Slaves Quotes

Quotes tagged as "slaves" Showing 1-30 of 167
Henry David Thoreau
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Henry David Thoreau

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?”
Mary Astell

Zaman Ali
“A society without democracy is a society of slaves and fools.”
Zaman Ali, ZAMANISM Wealth of the People

Frederick Douglass
“I have observed this in my experience of slavery,--that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceased to be a man.”
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Dave Matthes
“I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me.

The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me.

I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.”
Dave Matthes

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
“It is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labour of calculation which could safely be relegated to anyone else if machines were used.

(Describing, in 1685, the value to astronomers of the hand-cranked calculating machine he had invented in 1673.)”
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Vernor Vinge
“Technical people don't make good slaves. Without their wholehearted cooperation, things fall apart.”
Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky

Wilhelm Reich
“It is said culture requires slaves. I say that no cultured society can be built with slaves. This terrible Twentieth Century has made all cultural theories from Plato down seem ridiculous. Little man, there has never been a human culture.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

Patrick Henry
“Fear is the passion of slaves.”
Patrick Henry

V.S. Naipaul
“As for the young man carrying the groceries, he was a thin, fair-skinned young man, and I would have said that he had been born in the house. He had the vacant, dog-like expressions that house-born slaves, as I remembered, liked to put on when they were in public with their masters and performing some simple task. This fellow was pretending that the Waitrose groceries were a great burden, but this was just an act, to draw attention to himself and the lady he served. He, too, had mistaken me for an Arab, and when we crossed he had dropped the burdened-down expression and given me a look of wistful inquisitiveness, like a puppy that wanted to play but had just been made to understand that it wasn't playtime.”
V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

Savitri Devi
“To us, the high-resounding “isms” to which our contemporaries ask; us to give our allegiance, now, in 1948, are all equally futile: bound to be betrayed, defeated, and finally rejected by men at large, if containing anything really noble; bound to enjoy, for the time being, some sort of noisy success; if sufficiently vulgar, pretentious and soul-killing to appeal to the growing number of mechanically conditioned slaves that crawl about our planet, posing as free men; all destined to prove, ultimately, of no avail.”
Savitri Devi

M.T. Anderson
“This is the war where we change. This is the trickster war. It's where we disappear, just like they desire us disappear. I spoke it you before: They wish us blank," he said, gesturing without thinking at Dr. Trefusis, who was the nearest exemplar of the white race. "They want us with no history and no memory. They want us empty as paper so they can write on us, so we ain't nothing but a price and an owner's name and a list of tasks. And that's what we'll give them. We'll give them your Nothing. We'll give them my William Williams and Henry Henry. We'll slip through and we'll change to who we must needs be and I will be all sly and have my delightful picaresque japes. But at the end of it, when it's over, I shall be one thing. I shall be one man, fixed, and not have to take no other name. I shall be one person steadily for some years."
"This is why we got to win...If we ever wish to be one person, we got to win.”
M.T. Anderson, The Kingdom on the Waves

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“Ah, if he had ever been a slave he would have known how difficult it was to trust a white man.”
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Some animals would be offended if they were treated like some people.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Some things are not worth dying for, but without them life is not worth living.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

W.E.B. Du Bois
“By the middle of the eighteenth century the black slave had sunk, with hushed murmurs, to his place at the bottom of a new economic system, and was unconsciously ripe for a new philosophy of life. Nothing suited his condition then better than the doctrines of passive submission embodied in the newly learned Christianity. Slave masters early realized this, and cheerfully aided religious propaganda within certain bounds. The long system of repression and degradation of the Negro tended to emphasize the elements of his character which made him a valuable chattel: courtesy became humility, moral strength degenerated into submission, and the exquisite native appreciation of the beautiful became an infinite capacity for dumb suffering. The Negro, losing the joy of this world, eagerly seized upon the offered conceptions of the next; the avenging Spirit of the Lord enjoining patience in this world, under sorrow and tribulation until the Great Day when He should lead His dark children home,—this became his comforting dream.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

Frederick Douglass
“It is due, however, to my mistress to say of her, that she did not adopt this course of treatment immediately. She at first lacked the depravity indispensable to shutting me up in mental darkness. It was at least necessary for her to have some training in the exercise of irresponsible power, to make her equal to the task of treating me as though I were a brute.

My mistress was, as I have said, a kind and tender-hearted woman; and in the simplicity of her soul she commenced, when I first went to live with her, to treat me as she supposed one human being ought to treat another. In entering upon the duties of a slaveholder, she did not seem to perceive that I sustained to her the relation of a mere chattel, and that for her to treat me as a human being was not only wrong, but dangerously so. Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness.”
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Octavia E. Butler
“My ancestors in this hemisphere were, by law, chattel slaves. In the U.S., they were chattel slaves for two and a half centuries—at least 10 generations. I used to think I knew what that meant. Now I realize that I can’t begin to imagine the many terrible things that it must have done to them. How did they survive it all and keep their humanity? Certainly, they were never intended to keep it, just as we weren’t.”
Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“I 'spose free boys can get along here at the north as well as white boys."

I did not like to tell the sanguine, happy little fellow how much he was mistaken.”
Harriet Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“Every where the years bring to all enough of sin and sorrow; but in slavery the very dawn of life is darkened by these shadows. Even the little child, who is accustomed to wait on her mistress and her children, will learn, before she is twelve years old, why it is that her mistress hates such and such a one among the slaves. Perhaps the child's own mother is among those hated ones. She listens to violent outbreaks of jealous passion, and cannot help understanding what is the cause. She will become prematurely knowing in evil things. Soon she will learn to tremble when she hears her master's footfall. She will be compelled to realize that she is no longer a child. If God has bestowed beauty upon her, it will prove her greatest curse. That which commands admiration in the white woman only hastens the degradation of the female slave.”
Harriet Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“Thus far I had outwitted him, and I triumphed over it. Who can blame slaves for being cunning? They are constantly compelled to resort to it. It is the only weapon of the weak and oppressed against the strength of their tyrants.”
Harriet Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Frederick Douglass
“Mr. Thomas Lanman, of St. Michael's, killed two slaves, one of whom he killed with a hatchet, by knocking his brains out. He used to boast of the commission of the awful and bloody deed. I have heard him do so laughingly, saying, among other things, that he was the only benefactor of his country in the company, and that when others would do as much as he had done, we should be relieved of "the d-----d [n***ers].”
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Jemar Tisby
“Apparently, some slaveholders had concerns that their "charity and piety" in sharing the Christian message with enslaved children would result in the loss of unfree labor and income. Such a practice would also disrupt the ideology of white supremacy. It would be harder to maintain the social, economic, and religious superiority of white people if spiritual liberty translated into physical and material liberty for enslaved people as well.”
Jemar Tisby, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

Jemar Tisby
“White Christian leaders made the double move of enshrining their bigotry in laws while simultaneously labeling the question of slavery as a "civil" or "political" issue outside the purview of the church. Not only did the religious, political, and economic establishment create policies to codify slavery and white supremacy, they also pushed these actions outside the realm of Christian ethics. To challenge slavery on moral grounds was to distract from the (selectively) spiritual mission of the church and impinge on the Christian liberty of white slaveholders.

White missionaries should not have been surprised, then, that they did not initially have much effectiveness in converting enslaved people to Christianity. Why would the enslaved adopt the religion of slave owners? What good to Black people was a foreign God preaching their perpetual bondage?”
Jemar Tisby, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

“Romani slaves were in demand because of their skilled crafts and their importance to the economic market. With the growing dependency of landowners, monasteries and the Crown on Romani slaves, the Romanian term Tigan came to be used synonymously with 'slave' and it still has a derogatory connotation in the Romanian language today.”
Yaron Matras

“A decree prohibiting the separation of Romani families through the sale of slaves was adopted in Wallachia in 1850. The ownership of private slaves finally became illegal in Moldavia in 1855 and in Wallachia in 1856.”
Yaron Matras, I Met Lucky People: The Story of the Romani Gypsies

“The enslavement of human beings amounts to a grave violation of human rights. The institution of slavery is a sin, a form of genocide, and a system of racial oppression, exploitation, and intergenerational theft that robs people of their freedom of movement, expression, and self-determination. It endeavors to deny people their dignity and humanity, among other things. From the vantage point of the monarch, the oligarch, the slave trader, or the banker, however, human trafficking is first and foremost a for-profit endeavor, a business enterprise designed to enrich its partners and shareholders. Moreover, the profit motive justifies the abuses, and the attendant systems of racial oppression and white supremacy that certainly must follow.”
David A. Love, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

“These demographics presented real threats to white planters, including a potential cross-racial labor movement. Plantation work was close and intimate, and it fostered a troubling solidarity between the growing Black population and white indentured servants. White planters could not afford for such a dangerous bond to form--which is why in 1705 Virginia's legislature did as much to codify white privilege as it did to establish Black subjugation.”
Kai Wright, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

“For George Washington, the very act he signed into being haunted him until death. Ona Judge, a twenty-two-year-old enslaved woman, owned by Washington, ran away from his household in the summer of 1793, when Washington signed the nation's most powerful Fugitive Slave Act. Washington immediately placed an ad for her recapture, and insinuated in the ad that he did not know what provocation caused Judge to run away. He seemed to not imagine that a human being held in lifelong bondage might desire freedom, especially from his plantation. Ona Judge remained in the free state of New Hampshire as a fugitive from slavery until her death in 1848.”
Deirdre Cooper Owens, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

« previous 1 3 4 5 6