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And, then, the old man preached about the daily indignities of the old south— insulting stereotypes and caricatures that portrayed us as buffoons, butlers, and beasts; lies about our morality and worth, some told by preachers who said we had no souls, that we wore the Curse of Ham; backbreaking toil, often forced by law, the fruit of our labor on another man’s plate; poverty that warped, crippled, and everywhere premature death; our voices silenced by poll taxes and literacy tests; schooling in raggedy shacks with tattered books because education would spoil us for work in the fields; cuffed, chained, and caged, for crimes both real and imagined; our soldiers killed in their uniforms, their medals stripped; our businesses, churches, schools, and homes burned to the ground when we progressed too much; our women and children raped; everywhere the barbarism of color discrimination followed us, enveloped us, and when all else failed, there were sadistic cowards with ropes and pyres to kill us, kill our bodies, to try and end us. But, we did not end.

– David Pilgrim

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We rise, our backs unbowed, tongues untied, no more standing in the back of the line, feet shuffling, pretending to be dumb so others feel smart; no more being knocked down so others can stand on us to be taller; we are not satisfied with a half-loaf, not satisfied with another man’s leftovers. Those days are gone. We will live like people, not pigs corralled and slaughtered. This is our country; we, too, sing America. White people can go back to England, go back to Germany, go back to Ireland, but we are not going anywhere. America is the home we built. We will honor the pain, suffering, and sacrifice of our ancestors by working to create a just society, by dismantling patterns of injustice. We will not be invisible. We will not shut up. We are the fast train coming.

– David Pilgrim

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    "David Pilgrim Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Oct. 2020. <https://www.quotes.net/authors/David+Pilgrim+Quotes>.

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