“If I thought going to war would bring freedom and equality to twenty-two million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me. I’d join tomorrow. But I either have to obey the laws of the land or the laws of Allah. I have nothing to lose by standing up and following my beliefs. We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.”
Farmer, Essayist, Conservationist, Novelist, Teacher, Poet
“The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful.”
“We blow up the most ancient mountains on the earth, reducing them to rubble to produce electricity we call ‘cheap’ and ‘clean’ What does that tell us about ourselves and our society?”
Civil Rights Activist, Writer
“As long as people of color can be written off as expendable, and therefore acceptable victims of the most extreme inequities, none of the basic injustices of our society will be addressed; they will only get worse.”
US Supreme Court Justice : 1856-1941
“Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher…Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for the law: it invites every man to become a law unto himself, it invites anarchy.”
Sixteenth President of the United States : 1809-1865
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”
Environmental Journalist, Teacher
“Our most modern sin is that we do not love the world enough. We have exiled the holy from this realm so we can turn its mountains into money.”
You can learn more about any of these Kentuckians on the Americans Who Tell the Truth website.
The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage houses the following Americans Who Tell the Truth prints in its main hall:
Anne Braden's portrait can be seen at the Anne Braden Institute at the University of Louisville.
Louis Brandeis' portrait can be seen at the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law.
John Lewis' portrait can be seen at Louisville's ACLU offices.