W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

"Is it possible and probable that nine millions of men can make effective progress in economic fines if they are deprived of political rights, made a servile caste, and allowed only the most meagre chance for developing their exceptional men? If history and reason give any distinct answer to these questions it is an emphatic No. . . .

"Such men, [the thinking classes of American Negroes] feel in conscience bound to ask of this nation three things:

1. The right to vote
2. Civic equality
The education of youth according to ability

"They do not expect that the free right to vote, to enjoy civic rights, and to be educated, will come in a moment; they do not expect to see the bias and prejudices of years disappear at the blast of a trumpet; but they are absolutely certain that the way for a people to gain their reasonable rights is not by voluntarily throwing them away and insisting that they do not want them; that the way for a people to gain respect is not by continually belittling and ridiculing themselves; that, on the contrary, Negroes must insist continually, in season and out of season, that voting is necessary to modem manhood, that color discrimination is barbarism, and that black boys need education as well as white boys:"