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Quotes

“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.”
–Aristotle

“Wealth is not new. Neither is charity. But the idea of using private wealth imaginatively, constructively and systematically to attack the fundamental problems of mankind is new.”
–Former Carnegie Corporation president John Gardner

“Most people do not know why they hold prejudice because they do not know why they are prejudiced.”
–Harry Belafonte

“In 1492, the natives discovered they were Indians, discovered they lived in America, discovered they were naked, discovered that the Sin existed, discovered they owed allegiance to a King and Kingdom from another world and a God from another sky, and that this God had invented the guilty and the dress, and had sent to be burnt alive who worships the Sun the Moon the Earth and the Rain that wets it.”
–Eduardo Galeano

“As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race. … As a national emblem, it (the Confederate flag) is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race.”
–William T. Thompson, designer of the Confederate flag

“It is impossible to struggle for civil rights, equal rights for blacks, without including whites. Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air; we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.”
–Maya Angelou

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain”
–James Baldwin

“In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
― Toni Morrison

“One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”
— Golda Meir


Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) was a civil rights activist whose passionate depiction of her own suffering in a racist society helped focus attention on the plight of African-Americans throughout the South.

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
–Jackie Robinson

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”
–Martin Luther King, Jr. Minister, 1929-1968

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”
–Benjamin Franklin Founding Father of the United States, 1705-1790

“The way to right things is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
–Ida B. Wells, Journalist, educator, civil rights leader, 1862-1931

“A lie doesn’t become truth,
wrong doesn’t become right
and evil doesn’t become good
just because it’s accepted by
a majority.”
–Booker T. Washington, Educator, 1856 – 1915

The following two columns appeared soon after the killing of Sitting Bull in the newspaper The Saturday Pioneer, in Aberdeen, S. Dakota, in columns by L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, who was also editor of the paper.

“The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent…and the best safety of the frontier settlers will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians.” Dec 20, 1890

“The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination [sic] of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth” Jan 3, 1891

“The Confederacy was founded on the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the White man.” Alexander Stephens, Confederate Vice President, 1861

“Won’t it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.” Maya Angelou

“White people go around, it seems to me, with a very carefully suppressed terror of Black people—a tremendous uneasiness,” Baldwin said. “They don’t know what the Black face hides. They’re sure it’s hiding something. What it’s hiding is American history. What it’s hiding is what white people know they have done, and what they like doing. White people know very well one thing; it’s the only thing they have to know. They know this; everything else, they’ll say, is a lie. They know they would not like to be Black here. They know that, and they’re telling me lies. They’re telling me and my children nothing but lies.” – James Baldwin 1979 interview

“How did the government decide where to locate Native American reservations?”
“Typically the government put reservations in the areas it regarded as being unfit for white setters – arid places unsuitable for agriculture and isolated from towns, transportation and the growing economy. However, as the settlers expanded westward, the government took back most of the reservation lands too and forced Native Americans to relocate again – this time to even less desirable lands. And today, the land once reserved for Native Americans has shrunk to just 2.3 percent of the land originally promised by the US government.” Southwest Reservation Aid, program of Partnership with Native Americans, 2021

“Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an angry black woman. I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most – is it’angry’ or’black’ or ‘woman’?
–Michelle Obama from her book Becoming