What a tiresome place America would be if freedom meant we all had to think alike or be the same color or wear the same gray flannel suit! That road leads to the conformity of the graveyard!

— John Oliver Killens

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My fight is not for racial sameness but for racial equality and against racial prejudice and discrimination.


Life is a short walk. There is so little time and so much living to achieve.


We have to undo the millions of little white lies that America told itself and the world about the American Black man.


Integration begins the day after the minds of the people are desegregated.


The Negro loves America enough to criticize her fundamentally.

Most white Americans simply can't be bothered.


The Negro was invented in America.


We are not fighting for the right to be like you.

We respect ourselves too much for that. When we advocate freedom, we mean freedom for us to be black, or brown, and you to be white, and yet live together in a free and equal society. This is the only way that integration can bring dignity for both of us.


Along with the fight to desegregate schools, we must desegregate the entire cultural statement of America, we must desegregate the minds of the American people or we will find that we have won the battle and lost the war.


Most of us came here in chains and most of you came here to escape your chains.

Your freedom was our slavery, and therein lies the bitter difference in the way we look at life.


Western man wrote "his" history as if it were the history of the entire human race.

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