The kind of beauty I want most is the kind that comes from within: strength, courage, dignity.”
The word BLACKNESS has 120 synonyms, 60 of which are distinctly unfavorable, and none of them even mildly positive. Among the offending 60 were such words as: blot, blotch, smut, smudge, sully, begrime, soot, becloud, obscure, dingy, murky, low-toned, threatening, frowning, foreboding, forbidden, sinister, baneful, dismal, thundery, evil, wicked, malignant, deadly, unclean, dirty, unwashed, foul, etc….not to mention 20 synonyms directly related to race, such as: Negro, Negress, nigger, darky, blackamoor, etc.
When you consider the fact that thinking itself is sub-vocal speech—in other words, one must use words in order to think at all—you will appreciate the enormous heritage of racial prejudgment that lies in wait for any child born into the English Language. Any teacher good or bad, white or black, Jew or Gentile, who use the English Language as a medium of communication is forced, willy-nilly, to teach the Negro child 60 ways to despise himself, and the white child 60 ways to aid and abet him in the crime.
Who speaks to me in my Mother Tongue damns me indeed!…the English Language—in which I cannot conceive my self as a black man without, at the same time, debasing myself…my enemy, with which to survive at all I must continually be at war.”