concept

race Quotes

66 of the best book quotes about race
  1. #1
    “Maybe at birth everyone should be given to a family of a different race to be raised. Maybe that would solve racism once and for all.”
  2. #2
    “Got up here and found out . . . not only couldn’t you get a job . . . you couldn’t find no place to live. I thought I was in freedom. Shhh. Colored folks living down there on the riverbanks in whatever kind of shelter they could find for themselves.”
  3. #3
    “But . . . you born with two strikes on you before you come to the plate. You got to guard it closely . . . always looking for the curve-ball on the inside corner. You can’t afford to let none get past you. You can’t afford a call strike. If you going down . . . you going down swinging.”
  4. #4
    “The colored guy got to be twice as good before he get on the team. That’s why I don’t want you to get all tied up in them sports. Man on the team and what it get him? They got colored on the team and don’t use them. Same as not having them. All them teams the same.”
  5. #5
    “Every time I get to thinking about me being black and they being white, me being here and they being there, I feel like something awful’s going to happen to me. ”
  6. #6
    “He stood with her body in his arms in the silent room and cold facts battered him like waves sweeping in from the sea: she was dead; she was white; she was a woman; he had killed her; he was black; he might be caught; he did not want to be caught; if he were they would kill him. ”
  7. #7
    “Love comes in every color—and if a person finds love and that person is of a different race from him or her, it shouldn’t matter because the two of them found love.”
  8. #8
    “I thought it would be easier if we were just one color, black or white. I didn’t want to be white. My siblings had already instilled the notion of black pride in me. I would have preferred that Mommy were black. Now, as a grown man, I feel privileged to have come from two worlds.”
  9. #9
    “The question of race was like the power of the moon in my house. It’s what made the river flow, the ocean swell, and the tide rise, but it was a silent power, intractable, indomitable, indisputable, and thus completely ignorable. Mommy kept us at a frantic living pace that left no time for the problem.”
  1. #10
    “You know, my whole life changed after I fell in love. It was like the sun started shining on me for the first time, and for the first time in my life I began to smile. I was loved, I was loved, and I didn’t care what anyone thought. I wasn’t worried about getting caught, but I did notice that Peter’s friends were terrified of me; they stayed clear anytime I came near them. They’d walk away from me if they saw me walking down the road coming toward them, and if they came into the store, they wouldn’t even look at me. That started to worry me a little but I didn’t worry much.”
  2. #11
    “She pulled it out of the way and started to say sorry—but it was that stupid Asian kid, and he frowned when he saw that it was her.”
  3. #12
    “To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.”
  4. #13
    “The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.”
  5. #14
    “My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didn’t, couldn’t, end there.”
  6. #15
    “I learned to slip back and forth between my black and white worlds, understanding that each possessed its own language and customs and structures of meaning, convinced that with a bit of translation on my part the two worlds would eventually cohere.”
  7. #16
    “Without power for the group, a group larger, even, than an extended family, our success always threatened to leave others behind.”
  8. #17
    “Some of the American whites, moreover, are just as far behind in this respect as are the Negroes who have had less opportunity to learn better.”
  9. #18
    “As another has well said, to handicap a student by teaching him that his black face is a curse and that his struggle to change his condition is hopeless is the worst sort of lynching.”

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The House That Jane Built book
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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles book
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The Stars Just Up the Street book
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What Grew in Larry's Garden book
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A True Home book
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Miss Rumphius book
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The Mermaid's Purse book
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  1. #19
    ″ African-Americans themselves in certain parts join with Euro-Americans, to keep out of school, teachers who may be bold enough to teach the truth as it is. They usually say the races here are getting along amicably now, and we do not want these peaceful relationships disturbed by teaching of new political thought. What they mean to say with respect to the peaceful relation of the races, then, is that the African-Americans have been terrorized to the extent that they are afraid even to discuss political matters publicly.”
  2. #20
    “Our problem as Americans -- at least, among my race and gender -- is that we resist the very idea of limits, regarding limits of all sorts as temporary and regrettable impositions on our lives.”
  3. #21
    “We all black and white and everything else—this isn’t a race thing. There’s two sides to the story, and that’s what we want to bring out. Nothing about my mother is truth if it’s about wantin to fry the researchers. It’s not about punish the doctors or slander the hospital. I don’t want that.”
  4. #22
    “It has been said that the Negroes do not connect morals with religion. The historian would like to know what race or nation does such a thing. Certainly the whites with whom the Negroes have come into contact have not done so.”
  5. #23
    “Asagai: …You came up to me and you said… “Mr. Asagai—I want very much to talk with you. About Africa. You see, Mr. Asagai, I am looking for my identity! (He laughs).”
  6. #24
    “Mama: Oh—So now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life—now it’s money. I guess the world really do change . . .
    Walter: No—it was always money, Mama. We just didn’t know about it.
    Mama: No . . . something has changed. You something new, boy. In my time we was worried about not being lynched . . . You ain’t satisfied or proud of nothing we done. I mean that you had a home; that we kept you out of trouble till you was grown; that you don’t have to ride to work on the back of nobody’s streetcar—You my children—but how different we done become.”
  7. #25
    “Mama: Them houses they put up for colored in them areas way out all seem to cost twice as much as other houses. I did the best I could.”
  8. #26
    “Lindner: …most of the trouble exists because people just don’t sit down and talk to each other…That we don’t try hard enough in this world to understand the other fellow’s problem. The other guy’s point of view.”
  9. #27
    “So many black families spend all of their time trying to fix the problems of the past. That is the curse of being black and poor, and it is a curse that follows you from generation to generation. My mother calls it ‘the black tax.’ Because the generations who came before you have been pillaged, rather than being free to use your skills and education to move forward, you lose everything just trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zero.”
  1. #28
    “Big Walter used to say, he’d get right wet in the eyes sometimes, lean his head back with the water standing in his eyes and say, ‘Seem like God didn’t see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams - but He did give us children to make them dreams seem worth while.”
  2. #29
    “Tell them, that the Being we all worship, under different names, will be mindful of their charity; and that the time shall not be distant, when we may assemble around his throne, without distinction of sex, or rank, or color!”
  3. #30
    “That is just what is wrong with the colored woman in this world … Don’t understand about building their men up and making ‘em feel like they somebody. Like they can do something.”
  4. #31
    “My day has been too long. In the morning I saw the sons of the Unarms happy and strong; and yet, before the sun has come, have I lived to see the last warrior of the wise race of the Mohicans.”
  5. #32
    “As a kid I understood that people were different colors, but in my head white and black and brown were like types of chocolate. Dad was the white chocolate, mom was the dark chocolate, and I was the milk chocolate. But we were all just chocolate. I didn’t know any of it had anything to do with ‘race.’ I didn’t know what race was. My mother never referred to my dad as white or to me as mixed. So when the other kids in Soweto called me ‘white,’ even though I was light brown, I just thought they had their colors mixed up, like they hadn’t learned them properly. ‘Ah, yes, my friend. You’ve confused aqua with turquoise. I can see how you made that mistake. You’re not the first.’”
  6. #33
    “That, and so many other smaller incidents in my life, made me realize that language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”
  7. #34
    “I wonder if the quiet was not better than … death and hatred. But … I will not wonder long.”
  8. #35
    “Son — I come from five generations of people who was slaves and sharecroppers – but ain’t nobody in my family never let nobody pay ‘em no money that was a way of telling us we wasn’t fit to walk the earth. We ain’t never been that poor. We ain’t never been that — dead inside.”
  9. #36
    “In any society built on institutionalized racism, race-mixing doesn’t merely challenge the system as unjust, it reveals the system as unsustainable and incoherent. Race-mixing proves that races can mix—and in a lot of cases, want to mix. Because a mixed person embodies that rebuke to the logic of the system, race-mixing becomes a crime worse than treason.”

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Petra book
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We're All Wonders book
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Alma and How She Got Her Name book
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Amazing Grace book
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The Best Kind of Bear book
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Not Quite Narwhal book
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Mixed Me! book
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  1. #37
    “Negroes do not, strictly or legally speaking, exist in any other [country]. ”
  2. #38
    “But silence, do you hear me? Silence upon the whole subject; and let no one get before us in this design of discovering the center of the earth.”
  3. #39
    “And by the time he met Big Mike, he had a new unofficial title: Life Guidance Counselor to whatever black athlete stumbled into the Briarcrest Christian School. The black kids reminded him, in a funny way, of himself. Sean knew what it meant to be the poor kid in a private school, because he’d been one himself.”
  4. #40
    “When the Ole Miss defense gathered in a single room, the only white people were coaches. On the football field the players became honorary white people, but off it they were still black, and unnatural combatants in Mississippi’s white internecine war.”
  5. #41
    “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger.”
  6. #42
    “This little man, five-foot-nine at most and not even American, was going to teach them about cowboys?”
  7. #43
    ″ Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person. Justice? ”
  8. #45
    “Color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality.”
  1. #46
    ″ He expected her to feel what she did not know how to feel. ”
  2. #47
    ″ I didn’t know I was even supposed to have issues until I came to America. ”
  3. #48
    “You can’t write an honest novel about race in this country.”
  4. #49
    ″‘Those people,’ he said, pointing in the direction the women and children had gone, ‘I thought they locked them up.’
    ‘Oh, that was some years back. Right after Pearl Harbor. But now they’ve turned them all loose again. Sent them home.‘”
  5. #50
    “The first day in Oakland he and Rocky walked down the street together and a big Chrysler stopped in the street and an old white woman rolled down the window and said, ‘God bless you, God bless you,’ but it was the uniform, not them, she blessed.”
  6. #51
    “We stared at each other, blood on my face, tears on hers. It was as if I saw myself. Like in a looking-glass.”
  7. #52
    “He could still see the face of the little boy, looking back at him, smiling, and he tried to vomit that image from his head because it was Rocky’s smiling face from a long time before, when they were little kids together.”
  8. #53
    “Bertha is not my name. You are trying to make me into someone else, calling me by another name. I know, that’s obeah too.”
  9. #54
    “She is not béké like you, but she is béké, and not like us either.”
  1. #55
    ″[Steve] is writing the word Monster over and over again. A white hand (O’BRIEN’s) takes the pencil from his hand and crosses out all the Monsters.”
  2. #56
    “White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”
  3. #57
    “To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”
  4. #58
    “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line.”
  5. #59
    “I had begun to notice that my mother became irritated when I questioned her about whites and blacks, and I could not quite understand it.”
  6. #60
    “In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. So we don’t. Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color “criminals” and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind.”
  7. #61
    “Seeing race is not the problem. Refusing to care for the people we see is the problem. The fact that the meaning of race may evolve over time or lose much of its significance is hardly a reason to be struck blind. ”
  8. #62
    “The more conceited members of the race think in terms of an endless ascent—or promotion ad infinitum. I would point out that, sooner or later, man must reach his level of life-incompetence.”
  9. #63
    “Not merely a Master Race whose sole task is to rule, but a Race with its own sphere of life, with an excess of strength... strong enough to have no need of the tyranny of the virtue-imperative.”
  10. #64
    “She was caught between two allegiances...Herself. Her race.”
  11. #65
    “Did that woman, could that woman, somehow know that here before her very eyes on the roof of the Drayton sat a Negro?”
  12. #66
    ″‘Seem like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far,’ she said.”
Book Topics › diversity
Children's Books About Diversity
Book Topics › discrimination
Children's Books About Discrimination
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