Quotes from
Deep River and
The Negro Spiritual Speaks of Life and Death
The two volumes were originally published separately;
initials preceding page numbers indicate source in the joint volume.
It is clear, then, that there can be no hope until both the Negro and the Caucasian lift the level of their relationship to the highest point of moral and religious responsibility. (DR 50)

The pattern of deception by which the weak are deprived of their civic, economic, political, and social rights without its appearing that they are so deprived is a matter of continuous and tragic amazement.  The pattern of deception by which the weak circumvent the strong and manage to secure some of their political, economic and social rights is a matter of continuous and tragic degradation.  (DR 51)

There is a point beyond which we may not go in yielding for any reason whatsoever.  When that moment arrives the pertinent question of Jesus, "What would a man give in exchange for his soul? becomes the profoundest question of life.  The men for whom the point never comes in his relations with his fellows has already lost his soul.  (DR 52)

The contradictions of life are not in themselves either final or ultimate.  (DR 59)

In one way or another God and the human spirit must come together.  Whatever things in life you believe to be true and valid, you and they must sit together in the solitude of your own spirit; and when you do what is on the agenda no form of pretension has any standing there.  (DR 85)

The life of man is significantly capable of rising to the demands of maximum moral responsibility.  (NS 47)

Only of that which is possessed of infinite potentials, can an infinite demand be required.  (NS 55)