Quotation by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

It is said that the Negro is ignorant. But why is he ignorant? It comes with ill grace from a man who has put out my eyes to make a parade of my blindness,—to reproach me for my poverty when he has wronged me of my money.... If he is poor, what has become of the money he has been earning for the last two hundred and fifty years? Years ago it was said cotton fights and cotton conquers for American slavery. The Negro helped build up that great cotton power in the South, and in the North his sigh was in the whir of its machinery, and his blood and tears upon the warp and woof of its manufactures.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825–1911), African American author, speaker, and rights advocate. As quoted in The Female Experience, ch. 66, by Gerda Lerner (1977).

Speaking in 1891 to the National Council of Women of the United States, in anticipation of "the objection that the Negro is poor and ignorant."
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