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Audre Lorde

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The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.
--
essay "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House", in Sister Outsider

 
Audre Lorde

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If you're afraid of black nationalism, you're afraid of revolution. And if you love revolution, you love black nationalism. To understand this, you have to go back to what the young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro back during slavery. There were two kinds of slaves, the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good because they ate his food what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved the master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master's house quicker than the master would. If the master said, "We got a good house here," the house Negro would say, "Yeah, we got a good house here." Whenever the master said "we," he said "we." That's how you can tell a house Negro.

 
Malcolm (Malcolm Little) X
 

If you're afraid of black nationalism, you're afraid of revolution. And if you love revolution, you love black nationalism. To understand this, you have to go back to what the young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro back during slavery. There were two kinds of slaves, the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good because they ate his food what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved the master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master's house quicker than the master would. If the master said, "We got a good house here," the house Negro would say, "Yeah, we got a good house here." Whenever the master said "we," he said "we." That's how you can tell a house Negro.

 
Malcolm X
 

The field Negro was beaten from morning to night; he lived in a shack, in a hut; he wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master, but that field Negro remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn't try to put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he'd die. If someone came to the field Negro and said, "Let's separate, let's run," he didn't say, "Where we going?" He'd say, "Any place is better than here."

 
Malcolm (Malcolm Little) X
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