terça-feira, março 22, 2011

on rights and duties: As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free.

March 29, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee: National guardsmen brandishing bayonets 
block civil rights activists trying to stage a protest on Beale Street. 
The marching demonstrators, wearing signs which read 'I Am A Man', 
were also flanked by tanks. 
Photograph © Bettman/Corbis.

Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian emancipation proclamation or Johnsonian civil rights bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. The negro will only be free when he reaches down to the inner depths of his own being and signs with the pen and ink of assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation. And, with a spirit straining toward true self-esteem, the Negro must boldly throw off the manacles of self-abegnation and say to himself and to the world, "I am somebody. I am a person. I am a man with dignity and honor. I have a rich and noble history.

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