Literary Quotations
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QUOTES ON SLAVERY


I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time been ashamed.

RALPH ELLISON, Invisible Man

The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don't turn against him, they crush those beneath them.

EMILY BRONTË, Wuthering Heights

Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the good-humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution, and all that; but over and above the scene there broods a portentous shadow — the shadow of law. So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to a master — so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil — so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration of slavery.

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, Uncle Tom's Cabin

For a used-to-be-slave woman to love anything that much was dangerous, especially if it was her children she had settled on to love. The best thing ... was to love just a little bit; everything, just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, maybe you'd have a little love left over for the next one.

TONI MORRISON, Beloved

Willingly no one chooses the yoke of slavery.

AESCHYLUS, Agamemnon

When I have been travelling up and down on our boats, or about on my collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of as many men, women and children, as he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy,--when I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--I have been ready to curse my country, to curse the human race!

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, Uncle Tom's Cabin

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