James Baldwin

“… What One does realize is that when You try to stand up and look the World in the face like You had a right to be here, when You do that, without knowing that this is the result of it, You have attacked the entire power structure of the western world.

If I one fine day discover, that I had been lied to all the years of my Life… and my mother and my father were being lied to. If I discover that in fact, though I was bred and bought and sold like a mule, like there never really was a mule. If I discover that I was never really happy, picking all that cotton, and digging in all those mines to make other people rich, and if I discover, that those songs, the Darkies sang and sing, where not just the innocent expressions of a primitive people but extremely subtly, difficult, dangerous and tragic expressions of what it felt like to be in chains, then by One’s Presence simply by the attempt to walk from here to there you begin to frighten the white world.

They’ve always known that you were not a mule. They’ve always known that No One wishes to be a slave, They’ve always known that the bales of cotton and the textile mills, and entire metropolises built on Black labor, that the Black was not doing it out of love, he was doing it under the whip, the threat of the gun, and the even more desperate and subtle threat of the Bible…”

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