Had middle class black women begun a movement in which they had labeled themselves "oppressed," no one would have taken them seriously.
(bell hooks (b. 1955), African American author and educator. Feminist Theory, ch. 1 (1984).
Referring to the fact that the contemporary Women's Liberation Movement was founded largely by well-educated, middle-class white women. Hooks, who was college educated but grew up in a poor African American Kentucky family, was a feminist.)
... black women have always found that in the social order of things we're the least likely to be believedby anyone.
(Joycelyn Elders (b. 1933), U.S. pediatrician and educator; first woman (and second African American) Surgeon General of the United States. As quoted in the New York Times Magazine, p. 18 (January 30, 1994).
Reflecting on the treatment of Anita Hill, an African American attorney and law school professor who accused Judge Clarence Thomas, also African American and then a U. S. Supreme Court nominee, of sexual harassment when she had worked for him some years earlier. Hill was ridiculed by several Senators during Thomas's confirmation hearings. Ultimately, Thomas was appointed to the Court.)
Body and soul, Black America reveals the extreme questions of contemporary life, questions of freedom and identity: How can I be who I am?
(June Jordan (b. 1939), U.S. poet, civil rights activist. essay originally published in Evergreen Review (New York, Oct. 1969). Black Studies: Bringing Back The Person, Moving Towards Home: Political Essays (1989).)
Mosquitoes, black flies, etc., pursued us in mid-channel, and we were glad sometimes to get into violent rapids, for then we escaped them.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Allegash and East Branch" (1864) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 309, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)