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The Library of America Presents Charles W. Chesnutt
Cartoon Chesnutt Historical Contexts [Enter]
Biography
Literary Career
Commentary
The LOA Edition

I will live down the prejudice, I will crush it out. I will show to the world that a man may spring from a race of slaves, and yet far excel many of the boasted ruling race. If I can exalt my race, if I can gain the applause of the good, and the approbation of God, the thoughts of the ignorant and prejudiced will not concern me. If a man be too proud, too selfconceited, or so blinded by prejudice as not to recognize and honor true merit wherever discovered, I want not his good opinion. Let him reserve it for those whom it will please or displease!

—1878