Friends General Conference

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Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice

QuakerPress Publication
By Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye | 11/15/12

This book documents the spiritual and practical impacts of discrimination in the Religious Society of Friends in the belief that understanding the truth of our past is vital to achieving a diverse, inclusive community in the future. There is a common misconception that most Quakers assisted fugitive slaves and involved themselves in civil rights activism because of their belief in equality. While there were Friends committed to ending enslavement and post-enslavement injustices, Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship reveals that racism has been as insidious, complex, and pervasive among Friends as it has been generally among people of European descent.




"The answer for Friends is to deepen and broaden our sense of the presence of God as we have seen Him in Christ, until we are fully aware that love of God and love of men cannot be separated. In the measure that we become unsegregated from within, we shall desegregate outwardly."

—Errol Elliott, lecture to Indiana Yearly Meeting, 1968.