We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul. You tried that in the case of the Negro. You pressed him down for two centuries; and in so doing you crippled the moral strength and paralyzed the spiritual energies of the white men of the country. When the hands of the black were fettered, white men were deprived of the liberty of speech and the freedom of the press. Society cannot afford to neglect the enlightenment of any class of its members.
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From a 1896 interview: “Miss Brown, who has herself been a witness of the atrocities of a lynching mob, drew a scathing picture of the attitude the United States Government in this matter. When negroes were cruelly murdered, not in isolated cases, but by threes and fours at a time, the Executive would not meddle with the liberties of particular States. But when property was in danger, as in the case of the Chicago riots, the Executive was ready enough to send in soldiers and militiamen.” Sounds like today, 2021.
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Progress is never a straight line. There are dips, valleys, setbacks and detours, but none of that negated forward motion. I grew up expecting to see a Black man as president of this country during my lifetime. Shout out to Jesse Jackson making a mark in the 1980’s. But who expected a man born in […]
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But two things are wanting in American civilization a keener and deeper, broader and tenderer sense of justice; a sense of humanity, which shall crystallize into the life of the nation the sentiment that justice, simple justice, is the right, not simply of the strong and powerful, but of the weakest and feeblest of all God’s children; a deeper and broader humanity, which will teach men to look upon their feeble brethren not as vermin to be crushed out, or beasts of burden to be bridled and bitten, but as the children of the living God; of that God whose may earnestly hope is in perfect wisdom and in perfect love working for the best good of all. Ethnologists may differ about the origin of the human race. Huxley may search for it in protoplasm, and Darwin send for the missing links, but there is one thing of which we may rest assured that we all come from the living God and that He is the common Father. The nation that has no reverence for man is also lacking in reverence for God and need to be instructed.
(1875) Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, from “The Great Problem to be Solved”
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