National Identity, Culture, and Science
There is no disguising the fact that the American people are much interested in and mystified about the mere matter of color as connected with manhood.
-- Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
You and I were not sent into the world to preserve our color, but to be intelligent, upright, industrious, and prosperous men and women -- in a word to make the wisest and best possible use of our powers and opportunities. Color will take care of itself now and in times to come.
We are surrounded by a civilization which is the accumulation of ages. . . . It belongs to no people or nation exclusively. It does not belong to the white man. It does not belong to the black man.
-- Douglass, "Exordium," Douglass Papers (Library of Congress)