You think me the child of circumstance; I make my circumstance.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).)
In Stamps the segregation was so complete that most Black children didn't really, absolutely know what whites looked like.
(Maya Angelou (b. 1928), African American poet, autobiographer, and performer. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, ch. 4 (1970).
Remembering her childhood in strictly segregated, harshly racist Stamps, Arkansas, during the 1930s.)