Liberty trains for liberty. Responsibility is the first step in responsibility.
John Brown: A Biography (1909): "The Legacy of John Brown"
There is always a certain glamour about the idea of a nation rising up to crush an evil simply because it is wrong. Unfortunately, this can seldom be realized in real life; for the very existence of the evil usually argues a moral weakness in the very place where extraordinary moral strength is called for.W. E. B. Dubois
There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.W. E. B. Dubois
The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.W. E. B. Dubois
I insist that the object of all true education is not to make men carpenters, it is to make carpenters men.W. E. B. Dubois
The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.W. E. B. Dubois
The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world's need of that work. With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get. Without this — with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need — this life is hell.W. E. B. Dubois
Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.W. E. B. Dubois
The most ordinary Negro is a distinct gentleman, but it takes extraordinary training and opportunity to make the average white man anything but a hog.W. E. B. Dubois
To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.W. E. B. Dubois
And yet this very singleness of vision and thorough oneness with his age is a mark of the successful man. It is as though Nature needs must make men narrow in order to give them force.W. E. B. Dubois
The function of the university is not simply to teach bread-winning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.W. E. B. Dubois
The worker must work for the glory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame.W. E. B. Dubois
It is, then, the strife of all honorable men and women of the twentieth century to see that in the future competition of the races the survival of the fittest shall mean the triumph of the good, the beautiful, and the true; that we may be able to preserve for future civilization all that is really fine and noble and strong, and not continue to put a premium on greed and imprudence and cruelty.W. E. B. Dubois
Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy and consideration; and, finally, the accused law-breaker is tried, not by his peers, but too often by men who would rather punish ten innocent Negroes than let one guilty one escape.W. E. B. Dubois
It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others... One ever feels his twoness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warrings ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.W. E. B. Dubois
I believe that there are human stocks with whom it is physically unwise to intermarry, but to think that these stocks are all colored or that there are no such white stocks is unscientific and false.W. E. B. Dubois
Within the Veil was he born, said I; and there within shall he live, — a Negro and a Negro's son. Holding in that little head — ah, bitterly! — the unbowed pride of a hunted race, clinging with that tiny dimpled hand — ah, wearily! — to a hope not hopeless but unhopeful, and seeing with those bright wondering eyes that peer into my soul a land whose freedom is to us a mockery and whose liberty is a lie.W. E. B. Dubois
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