Even after slavery, blacks held against their will

“Why does the Negro not emigrate? He has not a cent to emigrate with, and if he had, and desired to exercise that right, he would be arrested for debt, for nonfulfillment of contract, or be shot down like a dog in his tracks.

“When Southern senators tell you they want to be rid of the Negro, they are speaking simply to mislead the North. Only a few days ago armed resistance was made in North Carolina to colored emigration from that state….[The Negro’s] labor is wanted to-day in the South just as it was wanted in old times when he was hunted by two-legged and four-legged bloodhounds.”

— Frederick Douglass, addressing the Bethel Literary and Historical Society, Washington, D. C., April 16, 1889

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