Subjects — S
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
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 fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too “personal” style.
Mister Ward, don’t yur blud bile at the thawt that three million and a half of your culled brethren air a clanking their chains in the South? — Sez I, not a bile! Let ’em clank!
A slave has only one master; an enterprising man has as many masters as there are people who may serve useful in bettering his position.
Captivity is the greatest of all evils that can befall one.
Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.
It cannot in the opinion of His Majesty’s Government be classified as slavery in the extreme acceptance of the word without some risk of terminological inexactitude.
Slavery is no more sinful, by the Christian code, than it is sinful to wear a whole coat, while another is in tatters, to eat a better meal than a neighbor, or otherwise to enjoy ease and plenty, while our fellow creatures are suffering and in want.
The genius of any slave system is found in the dynamics which isolate slaves from each other, obscure the reality of a common condition, and make united rebellion against the oppressor inconceivable.
Slavery is an institution for converting men into monkeys.