"Whereas some doubts have arisen
whether children got by an Englishman upon a Negro woman should
be slave or free, Be it therefore enacted and declared by this
present grand assembly, that all children borne in this country
shalbe held bond or free only according to the condition of
the mother, And that if any Christian shall committ fornication
with a negro man or woman, hee or shee soe offending shall
pay double the fines imposed by the former act."
General Assembly, 1662
"I have now upward of 50 slaves in the forte, which easts a
chest of corne every day and I cannot gett any for money here. I
have once sent my 7 hand canoe to Barracoe for come and itt costs
with charges 3 a chest, which formerly I bout for 2 here."
African company (fort James, Accra), 1681
"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among
the several States which may be included within this Union,
according to their respective Numbers. Which shall be determined
by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those
bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not
taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."
United States Constitution, 1787
that because they hold us in their infernal chains of slavery,
that we wish to be white, or of their color--but they are dreadfully
deceived--we wish to be just as it pleased our Creator to have
made us, and no avaricious and unmerciful wretches, have any
business to make slaves of, or hold us in slavery."
"The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don't know what
to do. Why children, if you have women's rights, give it
to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights,
and they won't be so much trouble."
"The question before us is, whether the class of persons described
in the plea in abatement [people of African descent] compose a
portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We
think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not
intended to be included, under the word 'citizens' in the constitution,
and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which
that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United
States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered
as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated
by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained
subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but
such as those who held the power and the government might choose
to grant them."
States Supreme Court, 1856
"Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party
shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United
States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 1865
"It seems hardly a gracious thing
to say, but it strikes me as true, that while our men seem
thoroughly abreast of the times on almost every other subject,
when they strike the woman question they drop back into sixteenth
Julia Cooper, 1892
"Been to the gypsy to get my
To the gypsy, to get my fortune told,
'cause I'm most wild about my
C. Handy, 1914
"I've know rivers:
I've know rivers ancient as the world and older
Than the flow of Human blood in
"I left the courthouse, believing all the more strongly in the
nonviolent approach. I am certain that I was addressed 'Mister'
(as no Negro is ever addressed in the South), that I was assisted
by those three men and that the elderly gentleman interested himself
in my predicament because I had, without fear, faced the four policemen
and said, 'There is no need to beat me. I offer you no resistance.'"
"No voting qualification or prerequisite
to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed
or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or
abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote
on account of race or color."
States Congress, 1965
"Uh! Yuh bad self!
Say it loud!--I'm black and I'm proud!
Say it loud!--I'm black and I'm
"As they tried desperately and
daily to maintain their family lives, enjoying as much autonomy
as they could seize, slave men and women manifested irrepressible
talent in humanizing an environment designed to convert them
into a herd of subhuman labor units."
"The dichotomy between the spiritual and the political is also
false, resulting from an incomplete attention to our erotic knowledge. For
the bridge which connects them is formed by the erotic--the sensual--those
physical, emotional and psychic expressions of what is deepest
and strongest and richest within each of us, being shared: the
passions of love, in its deepest meanings."
"No one dares call us sexual niggers, at least not to our faces. But
the epithets can be devastating or entertaining: We are faggots
and dykes, sissies and bulldaggers. We are funny, sensitive,
Miss Thing, friends of Dorothy, or men with 'a little sugar in
the blood,' and we call ourselves what we will. As an anthropologist/linguist
friend of mine calls me in one breath, "Miss Lady Sister Woman
Honey Girl Child."
"Let the record show that the rules require all objections to
be submitted in writing and signed by a member of the House and
a Member of the Senate. As of 11:00 today, I have not been
able to identify any U. S. Senator prepared to sign any objections;
therefore, all attempts to object may be denied. However,
I am voicing my objections to the electoral votes submitted by
Maxine Waters, 2001