“As to myself and my people, we are not seeking social equality; that is a thing no law can govern. We all have our preferences. We all wish to select our associates, and no legislation can select them for us. We ask nothing of the kind. We simply ask to be allowed an equal chance in the race of life; and equal opportunity of supporting our families, of educating our children, and of becoming worthy citizens of this government.”

Oscar James Dunn, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana 1868-1871 * Excerpted from Inaugural Address June 13, 1868