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To begin at the beginning:
- The typical black family in this country has one-tenth the wealth of the typical white family. Black women die in childbirth at four times the rate of white women. And there fucking is, of course, the shame of this land of the free boasting the largest prison population on the planet, of which the descendants of the enslaved make up the largest share.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates Makes the Case for Reparations at Historic Congressional Hearing, Democracy Now' (20 June 2019)
- So the noise poured forth like a jazzed-up fugue, louder and louder to cover the whisper in every man’s soul. “You are black. You are condemned.” This is what the white man mistook for “jubilant living” and called “whooping it up.” This is how the white man can say, “They live like dogs,” never realizing why they must, to save themselves, shout, get drunk, shake the hip, pour pleasures into bellies deprived of happiness. Otherwise, the sounds from the quarter would lose order and rhythm and become wails.”
- The social studies I’ve read deal with any basic difference in human nature between black and white... They only study the effects of environment on human nature. You place the white man in the ghetto, deprive him of educational advantages, arrange it so he has to struggle hard to fulfill his instinct for self-respect, give him little physical privacy and less leisure, and he would after a time assume the same characteristics you attach to the Negro. These characteristics don’t spring from whiteness or blackness, but from a man’s conditioning.
- What fragmented individualism really meant was what happened to a black man who tried to make it in this society: in order to succeed, he had to become an imitation white man - dress white, talk white, think white, express the values of middle-class white culture (at least when he was in the presence of white men). Implied in all this was the hiding, the denial, of his selfhood, his negritude, his culture, as though they were somehow shameful. If he succeeded, he was an alienated marginal man - alienated from the strength of his culture and from fellow black men, and never able, of course, to become that imitation white man because he bore the pigment that made the white man view him as intrinsically other.
- I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a new born baby, it just happens every day
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door, I must have it painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up, when your whole world is black
- Out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout 'White Power!' — when nobody will shout 'Black Power!' — but everybody will talk about God's power and human power... The weakness of 'Black Power' is its failure to see that the black man needs the white man and the white man needs the black man. However much we may try to romanticize the slogan, there is no separate black path to power and fulfillment that does not intersect white paths, and there is no separate white path to power and fulfillment, short of social disaster, that does not share that power with black aspirations for freedom and human dignity. We are bound together in a single garment of destiny.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (16 August 1967)
- Red, when mingled with black and white, gives a purple hue, which becomes umber when the colors are burnt and a greater portion of black is added. Flame-color is a mixture of auburn and dun; dun of white and black; pale yellow of white and auburn. White and light meeting, and falling upon a full black, become dark blue; dark blue mingling with white becomes a light blue; the union of flame-color and black makes leek-green. There is no difficulty in seeing how other colors are probably composed. But he who should attempt to test the truth of this in fact, would forget the difference of the human and divine nature. God only is able to compound and resolve substances; such experiments are impossible to man.
- The real tragedy is that there are some ignorant brothers out here. That's why I'm not on this all-white or all-black shit. I'm on this all-real or all fake shit with people, whatever color you are... [E]very 'brother' ain't a brother. They will do you. So just because it's black, don't mean it's cool; and just because it's white don't mean it's evil.
- Fifty years ago this month, Griffin published a slim volume about his travels as a “black man.” He expected it to be “an obscure work of interest primarily to sociologists,” but Black Like Me, which told white Americans what they had long refused to believe, sold ten million copies and became a modern classic.
Black Like Me disabused the idea that minorities were acting out of paranoia,” says Gerald Early, a black scholar at Washington University and editor of Lure and Loathing: Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation. “There was this idea that black people said certain things about racism, and one rather expected them to say these things. Griffin revealed that what they were saying was true.