"A fundamental part of Lincoln's moral compass was his opposition to slavery. But it took him a long time to embrace black people. We were raised with a fairy tale representation that because he hated slavery, he loved the slaves. He didn't. He was a recovering racist. He used to use the N word. He told darky jokes. He resisted abolition as long as he could. But in the end, he was on an upward arc, one that was quite noble."
- historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Abraham Lincoln's complex feelings toward Black people