Quotation by Anna Julia Cooper

... the highest gifts are not measurable in dollars and cents. Beyond and above the class who run an account with the world and merely manage honestly to pay in kind for what they receive, there is a noble army—the Shakespeares and Miltons, the Newtons, Galileos and Darwins,—Watts, Morse, Howe, Lincoln, Garrison, John Brown—a part of the world's roll of honor—whose price of board and keep dwindles into nothingness when compared with what the world owes them; men who have taken of the world's bread and paid for it in immortal thoughts, invaluable inventions, new facilities, heroic deeds of loving self-sacrifice; men who dignify the world for their having lived in it and to whom the world will ever bow in grateful worship as its heroes and benefactors. It may not be ours to stamp our genius in enduring characters—but we can give what we are at its best.
Anna Julia Cooper (1859–1964), African American educator and feminist. A Voice from the South, part 2 (1892).

Born to a slave, Cooper would become, at age sixty-seven, the fourth African American woman to earn a Ph.D. (at the University of Paris).
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