"What shall we do with the Negro?"

by Frederick Douglass, a freed slave and prominent statesmen before, during, and after the War Between the States (commonly but erroneously named the "Civil War.")

"What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with
us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!