African American Quotations

By Richard Newman | Go to book overview
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FOLKLORE
904. Nothing has been done in Negro folklore when the greatest cultural wealth of the continent was disappearing without the world ever realizing it had ever been.

Zora Neale Hurston, 1891-1960 Writer and Folklorist


FOURTH OF JULY
905. What to the American Slave is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham, your boasted liberty an unholy license, your national greatness, swelling vanity: your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgiving, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy, a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.

Frederick Douglass, 1817?-1895 Abolitionist and Autobiographer

906. The Fourth of July--memorable in the history of our nation as the great day of independence to its countrymen--had no claim upon our sympathies. They made a flag and threw it to the heavens and bid it float forever; but every star in it was against us.

Henry McNeal Turner, 1834-1915 Minister and Militant activist

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