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Emancipation is an effort to procure economic, social and political equality for a disenfranchised group.
- EMANCIPATION, n. A bondman's change from the tyranny of another to the despotism of himself.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- The first attempt of a democracy which includes the previously disfranchised poor is to redistribute wealth and income, and this is exactly what the black South attempted. The theory is that the wealth and the current income of the wealthy ruling class does not belong to them entirely, but is the product of the work and striving of the great millions; and that, therefore, these millions ought to have a voice in its more equitable distribution; and if this is true in modern countries, like France and England and Germany, how much more true was it in the South after the war where the poorest class represented the most extreme case of theft of labor that the world can conceive; namely, chattel slavery?
- W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), p. 604
- The German and English and French serf, the Italian and Russian serf, were, on emancipation, given definite rights in the land. Only the American Negro slave was emancipated without such rights and in the end this spelled for him the continuation of slavery.
- W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), p. 611