We seek the right to play our part in advancing the cause of national defense and national unity. But certainly, there can be no true national unity where one-tenth of the population is denied their basic rights as American citizens.
Lincoln was the spokesman of the rising capitalist class of the North, who viewed the emancipation of Negro slaves as indispensable to the development and triumph of the manufacturers and bankers of the industrial North, East and West over the slave-holder of the South.
Since almost all Negroes are workers, live on wages, and suffer from the high cost of food, clothing and shelter, it is obvious that the Republican and Democratic Parties are opposed to their interests.
I don’t ever remember a single day of hopelessness. I knew from the history of the labor movement, especially of the black people, that it was an undertaking of great trial. That, live or die, I had to stick with it, and we had to win.
Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship.