Mary Church Terrell Quotes

The same year the Declaration of Emancipation was signed; Mary Church Terrell was born and died two months after the decision of  Brown v. Education Board. During those 90 years, she promoted racial and economic diversity,  especially African-American women’s rights and opportunities.

9 Best Mary Church Terrell Quotes

1-         “And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ‘ere long. With courage, born of success achieved in the past, with a keen sense of the responsibility which we shall continue to assume, we look forward to a future large with promise and hope. Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance.”

2-         “I cannot help wondering sometimes what I might have become and might have done if I had lived in a country which had not circumscribed and handicapped me on account of my race, that had allowed me to reach any height I was able to attain.”

3-         “Through the National Association of Colored Women, which was formed by the union of two large organizations in July 1896, and which is now the only national body among colored women, much good has been done in the past, and more will be accomplished in the future, we hope. Believing that it is only through the home that people can become really good and truly great, the National Association of Colored Women has entered that sacred domain.”

4-         “Please stop using the word “Negro”…. We are the only human beings in the world with fifty-seven varieties of complexions who are classed together as a single racial unit. Therefore, we are really truly colored people, and that is the only name in the English language which accurately describes us.”

5-         “It is impossible for any white person in the United States, no matter how sympathetic and broad, to realize what life would mean to him if his incentive to effort were suddenly snatched away. To the lack of incentive to effort, which is the awful shadow under which we live, maybe traced the wreck and ruin of score of colored youth.”

6-         “Seeing their children touched and seared and wounded by race prejudice is one of the heaviest crosses which colored women have to bear.”

7-         “Surely nowhere in the world do oppression and persecution based solely on the color of the skin appear more hateful and hideous than in the capital of the United States, because the chasm between the principles upon which this Government was founded, in which it still professes to believe, and those which are daily practiced under the protection of the flag, yawn so wide and deep.”

8-         “As a colored woman I may enter more than one white church in Washington without receiving that welcome which as a human being I have the right to expect in the sanctuary of God.”

9-         “When Ernestine Rose, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony began that agitation by which colleges were opened to women and the numerous reforms inaugurated for the amelioration of their condition along all lines, their sisters who groaned in bondage had little reason to hope that these blessings would ever brighten their crushed and blighted lives, for, during those days of oppression and despair, colored women were not only refused admittance to institutions of learning, but the law of the States in which the majority lived made it a crime to teach them to read.”


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