“Certainly the anonymous scarecrow portrait was intended to put him in his place, in much the same way as the philosopher David Hume was said to have dismissed Williams’s accomplishments by comparing the admiration people had for him to the praise they might give a parrot who speaks a few words plainly. It is clear, then, that in eighteenth-century Britain there were Britons, like the painter Gainsborough, who were ready to accord respect to an African, even an African who was a servant; and there were other Britons, like the anonymous painter of Francis Williams, or the eminent philosopher Hume, who would sneer at a black man’s achievement. And it was not so much a question of the times in which they lived as the kind of people they were. It was the same in the times of Joseph Conrad a century later, and it is the same today!”

Explore more quotes:

About the author

This page was created by our editorial team. Each page is manually curated, researched, collected, and issued by our staff writers. Quotes contained on this page have been double checked for their citations, their accuracy and the impact it will have on our readers.

Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.

Kendra Syrdal is a writer, editor, partner, and senior publisher for The Thought & Expression Company. Over the last few years she has been personally responsible for writing, editing, and producing over 30+ million pageviews on Thought Catalog.