Slavery Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old slavery quotes, slavery sayings, and slavery proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Willingly no one chooses the yoke of slavery.

Aeschylus

Slavery is what slavery's always been: About one person controlling another person using violence and then exploiting them economically, paying them nothing. That's what slavery's about.     

Kevin Bales

Slavery is theft -- theft of a life, theft of work, theft of any property or produce, theft even of the children a slave might have borne.

Kevin Bales

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves     

Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works - Volume XII

Today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.

Friedrich Nietzsche

To be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing.

Toni Morrison, A Mercy

Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master's commands when, in fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too personal style.     

W. H. Auden

Men would rather be starving and free than fed in bonds.

Pearl Buck

Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.     

Edmund Burke

Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature - opposition to it, is his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.

Abraham Lincoln

Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope.     

Abraham Lincoln

Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature - opposition to it, is his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.

Abraham Lincoln

Captivity is the greatest of all evils that can befall one.     

Miguel De Cervantes

Most people seek after what they do not possess and are enslaved by the very things they want to acquire.

Anwar El-Sadat

Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.     

Maria Weston Chapman

Some slaves are scoured to their work by whips, others by their restlessness and ambition.

John Ruskin

The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.

Bertrand Russell

Some slaves are scoured to their work by whips, others by their restlessness and ambition.

John Ruskin

There is a kind of sluggish resignation, as well as poorness and degeneracy of spirit, in a state of slavery, that very few will recover themselves out of it.     

Joseph Addison

Slavery is a state so improper, so degrading, and so ruinous to the feelings and capacities of human nature, that it ought not to be suffered to exist.

Edmund Burke

Death is natural to a man, but slavery unnatural; and the moment you strip a man of his liberty you strip him of all his virtues: you convert his heart into a dark hole, in which all the vices conspire against you.     

Edmund Burke

I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted.

Frederick Douglass

Better to starve free than be a fat slave.

Aesop

The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states.

Mahatma Gandhi

The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but what is worse the slave of as many masters as he has vices.

Augustine of Hippo

Man is free; yet we must not suppose that he is at liberty to do everything he pleases, for he becomes a slave the moment he allows his actions to be ruled bypassion.     

Giacomo Casanova

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

Frederick Douglass

There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.     

Helen Keller

The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and his fellow men.

Robert G. Ingersoll

Mental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul.     

Robert G. Ingersoll