Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.
'Black' is an adjective, in my book, and the way I use it, sometimes I'll say 'black people.' But if I'm talking about a person, I'm going to say 'a Negro,' because I was taught to say that, and I don't see any reason to change it. I don't think that gives pride or anything else. I don't think you get pride by calling yourself this or that.
If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.
Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish.
I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband.
It was taken for granted that we had to make something of ourselves. Not much was said about it; it was just in the atmosphere of the home.
Surely the fact that a uniformed police officer is wearing his hair below his collar will make him no less identifiable as a policeman.
None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower.
My father had a flat rule. He believed that every man's house was his castle. He had a flat rule: no man could come in his house without his permission.
I never worked hard until I got to the Howard Law School and met Charlie Houston... I saw this man's dedication, his vision, his willingness to sacrifice, and I told myself, 'You either shape up or ship out.' When you are being challenged by a great human being, you know that you can't ship out.
We could get more action in the South because the Negroes had a feeling that they were being oppressed. But you take New York, for example: they'd give Negroes little five-cent jobs here and there - and they thought they had something. And the same in Chicago and any of the metropolitan areas.
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds.
It is important that the strongest pressures against the continuation of segregation, North or South, be continually and constantly manifested. Probably, as much as anything else, this is the key in the elimination of discrimination in the United States.
Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court. It takes a lot of doing, but it can be done.
We deal here with the right of all of our children, whatever their race, to an equal start in life and to an equal opportunity to reach their full potential as citizens. Those children who have been denied that right in the past deserve better than to see fences thrown up to deny them that right in the future.
Ending racial discrimination in jury selection can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely.
When you hear a lot of stories about Africa, and you get to a place like Kenya and other countries like that, where they think the same way we do, I was happy to find that the Schedule of Rights that I drew for the Kenyan Government was working very well.
A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.
This is a great country, but fortunately for you, it is not perfect. There is much to be done to bring about complete equality. Remove hunger. Bring reality closer to theory and democratic principles.