Black People are people of relatively recent African descent (see African diaspora), while others extend the term to any of the populations characterized by dark skin color, a definition that also includes certain populations in Oceania and Southwest Asia.
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- One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.
- I have a dream: That one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
- Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream (1963)
- I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream — a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.
- Martin Luther King Jr., (11 May 1959) "Address at the Religious Leaders Conference"; Washington, D.C.
- We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.
- Malcolm X Interview (January 1965?); quoted in By Any Means Necessary
- "I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me".
- Muhammad Ali, The Greatest
- The only people who accept slavery are the Negroes, owing to their low degree of humanity and proximity to the animal stage. Other persons who accept the status of slave do so as a means of attaining high rank, or power, or wealth, as is the case with the Mameluke Turks in the East and with those Franks and Galicians who enter the service of the state [in Spain].
- Ibn Khaldun as quoted in Bernard Lewis, Race and Color in Islam, Harper and Row, 1970, quote on page 38. The brackets are displayed by Lewis.
- "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. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk
- "History has thrown the colored man out. You look in vain to Bancroft and other historians for justice to the colored. The historian passes it by"
- William Wells Brown in an address at the American Anti-Slavery Society in May 1860, New York. Anti-Slavery Standard, May 26, 1860
- ...Negroes are not the only victims. How many white children have gone uneducated, how many white families have lived in stark poverty, how many white lives have been scarred by fear, because we have wasted our energy and our substance to maintain the barriers of hatred and terror?
- U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise, March 15, 1965