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Eldridge Cleaver quotes (showing 1-24 of 24)

“If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“I know that sometimes people fake on each other out of genuine motives to hold onto the object of their tenderest feelings. They see themselves as so inadequate that they feel forced to wear a mask in order to continuously impress the other. I do not want to "hold" you, I want you to "stay" out of your own need for me.”
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice
“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“And why does it make you sad to see how everything hangs by such thin and whimsical threads? Because you’re a dreamer, an incredible dreamer, with a tiny spark hidden somewhere inside you which cannot die, which even you cannot kill or quench and which tortures you horribly because all the odds are against its continual burning. In the midst of the foulest decay and putrid savagery, this spark speaks to you of beauty, of human warmth and kindness, of goodness, of greatness, of heroism, of martyrdom, and it speaks to you of love.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“We shall have our manhood. We shall have it or the earth will be leveled by our attempts to gain it.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“Respect commands itself and it can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“Ah, what sights and sounds and pain lie beneath that mist. And we had thought that our hard climb out of that cruel valley led to some cool, green and peaceful, sunlit place---but it's all jungle here, a wild and savage wilderness that's overrun with ruins. But put on your crown, my Queen, and we will build a New City on these ruins.”
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice
“What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“I may even swagger a little, and, as I read in a book somewhere, 'push myself forward like a train.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. "
Eldridge Cleaver”
Eldridge Cleaver
“You don't have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“In Soledad state prison, I fell in with a group of young blacks who, like myself, were in vociferous rebellion against what we perceived as a continuation of slavery on a higher plane. We cursed everything American---including baseball and hot dogs. All respect we may have had for politicians, preachers, lawyers, governors, Presidents, congressmen was utterly destroyed as we watched them temporizing and compromising over right and wrong, over legality and illegality, over constitutionality and unconstitutionality. We knew that in the end what they were clashing over was us, what to do with the blacks, and whether or not to start treating us as human beings. I despised all of them.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“We knew that in the end what they were clashing over was us, what to do with the blacks, and whether or not to start treating us as human beings.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“If God himself wills such misery on people whom I love, then I say I will deal with him”
Eldridge Cleaver
“…I'm hoping that it is too late for you to flip over on me because it is certainly much too late for me.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“I was 22 when I came to prison and of course I have changed tremendously over the years. But I had always had a strong sense of myself and in the last few years I felt that I was losing my identity. There was a deadness in my body that eluded me, as though I could not exactly locate its site….And since encountering you, I feel life strength flowing back into that spot. My step, the tread of my stride, which was becoming tentative and uncertain, had begun to recover and take on a new definiteness, a confidence, a boldness which makes me want to kick over a few tables.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“You have tossed me a lifeline. If you only knew how I'd been drowning, how I'd considered that I'd gone down for the third time long ago, how I kept thrashing around in the water simply because I still felt the impulse to fight back and the tug of a distant shore….”
Eldridge Cleaver
“My slogan?

PUT A BLACK FINGER ON THE NUCLEAR TRIGGER.

400 years of docility, of being calm, cool and collected under stress and strain would go to prove that I was the man for the job, that I would not panic in a crisis and push the button.”
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice
“But it is not that easy, is it? I seek a lasting relationship, something permanent in a world of change, in which all is transitory, ephemeral, and full of pain.”
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice
“I did not know that I had all these feelings inside me. They have never been aroused before. Now they cascade down upon my head and threaten to beat me down to the ground, into the dust.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“It takes time and deeds, and this involves trust, it involves making ourselves vulnerable to each other…to become sitting ducks for each other----and if one of the ducks is shamming, then the sincere duck will pay in pain---but the deceitful duck, I feel, will be the loser.”
Eldridge Cleaver
“I have tried to mislead you. I am not humble at all. I have no humility and I do not fear you in the least. If I pretend to be shy, if I appear to hesitate, it is only a sham to deceive. By playing the humble part, I sucker my fellow men in and seduce them of their trust. And then, if it suits my advantage, I lower the boom – mercilessly. I lied when I stated that I had no sense of myself. I am very well aware of my style. My vanity is as vast as the scope of a dream, my heart is that of a tyrant, my arm is the arm of the Executioner. It is only the failure of my plots that I fear.”
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice
“If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem.”
Eldridge Cleaver


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