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A Lesson Before Dying Quotes

22 of the best book quotes from A Lesson Before Dying
  1. #1
    “Put that chalk down. I can’t afford to break it.”
  2. #2
    “He knew taking money was wrong. His nannan had told him never to steal. He didn’t want to steal. But he didn’t have a solitary dime in his pocket.”
  3. #3
    “He came from a large family—thirteen, fourteen, fifteen: I don’t know how many—and he had to fight for every crumb of food he got.”
  4. #4
    “I don’t have all the books I need. In some classes I have two children studying out of one book. And even with that, some of the pages in the book are missing. I need more paper to write on, I need more chalk for the blackboards, I need more pencils, I even need a better heater.”
  5. #5
    “Do I know how a man is supposed to die? I’m still trying to find out how a man should live.”
  6. #6
    “tell them im strong tell them im a man good by mr wigin.”
  7. #7
    “We black men have failed to protect our women since the time of slavery. We stay here in the South and are broken, or we run away and leave them alone to look after the children and themselves.”
  1. #8
    “Y’all asking a lot, Mr. Wiggins, from a poor old n***** who never had nothing.”
  2. #9
    “They sentence you to death because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, with no proof that you had anything at all to do with the crime other than being there when it happened. Yet six months later they come and unlock your cage and tell you, We, us, white folks all, have decided it’s time for you to die, because this is a convenient date and time.”
  3. #10
    “I teach because it is the only thing that an educated black man can do in the South today. I don’t like it; I hate it.”
  4. #11
    “Cause I’m go’n die soon? That make me a man, Mr. Wiggins?”
  5. #12
    “There, instead of houses and trees, there were fishing wharves, boat docks, nightclubs, and restaurants for whites. There were one or two nightclubs for colored, but they were not very good.”
  6. #13
    “Exactly what I’m trying to do here with you now: to make you responsible young men and young ladies. But you, you prefer to play with bugs. You refuse to study your arithmetic, and you prefer writing slanted sentences instead of straight ones. Does that make any sense?”
  7. #14
    “Me, Mr. Wiggins. Me. Me to take the cross. Your cross, nannan’s cross, my own cross. Me, Mr. Wiggins. This old stumbling n*****. Y’all axe a lot, Mr. Wiggins.”

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  1. #15
    “How do people come up with a date and time to take life from another man? Who made them God?”
  2. #16
    “Can’t they work?” he asked me. “Look at all the pecan trees.” [. . .] “Get them off their lazy butts, they can make enough for a dozen toothbrushes in one evening.”
    “That money usually goes to helping the family, Dr. Joseph.”
  3. #17
    “Even took that kind of work from the white boys, because they would do it so much cheaper than the white boys would. Anything not to work alongside the niggers.”
  4. #18
    ″ Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person. Justice? ”
  5. #19
    “I don’t know what you’re going to say when you go back in there. But tell them he was the bravest man in that room today.”
  6. #20
    “So each time a male child is born, they hope he will be the one to change this vicious circle—which he never does. Because even though he wants to change it, and maybe even tries to change it, it is too heavy a burden because of all the others who have run away and left their burdens behind.”
  7. #21
    “I’m supposed to make him a man. Who am I? God?”
  8. #22
    “And that’s all we are, Jefferson, all of us on this earth, a piece of drifting wood, until we—each one of us, individually—decide to become something else.”
Book Topics › discrimination
Children's Books About Discrimination

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