Our flag is red, white and blue, but our nation is a rainbowred, yellow, brown, black and whiteand we're all precious in God's sight.
(Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Speech, July 16, 1984, Democratic National Convention, San Francisco. Quoted in The Harper Book of American Quotations, ed. Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich (1988).
Jackson added, "My constituency is the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected and the despised.")
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.)