David Walker's 1829 Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World
A Cause of Anti-Literacy Laws and Anti-Abolitionist Laws
The bare name of educating the coloured people, scares our cruel oppressors almost to death.
For I must truly say, that ignorance, the mother of treachery and deceit, gnaws into our very vitals. Ignorance, as it now exits among us, produces a state of things, Oh my Lord! too horrible to present to the world.
Remember, to let the aim of your labours among your brethren, and particularly the youths, be the dissemination of education and religion.
I pray that the Lord may undeceive my ignorant brethren, and permit them to throw away pretensions, and seek after the substance of learning. I would crawl on my hands and knees through mud and mire, to the feet of a learned man [. . .] —for colored people to acquire learning in this country, makes tyrants quake and tremble on their sandy foundation. Why, what is the matter ? Why, they know that their infernal deeds of cruelty will be made known to the world.