. “Racism: the Cancer that is Destroying America. H. pt. 1967. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans. in fact. U. tr. . his own rage. but the Chinese. “Where Is the Love?. civil rights activist. to the Black Writers’ Conference. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers. That man is Black and alive in white America where the media of communication do not allow the delivery of his own voice. There is no doubt but that the blacks exercise great influence in North America. The Dyer’s Hand. in Moving Towards Home: Political Essays. enslaved by an all too “personal” style. and Germans remain foreigners. U. and quasi-literature in the history of all men. spiritual element in that world. This man. 1940. So does everyone except the blacks. “On Listening: A Good Way to Hear. 1939). 3 African Americans The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect as human beings. legislation. poet.4 The Columbia Dictionary of Feminism I am a feminist. Anglo-American poet. . the God-given right to be a human being. New York New York is a meeting place for every race in the world. Our common goal is to obtain the human rights that America has been denying us. June Jordan (b. poet. “Writing” (1962). that object of attention.” lecture. 1939). and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect. Armenians. U. .S. 1964).S. 1. Malcolm X (1925–65). they are the most delicate. Spanish poet. . W. See Gregory on Civil Rights. black leader. no matter what anyone says. 1978. He has never been listened to. and.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful