Quotation by Anna Julia Cooper

Each is under the most sacred obligation not to squander the material committed to him, not to sap his strength in folly and vice, and to see at the least that he delivers a product worthy the labor and cost which have been expended on him.
Anna Julia Cooper (1859–1964), African American educator and feminist. A Voice from the South, part 2 (1892).

Cooper, the daughter of a former slave and her white master, was speaking specifically of the obligation of African Americans to strive and, if possible, to help others of their race; she had cited Booker T. Washington and his school at Tuskegee, Alabama as an example. However, she also meant this as a general principle, applying to all people.
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