Black History Month Quotes

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.

Originally created in the 1920s as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and later – in the 1970s, starting at Kent State University – president Gerald Ford expanded the event to an entire month. Celebrated in February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, president Ford explained that the United States needed to seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

African American History Month Black Freedom Feb

A celebration of iconic leaders and civil rights activists.

“We, the people.”  It is a very eloquent beginning.  But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787 I was not included in that “We, the people.”  I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, just left me out by mistake.  But through the process of amendment, interpretation and court decision I have finally been included in “We, the people.”
– Barbara Jordan, US Senator, lawyer, educator and  Leader of the Civil Rights Movement

Black excellence is a thing. People – from Beyonce Knowles to Venus and Serena Williams to folks you haven’t heard of – are into it. It’s less a movement than a standard: believers set the bar high not only for themselves but also for others who share their vision, especially when it pertains to black history, stories, and style.
– Hilton Als, American writer and theater critic

Black history is American history.
Morgan Freeman, American actor and film narrator

Black history is part of American history, and it should be treated as such.
– Janelle Monae,  American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer

Black history isn’t a separate history. This is all of our history, this is American history, and we need to understand that. It has such an impact on kids and their values and how they view black people.
– Karyn Parsons, American actress and comedian

Black History Month could focus less on slavery and civil rights and more on the Harlem Renaissance and everything we have achieved. I want to know about the whole black experience.
– Marley Dias, American activist and feminist

Black History Month is a great celebration for Black people everywhere. I just hope we get to the point as Black people that we celebrate everyday like it is Black History month by living our lives and aspiring to be all we can. Many people lost their lives for us to have the privileges we have so we need to honor them by striving to be the best we can be.
– Crystal Robinson, American basketball coach and former player

Black History Month is dedicated to heroes that paved the way for Black people. It’s a month that’s very imperative because it gives those who lack the knowledge of our heroes a chance to gain insight. It’s not just about the month, it’s about the years that it took for us to get to this one month and it’s beyond placing a value on how much Black History Month really means to me.
– Alana Beard, American professional basketball player

Black History Month is fine, but we need more months of the year to celebrate all the people on this earth. After all, we’re all creatures of the same God.
– Ruby Dee, American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist

Black History Month is in the shortest month of the year, and the coldest-just in case we want to have a parade.
– Chris Rock, American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director

Black History Month must be more than just a month of remembrance; it should be a tribute to our history and reminder of the work that lies in the months and years ahead.
– Marty Meehan, Educator, a politician, and lawyer

Black History Month should be celebrated everyday. It’s a month that’s kind of sad to me, because I am reminded of the struggles that people before us had to go through for us to be able to live comfortably today.
– Tamara James, American basketball former player

Black people have always been America’s wilderness in search of a promised land. 
– Cornel West, American philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, and public intellectual

Black History Month Quotes

A fully functional multiracial society cannot be achieved without a sense of history and open, honest dialogue.
Cornel West,  American philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, and public intellectual

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
– Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist 

A great figure or physique is nice, but it’s self-confidence that makes someone really sexy.
– Vivica A. Fox, American actress, producer and television host

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
Jackie Robinson, Baseball player

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
– Marcus Garvey, Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator

A woman needs someone she can trust, someone who laughs when she laughs, but who has different ideas so she can learn from and teach to them. She needs someone who will stand up with her and encourage her to be a woman—not just a female. See where you are, admit what you know, and what you need, and search for a sister friend.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

All business is personal… Make your friends before you need them.
– Robert L. Johnson, Entrepreneur, media magnate, executive, philanthropist, and investor

All great achievements require time.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

All I know is I’ve tried my best.
– Tiger Woods, Golf player

All the negro asks is that the door which rewards industry, thrift, intelligence and character be left as wide open for him as for the foreigner who constantly comes to our country. More than this he has no right to request. Less than this a republic has no right to withhold.
– Booker T. Washington, 1904 February 12th, Armstrong Association meeting, New York City

All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.
– August Wilson, American playwright

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Activist

Am I bossy? Absolutely. I don’t like to lose, and if I’m told ‘no,’ then I find another way to get my ‘yes.’ But I’m a loyal person.
– Naomi Campbell, English model, actress, and businesswoman

American means white, and Africanist people struggle to make the term applicable to themselves with ethnicity and hyphen after hyphen after hyphen.
– Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, 1992

An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.
– Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright

An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.
– Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker

And so we shall have to do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud with enthusiasm.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

And when I talk about love, I’m talking about something that’s great, though, brother. I’m talking about something that will sustain you.
Cornel West, American philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, and public intellectual

Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.
– Alex Haley, African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots

Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.
– Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, poet and professor

As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned. I am beyond their timid lying morality so I am beyond caring.
– Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Nigerian educator, political campaigner, women’s rights activist 

As I like to say to the people in Montgomery:  “The tension in this city is not between white people and Negro people.  The tension is, at bottom, between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.”
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

As long as the colored man look to white folks to put the crown on what he say… as long as he looks to white folks for approval… then he ain’t never gonna find out who he is and what he’s about.
– August Wilson, American playwright

As long as we are not ourselves, we will try to be what other people are.
– Malidoma Patrice Somé, West African writer and workshop leader, primarily in the field of spirituality

As we celebrate Black History Month we should be grateful for the achievements they made and inspired by their legacies to continue their work.
Marty Meehan, Educator, politician, and lawyer

As you become more clear about who you are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Aspiring entrepreneurs have to actually do something that they feel strongly passionate about, and in most cases they should seek inspiration from their own experience… If you had a terrible experience, you should despise the experience to the extent that you are continuously seeking a solution for it.
– Best Ayiorwoth, the founder of Girls Power Micro-Lending Organisation (GIPOMO)

Black History Month Text African-American

Black History Month

Be black, shine, aim high.
Leontyne Price, American soprano

Be happy in your own skin.
– Octavia Spencer, American actress, author, and producer

Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
– Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric and theologian known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist

Beauty is not just a white girl. It’s so many different flavors and shades.
– Queen Latifah, American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and producer

Before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity. Then we can have that conversation.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator

Beginning writers must appreciate the prerequisites if they hope to become writers. You pay your dues – which takes years.
– Alex Haley, African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots

Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

Books were my pass to personal freedom.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Both European and American historians have done away with any conceptual limits on what in the past needs and deserves investigating. The result, among other things, has been a flood of works on gender history, black history, and ethnic history of all kinds.
– Edmund Morgan, American historian

Brave men do not gather by thousands to torture and murder a single individual, so gagged and bound he cannot make even feeble resistance or defense.
– Ida B. Wells, African-American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement.

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
– Maya Angelou “Still I rise,” And Still I Rise (1978)

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
– Maya Angelou, Still I Rise, And Still I Rise (1978)

But if you are going to wear blinders, you do not know the world.
– Miriam Makeba, South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist

Can we see in each other a common humanity, a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us?
Barack Obama, US President

Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.
– Cicely Tyson, American actress

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Barack Obama, US President

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Barack Obama, US President

Character is power.
– Booker T. Washington, African-American educator, author and orator

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.
– Kenneth Chenault, American business executive

Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.
Carol Moseley-Braun, American diplomat, politician, and lawyer

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book.
– Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.
Ola Joseph, Author and motivational speaker

Do it right or don’t do it at all. That comes from my mom. If there’s something I want to do, I’m one of those people that won’t be satisfied until I get it done. If I’m trying to sing something and I can’t get it, I’m going to keep at it until I get where I want it.
– Ray Charles, American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer

Do not call for black power or green power.  Call for brain power.
– Barbara Jordan, US Senator, lawyer, educator and Leader of the Civil Rights Movement

Don’t let anyone convince you that your dream, your vision to be an entrepreneur, is something that you shouldn’t do. What often happens is that people who are well meaning, who really care for us, are afraid for us and talk us out of it.
– Cathy Hughes, American entrepreneur, radio and television personality and business executive

Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.
– Beyoncé Knowles, American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
– George Washington Carver, African-American educator, scientist and inventor

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false and to incur my own abhorrence.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

There are two kinds of worries—those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.
Duke Ellington, American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra

Don’t let anyone steal ya joy! There’s always someone miserable trying to bring you down … you just wish them well & proceed on enjoying your life.
– Missy Elliott, American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and philanthropist

Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.
– Angela Bassett, American actress

Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams.  Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.
– Shonda Rhimes, American television producer, television and film writer, and author

During Black History Month, I’m reminded yet again of the ways that the struggle for civil rights is interwoven with the struggle for workers’ rights.
Tom Perez, American politician and attorney

Each person must live their life as a model for others.
– Rosa Parks, Activist and the mother of the freedom movement

Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.
– Robert F. Kennedy, US Senator and Attorney General

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
– Robert F. Kennedy, US Senator and Attorney General

Eastward and westward storms are breaking, – great, ugly whirlwinds of hatred and blood and cruelty. I will not believe them inevitable.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X​, American Muslim minister and human rights activist

Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.
– Janelle Monae,  American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer

Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.
– William Lloyd Garrison,  American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer

Even when the polls are open to all, Negroes have shown themselves too slow to exercise their voting privileges.  There must be a concerted effort on the part of Negro leaders to arouse their people from their apathetic indifference…. In the past, apathy was a moral failure.  Today, it is a form of moral and political suicide.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Every day, you have the power to choose our better history – by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right.
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and political activist

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and political activist

Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Everything is worth it. The hard work, the times when you’re tired, the times where you’re a bit sad, in the end, it’s all worth it because it really makes me happy. There’s nothing better than loving what you do.
– Aaliyah, American singer, actress, and model

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.
– Nikki Giovanni Jr., American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator

Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.
– Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games

Five days a week, I read my goals before I go to sleep and when I wake up. There are 10 goals around health, family and business with expiration dates, and I update them every six months.
– Daymond John, American businessman, investor, television personality, author, and motivational speaker

For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

For children, diversity needs to be real and not merely relegated to learning the names of the usual suspects during Black History Month or enjoying south-of-the-border cuisine on Cinco de Mayo. It means talking to and spending time with kids not like them so that they may discover those kids are in fact just like them.
– John Ridley, American screenwriter, television director, novelist, and showrunner

For I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart.
– Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
– Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist 

Freedom is never given; it is won.
– A. Philip Randolph, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties
Keynote speech given at the Second National Negro Congress in 1937

Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift.Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them.
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanaian politician and revolutionary

Girls of all kinds can be beautiful — from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing, and all in between. It’s not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box … Think outside of the box … Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.
– Tyra Banks,  American television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, author, model, and occasional singer

Give light and people will find a way.
– Ella Baker, African-American civil rights and human rights activist

Go to work! Go to work in the morn of a new creation… until you have… reached the height of self-progress, and from that pinnacle bestow upon the world a civilization of your own.
– Marcus Garvey, Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator

God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed.
– African Proverb

Greatness can be captured in one word: lifestyle. Life is God’s gift to you, style is what you make of it.
Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.
– Dorothy Height, a revolutionary leader for the civil rights movement

Greatness occurs when your children love you, when your critics respect you and when you have peace of mind.
– Quincy Jones, American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer

Happiness doesn’t depend nearly as much on our circumstances as it does on our relationships, our attitudes, and our beliefs. It comes not as much from what we have and acquire, but from what we accomplish in the way of attaining our goals.
– Ben Carson, American politician, author and former neurosurgeon

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.
– Coretta Scott King, American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. 

Have a vision of excellence, a dream of success, and work like hell.
– Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, political scientist, professor, author, administrator, human rights activist, and civil servant.

Have a vision. Be demanding.
– Colin Powell, American politician, the U.S. Secretary of State, and retired four-star general

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
– Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist

Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor—all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked—who is good? Not that men are ignorant—what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

Hey, I’m going to be. No matter what I do. If I eat sushi and dance an Irish jig, that’s black, because I’m doing it.
– Jacquetta Szathmari, writer

History has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

History is a story like any other, but black history is a story so devoid of logic that it frustrates the young reader. The young readers in my house, told of slavery and segregation, asked in disbelief, ‘What? Why?’ We – the parents of black children, the parents of all children – still need to tell that story.
– Rumaan Alam,  author, writer

Black History Month Quotes

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
– Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright

Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.
Earl G. Graves, Sr., American entrepreneur, publisher, businessman, philanthropist, and advocate of African-American businesses

How are we going to get rid of racism? Stop talking about it!
Morgan Freeman, American actor and film narrator

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose, because settling is the worst feeling in the world.
– Rihanna, Barbadian singer, songwriter, fashion designer, actress and businesswoman

I always make sure I hire people smarter than me.
– Aliko Dangote, Nigerian billionaire businessman

I always wanted to be somebody. If I made it, it’s half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me.
– Althea Gibson, American tennis player and professional golfer

I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.
– Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist

I am an invisible man…. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind.  I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
– Ralph Ellison, American novelist, literary critic, and scholar

I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.
Morgan Freeman, American actor and film narrator

I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.
– Serena Williams,  American professional tennis player

I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all.
– Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker

I am not tragically colored.  There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes…. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less.  No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
– Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me, 1928

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government.
– Cissy Farenthold,  U.S. politician, attorney, activist, and educator.

I believe in destiny. But I also believe that you can’t just sit back and let destiny happen. A lot of times, an opportunity might fall into your lap, but you have to be ready for that opportunity. You can’t sit there waiting on it. A lot of times you are going to have to get out there and make it happen.
– Spike Lee, American film director, producer, writer, and actor

I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace.
Barack Obama, US President

I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.
– Wole Soyinka, Nigerian writer, poet and playwright

I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me 30 years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme. – Aliko Dangote, Nigerian billionaire businessman

I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.
– Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame shooting guard

I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow; if I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe.
– Whitney Houston, American singer and actress

I did a book in 1996, an overview of black history. In that process I became more aware of a lot of the black inventors of the 19th century.
– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hall of Fame NBA player

I didn’t learn black history in school. I had to go find Malcolm X books.
– Rza, American rapper, record producer, musician, actor, and director.

I do consider myself part of black history.
– Mary J. Blige, American singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist

I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
– Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker

I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me.
– Viola Davis, American actress and producer

I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.
Morgan Freeman, American actor and film narrator

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It gets in the way of Black History Month. Cupid didn’t free any slaves.
– Damien Lemon, Writer and actor

I don’t harp on the negative because if you do, then there’s no progression. There’s no forward movement. You got to always look on the bright side of things, and we are in control. Like, you have control over the choices you make.
– Taraji P. Henson, American actress and author

I don’t know everything. I know a fraction of what there is to know and I don’t think I will ever know everything, but it’s important to me to constantly challenge myself, to understanding different viewpoints, really understanding nuance in topics, so I can feel qualified in what I say, so I’m not preaching falsely of what I’m unaware of.
– Yara Shahidi, American actress, model, and activist

I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in ‘We, the people.’
– Barbara Jordan, US Senator, lawyer, educator and Leader of the Civil Rights Movement

I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or rat in a trap.  I had already determined to sell my life as early as possible if attacked. I felt if I could take one lyncher with me, this would even up the score a little bit.
Ida B. Wells, African-American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement

I find freedom sexy. I find freedom so sexy, I can’t even explain it to you. You wake up every day and feel like you can do anything.
– Prince, American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker

I got my start by giving myself a start.
– Madame C. J Walker, African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist

I grew up watching people and companies commercialize Black History Month. I watched old McDonald’s commercials, and they’d blacken up the commercials for 28 days then go back to normal in March. It got annoying to me.
– Jermaine Fowler, American actor, writer and comedian

I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.
– Rosa Parks, Activist and the mother of the freedom movement

I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.
– Madame C. J Walker, African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
– Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist

I have a dream, and a plan, to combine the commercial possibilities of Valentine’s Day with the substance and meaning of black history month. I call it: Blackentine’s Day.
– Mo Rocca, American humorist, journalist, and actor

I have a dream.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
– Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.
– Rosa Parks, Activist and the mother of the freedom movement

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
– Rosa Parks, Activist and the mother of the freedom movement

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
– Booker T. Washington, American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

I have observed this in my experience of slavery, that whenever my condition was improved, instead of increasing my contentment; it only increased my desire to be free, and set me thinking of plans to gain my freedom.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

I have standards I don’t plan on lowering for anybody … including myself.
– Zendaya, American actress and singer

I knew then and I know now, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it.
Claudette Colvin, American nurse aide who was a pioneer of the 1950s civil rights movement

I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person.
Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and political activist

I love Black History Month and celebrating my ancestral roots, but not just my blackness, which is so beautiful. But my Tahitian and my Italian – everything that makes me, me.
– Jordan Fisher, American singer, dancer, and actor

I pay homage and respect to Bobby Womack [for Black History Month] knowing that he passed last year… Him being one of those artists that I have really sampled so much and just been so inspired by… You know, he is the original ‘soul man.’
– Big K.R.I.T., American rapper and record producer

I performed in high school for Black History Month at a talent show, but besides that I didn’t have the resources to perform so I spent my time as a teenager writing music.
– Saweetie, American rapper, singer and composer

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

I realized I was more convincing to myself and to the people who were listening when I actually said what I thought, versus what I thought people wanted to hear me say.
– Ursula Burns, American businesswoman

I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something I just had to be.
– Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan-Mexican actress

I realized that I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life.
– Kerry Washington, American actress

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I refuse to accept the view . . . that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.
– Booker T. Washington, American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

I swear to the Lord I still can’t see why democracy means everybody but me.
– Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright

I swear to the Lord
I still can’t see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.
– Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright

I think that in any family — black, white, Chinese, Spanish, whatever — family is family. You know that there’s dysfunction, and that there’s this cousin who doesn’t like this auntie. But, at the end of the day, like I say, love brings everybody together.
– Lauren London, American actress, model and television personality

I think what motivates people is not great hate, but great love for other people.
– Huey P. Newton, Revolutionary African-American political activist

I thrive on obstacles. If I’m told that it can’t be told, then I push harder.
– Issa Rae, American actress, author, director, producer, and web series creato

I truly believe that if you put your goals in writing, speak them out loud, and work for them, they will happen.
– Ciara, American singer, songwriter, dancer, and model

I used to want the words ‘She tried’ on my tombstone. Now I want ‘She did it.’
– Katherine Dunham, African-American dancer, choreographer, author, educator and social activist

I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

I went to school with a lot of kids whose fathers and mothers were part of the El Paso black history.
– Ron Stallworth, American retired police officer who infiltrated the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan

I went to white schools and I didn’t know anything about black history.
– Ed Dwight, African-American sculptor, author, and former test pilot

I will always remember my delight when Mrs. Georgia Gilmore – an unlettered woman of unusual intelligence – told how an operator demanded that she get off the bus after paying her fare and board it again by the back door, and then drove away before she could get there.  She turned to Judge Carter and said:  “When they count the money, they do not know Negro money from white money.”
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.
Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and political activist

I’m not quite sure what freedom is, but i know damn well what it ain’t. How have we gotten so silly, I wonder.
Assata Shakur, Former member of the Black Liberation Army

I’m very proud to be black, but black is not all I am. That’s my cultural historical background, my genetic makeup, but it’s not all of who I am no nor is it the basis from which I answer every question.
– Denzel Washington, African-American actor, director, and producer

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame shooting guard

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame shooting guard

I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.
– Simone Biles, American artistic gymnast

Ideally, I want to see all beauties, all shapes, all sizes, all skin tones, all backgrounds represented in my profession. Now that I am blessed to be that reflection I was once looking for, I’m making a promise to speak out for that little girl that I used to be. I might not have the power to change what media puts out there, or to single-handedly convince young girls like me that they should love themselves. But what I can do is start with me: living each day, embracing who I am.
– Danielle Brooks, American actress and singer

Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.
– Jay Z, American rapper, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and record executive

If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?
– Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.
– Beyoncé Knowles, American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.
Audre Lorde, Caribbean-American poet & author

If I have a daughter and she grows up to be an astronaut, she’s gonna end up on a Black History Month stamp.
– Phoebe Robinson, American comedian, writer, and actress

If people perceive ‘Roots’ to be a black history show, nobody is going to watch it.
– David L. Wolper, American television and film producer

If the only time you think of me as a scientist is during Black History Month, then I must not be doing my job as a scientist.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
– Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything… that smacks of discrimination or slander.
– Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything … that smacks of discrimination or slander.
– Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist

If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.
– Majora Carter, American urban revitalization strategist and public radio host

If you are fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well.
– Kamala Harris,  American lawyer and US Senator

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.
– Colin Powell, American politician, the U.S. Secretary of State, and retired four-star general

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.
– Marcus Garvey, Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
Mother Theresa, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

If you only think of me during Black History Month, I must be failing as an educator and as an astrophysicist.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator

If you prioritize yourself, you are going to save yourself.
– Gabrielle Union, American actress, voice artist, activist, and author

If you wake up deciding what you want to give versus what you’re going to get, you become a more successful person.In other words, if you want to make money, you have to help someone else make money.
Russell Simmons, American entrepreneur, record executive, writer, and film producer

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb

If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, “There lived a great people – a black people – who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.”  This is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

If you’re a competitive person, that stays with you. You don’t stop. You always look over your shoulder.
– Magic Johnson, Hall of fame NBA player and entrepreneur

I’m a sponge for historical images of black people and black history on film.
– Kara Walker,  American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, and film-maker

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem, and I know that because I know America. I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds.
Barack Obama, US President

I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that’s from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.
– Jay Z, American rapper, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and record executive

I’m not ashamed of what I am and that I have curves and that I’m thick. I like my body.
– Alicia Keys, American musician, singer, and songwriter

In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
– Booker T. Washington, American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

In complete darkness we are all the same; it is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us. Don’t let your eyes deceive you.
– Janet Jackson, American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer

In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it.
– Alex Haley, African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.
Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

In overthrowing me, only the trunk of the tree of negro liberty has been cut down; its branches will shoot up again, for its roots are numerous and deep.
– Toussaint Louverture,  Haitian general 

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.
– Thurgood Marshall, First African American U.S. Supreme Court member

In the end, it’s not about finding policies that work; it’s about forging consensus, and fighting cynicism, and finding the will to make change.
Barack Obama, US President

In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.
Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor

In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.
– T’Challa, Black Panther-fictional superhero

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.
– Diana Ross, American singer, actress, and record producer

Is a civilization naturally backward because it is different?  Outside of cannibalism, which can be matched in this country, at least, by lynching, there is no vice and no degradation in native African customs which can begin to touch the horrors thrust upon them by white masters.  Drunkenness, terrible diseases, immorality, all these things have been gifts of European civilization.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

It always seems impossible, until it’s done.
– Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist 

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others…. One ever feels his twoness, – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
– Robert F. Kennedy, US Senator and Attorney General

It is my hope that as we commemorate Black History Month in the future, we will continue to celebrate the many achievements and rich culture of African-Americans.
– Eliot Engel, U.S. Representative for New York

It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.
– Beyoncé Knowles, American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress

It is the mind that makes the body.
– Sojourner Truth, African American human rights activist and poet

It is the misfortune of men of African descent to be heavily shadowed by a cloud, and they must wait to have it dispelled before they can be properly seen, either by themselves or by others. Suspicion of the presence of a drop of African blood in the veins of a man, however able and distinguished, is a blight and mildew upon his life for American society…. His race is hated and his color is crime. The verdict of both court and country is against him in advance of evidence or argument…
There are few things in the world more blinding than race prejudice, and there are but few things more inflexible and persistent. Against the claims of truth and justice, to say nothing of brotherly kindness, it stands like a wall of brass. Reason and common sense dash themselves against it in vain. Individual men have risen and are rising above it, but the masses are ever under its sway and direction…. neither Irishman, Jew, nor Chinaman is fully included in the high human circle; but the fiercest wrath of this race prejudice is reserved for men and women of African blood.
– Frederick Douglass, “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” c.1890

It was when I realized I needed to stop trying to be somebody else and be myself, I actually started to own, accept and love what I had.
– Tracee Ellis Ross, American actress and television host

It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.
Barack Obama, US President

It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong.  What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee.  It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.
Malcolm X​, American Muslim minister and human rights activist

It’s not about color. It’s about love.
Unknown

Carter G Woodson Black History Month

Carter G Woodson

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.
– Lena Horne, American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist

It’s up to you to bring yourself to the attention of powerful people around you. They’re not going to find you on their own.
– Richard Parsons, American business executive

It’s important for young people to know that they are made the way they are made and they’re beautiful and that’s how they’re supposed to be.
– Raven Symone, American actress, singer, songwriter, and producer

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame shooting guard

Jealous people are insecure. The more you like and respect yourself, the less likely you are to be envious.
– Wendy Williams, American television and radio presenter, businesswoman, author, actress and media personality

Jesus’ birthday is commercialized, so of course, Black History Month is commercialized.
– Jidenna, American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer

Just be honest and true to yourself. If your friends around you love you, they’ll wish you the best and want only what’s going to make you happy.
– Meagan Good,  American actress

Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
– Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz singer, the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella

Just like you can buy grades of silk, you can buy grades of justice.
– Ray Charles, American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer

Knowing what must be done does away with fear.
– Rosa Parks, Activist and the mother of the freedom movement

Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.
– Author Unknown

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Love is not a color. Character is not a shade of skin.
Unknown

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.
Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
– Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Magic lies in challenging what seems impossible.
Carol Moseley-Braun, American diplomat, politician, and lawyer

Miracles happen all the time. We’re here, aren’t we?
– Marilyn Nelson, African-American poet, translator and children’s book author

My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you.  And no fascist-minded people like you will drive me from it.
– Paul Robeson, American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor

My hope for my children must be that they respond to the still, small voice of God in their own hearts.
– Andrew Young, American politician, diplomat, and activist

My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being.
– Wole Soyinka, Nigerian writer, poet and playwright

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
– Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric and theologian known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist

My ministry’s always been one of social activism. I think a responsible minister must be at some levels involved in the social order.
– Al Sharpton, American civil rights activist, Baptist minister

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.
Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out…You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.
Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

Never dull your shine for somebody else.
– Tyra Banks,  American television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, author, model, and occasional singer

Never ever chase money. You should chase success, because with success money follows.
– Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, British businessman, farmer, and founder of “The Black Farmer”

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
– Wilma Rudolph, U.S. track and field athlete

Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.
– Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist

No action is too small when it comes to changing the world… I’m inspired every time I meet an entrepreneur who is succeeding against all odds.
– Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa

No matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep your head up, and handle it.
– Tupac, American rapper and actor

No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.
Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
– Booker T. Washington, American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
– Booker T. Washington, American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.
Malcolm X​, American Muslim minister and human rights activist

Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.
– Fannie Lou Hamer, American voting and women’s rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the civil rights movement

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
– James Baldwin, African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic

Not one of us will have to raise a sword. Not one gun would we need to fire. The great cannon that will be fired is our unity.
– Elijah Muhammed, Religious leader who led the Nation of Islam

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.
– American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

Nothing will work unless you do.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.
– Franklin Thomas, activist, philanthropist, and former president of the Ford Foundation

One ever feels his twoness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
– Arthur Ashe,  American professional tennis player

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.
– James Earl Jones, American actor

One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.
– Barbara Jordan, US Senator, lawyer, educator and Leader of the Civil Rights Movement

Our nation is a rainbow – red, yellow, brown, black, and white – and we’re all precious in God’s sight.
– Jesse Jackson, American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician

Our responsibility as citizens is to address the inequalities and injustices that linger, and we must secure our birthright freedoms for all people. As we mark the 40th year of National African American History Month, let us reflect on the sacrifices and contributions made by generations of African Americans, and let us resolve to continue our march toward a day when every person knows the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
– Barack Obama, 2016 January 29th, quoted from The White House Office of the Press Secretary

People ask me why my figures have to be so black. There are a lot of reasons. First, the blackness is a rhetorical device. When we talk about ourselves as a people and as a culture, we talk about black history, black culture, black music. That’s the rhetorical position we occupy.
– Kerry James Marshall, American artist

Phillip Roth uses his Black women characters to make anti intellectual remarks about Black history month, begun by a man who reached intellectual heights that Roth will never attain. Roth is a petty bigot and his ignorant remarks about black culture expose him as a buffoon to scholars the world over.
– Ishmael Reed, American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, playwright, editor and publisher

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

Power is not given to you.  You have to take it.
– Beyoncé Knowles, American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
– William Hazlitt, English essayist, drama and literary critic, painter, social commentator, and philosopher

Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.
– Countess of Blessington,  Irish novelist, journalist, and literary hostess

Racial superiority is a mere pigment of the imagination.
– Author Unknown

Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel, Polish-born American rabbi, Jewish theologian and Jewish philosopher

Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.
– Arthur Ashe, American professional tennis player

Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught.  I have a two-year-old son.  You know what he hates?  Naps!  End of list.
– Dennis Leary, American actor, comedian, singer, writer and producer

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionarys life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.
– Angela Davis, American political activist, philosopher, academic, and author

Seeing their children touched and seared and wounded by race prejudice is one of the heaviest crosses which colored women have to bear.
– Mary Church Terrell,  the first African-American women to earn a college degree, and became known as a national activist for civil rights and suffrage.

‘Smart Funny and Black’ is basically a live black pop culture game show that I created. We have a live band. We have two contestants that we call ‘blacksperts.’ They come on stage and compete in games that I’ve created that test their knowledge of black culture, black history, and the black experience.
– Amanda Seales, American comedian, actress, disc jockey, recording artist, television personality, and author.

‘Smart, Funny and Black’ is about celebrating, critiquing and learning about black culture, black history, and the black experience.
– Amanda Seales, American comedian, actress, disc jockey, recording artist, television personality, and author.

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
– Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame shooting guard

Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.
– Billie Holiday, African American jazz singer with nickname “Lady Day”

Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything… whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.
– Tina Turner, American-Swiss singer and actress

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.
– Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker

Speak up for yourself and what you believe in. You can still be an elegant woman and be strong and powerful.
– Misty Copeland, American ballet dancer 

Start where you are, with what you have.  Make something of it and never be satisfied.
– George Washington Carver. African-American educator, scientist and inventor

Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’ might as well have been about a bunch of dancing eggplants for all it has to say about black history.
 – Darryl Pinckney, American novelist, playwright, and essayist

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
– Kenyan Proverb

Success depends on employees. For me knowing and connecting with my employees is very important.
– Divine Ndhlukula, Zimbabwean businesswoman

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
– Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
– Booker T. Washington. American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
– Colin Powell, American politician, the U.S. Secretary of State, and retired four-star general

Surviving is important, thriving is elegant.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

The African race is a rubber ball. The harder you dash it to the ground, the higher it will rise.
African Proverb

The African-American experience is one of the most important threads in the American tapestry.
– Bill Frist, American physician, businessman, and politician

The animals of the planet are in desperate peril… Without free animal life I believe we will lose the spiritual equivalent of oxygen.
Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.
– Jesse Owens, Blackthink (1970)

The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.
Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

The future belongs to those who are prepared for it today.
Malcolm X​, American Muslim minister and human rights activist 

Black History Month Quotes

The harder you work, the luckier you get.
– Mike Adenuga,  Nigerian billionaire businessman

The impatient idealist says: ‘Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.’ But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace.
– Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, poet and professor

The James Brown story is not about James Brown. It’s about who’s getting paid, whose interest is involved, who can squeeze the estate and black history for more.
– James McBride, American writer and musician

The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity.
– Ruby Dee, American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist

The majority of the Negroes who took part in the year-long boycott of Montgomery’s buses were poor and untutored; but they understood the essence of the Montgomery movement; one elderly woman summed it up for the rest.  When asked after several weeks of walking whether she was tired, she answered:  “My feet is tired, but my soul is at rest.”
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

The Negro is the child of two cultures – Africa and America.  The problem is that in the search for wholeness all too many Negroes seek to embrace only one side of their natures.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness.
– Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games

The people of the Piney Grove establishment, both white and black, had been free for nearly a generation. The whites had been freed from the curse of being slave-holders, and the blacks had been freed from the curse of being held in bondage.
– Silas X. Floyd, Educator, preacher, and journalist

The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
– Wilma Rudolph, U.S. track and field athlete

The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.
– Eldridge Cleaver, American writer, and political activist, leader of the Black Panther Party

The problem with hatred and violence is that they intensity the fears of the white majority, and leave them less ashamed of their prejudices toward Negroes.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

The problem with relegating black history to one really short month, the shortest month, is not only are we telling the same stories over and over again – which are amazing, George Washington Carver is incredible, there’s nobody like Frederick Douglass – but there are so many.
– Karyn Parsons, American actress and comedian

The progress of the world will call for the best that all of us have to give.
– Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist

The secret of life is to have no fear; it’s the only way to function.
– Stokely Carmichael, American socialist organizer in the civil rights movement

The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the shadowy and of the Egypt the Sphinx.  Throughout history, the powers of single blacks flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

The soul that is within me no man can degrade.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

The thing about black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.
– Henry Louis Gates, American literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual

The time is always right to do what is right.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

The truest writers are those who see language not as a linguistic process but as a living element….
– Derek Walcott, St. Lucian poet and playwright

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Most people write me off when they see me.
They do not know my story.
They say I am just an African.
They judge me before they get to know me.
What they do not know is
The pride I have in the blood that runs through my veins;
The pride I have in my rich culture and the history of my people;
The pride I have in my strong family ties and the deep connection to my community;
The pride I have in the African music, African art, and African dance;
The pride I have in my name and the meaning behind it.
Just as my name has meaning, I too will live my life with meaning.
So you think I am nothing?
Don’t worry about what I am now,
For what I will be, I am gradually becoming.
I will raise my head high wherever I go
Because of my African pride,
And nobody will take that away from me.”
― idowu koyenikan, Internationally acclaimed organizational consultant and author

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was a manifestation of hope that humanity might one day get out of its own way by finding the courage to realize that love and nonviolence are not indicators of weakness but gifts of significant strength.
― Aberjhani, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor

The American identity has never been a singular one and the voices of poets invariably sing, in addition to their own, the voices of those around them.
― Aberjhani, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor

History, too, has a penchant for giving birth
to itself over and over again, and those whom it
appoints agents of change and progress
do not always accept their destinies willingly.
― Aberjhani, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor

The best of humanity’s recorded history is a creative balance between horrors endured and victories achieved, and so it was during the Harlem Renaissance.
― Aberjhani, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor

Millions of tears have fallen for black sons, brothers, lovers, and friends whose assailants took or maimed their lives and then simply went on their way.
― Aberjhani, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be perfectly okay with being who YOU are. Fully embrace yourself, flaws and all. Love yourself right where you are. Strive to do better, but don’t beat yourself up for every shortcoming that you may have. Be brave in your journey! Hold your head up high, and keep moving forward.
– Stephanie Lahart,  Author, Poet and Youth Motivational Speaker 

The leaders and followers of the Harlem Renaissance were every bit as intent on using Black culture to help make the United States a more functional democracy as they were on employing Black culture to ‘vindicate’ Black people.
― Aberjhani, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor

The argument is that Black History Month dwells too much on the downside of white America’s relationship to its brothers of African heritage, slavery and torture and the like, and ignores the work of all the good white folk through the years who were nice to black people (did you know it was a white teacher who first suggested George Washington Carver study horticulture?).
– Matt Taibbi, American author and journalist

I look around. You’d have to be out of your fucking mind to write, as Marcus did, that Black History Month is a ploy to lever more entitlement money out of Congress, but the ho-hum nonresponse of the white crowd reading this bit of transparent insanity is, to me, even weirder.
– Matt Taibbi, American author and journalist

The United States has been called the melting pot of the world.  But it seems to me that the colored man either missed getting into the pot or he got melted down.
– Thurgood Marshall, First African American U.S. Supreme Court member

The world is a severe schoolmaster, for its frowns are less dangerous than its smiles and flatteries, and it is a difficult task to keep in the path of wisdom.
– Phyllis Wheatley, The first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry

There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.
Rita Dove, African-American poet and author

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
– American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States

There comes a time when people get tired of being plunged into the abyss of exploitation and nagging injustice.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

There have been so many people who have said to me, ‘You can’t do that,’ but I’ve had an innate belief that they were wrong. Be unwavering and relentless in your approach.
– Halle Berry, American actress

There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.
– Nikki Giovanni Jr., American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator

There is an obsession with black tragedy. If you see a black movie, it’s typically historical, and it tends to deal with our pain. And listen, there have been some excellent films made in that vein, and there are some painful parts of black history that should be explored, but it is kind of weird that only those films bubble up to the surface.
– Justin Simien, American filmmaker, actor, and author

There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
– James Baldwin, African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic

There is no Negro problem.  The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own constitution.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for whatever success I have attained has been the result of much hard work and many sleepless nights.
– Madame C. J Walker, African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist

There is no such thing as part freedom. – Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist 

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. – Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist 

There is such a thing as the freedom of exhaustion.  Some people are so worn down by the yoke of oppression that they give up…. The oppressed must never allow the conscience of the oppressor to slumber…. To accept injustice or segregation passively is to say to the oppressor that his actions are morally right.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

There was a manifesto in the late ’60s/early ’70s, and it basically laid out what ‘black art’ was and that it should embrace black history and black culture. There were all these rules – I was shocked, when I found it in a book, that it even existed, that it would demarcate these artists.
– Kara Walker,  American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, and film-maker

There were in the midst of Northern society forces and influences continually at work misrepresenting the Negro. Art lent its fascinating, but mischievous, pencil to paint him in form and features most repulsive. Northern people traveling through the South have discovered that we are not so bad looking after all. I say it, and I say it without fear of successful contradiction, that many of the handsomest citizens the United States can boast of to‑day have the warm blood of Africa coursing through their veins.
– William H. Crogman, Pioneering African American educator and classicist at Clark University of Atlanta 

There will always be men struggling to change, and there will always be those who are controlled by the past.
– Ernest J. Gaines, American author

There’s always something to suggest that you’ll never be who you wanted to be. Your choice is to take it or keep on moving.
– Phylicia Rashad, American actress, singer and stage director

There’s so many things that life is, and no matter how many breakthroughs, trials will exist and we’re going to get through it. Just be strong.
– Mary J. Blige, American singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist

This being Black History Month, I would like to ask people to celebrate the similarities and not focus on the differences between people of color and not of color.
– Lynn Swann, American football player, broadcaster, politician, and athletic director

This is our country, as much as it is the country of any other race…. We may be the descendants of Africans, but we are citizens of the United States. This is our home…
– Silas X. Floyd, Educator, preacher, and journalist

This world was not created piecemeal. Africa was born no later and no earlier than any other geographical area on this globe. Africans, no more and no less than other men, possess all human attributes, talents and deficiencies, virtues and faults.
– Haile Selassie, Crown Prince, King, Emperor and Regent of the Ethiopian Empire

Through avalanches of prejudices; industrial barriers; professional intrigues; legal technicalities; diplomatic effronteries, and political buffetings, the American Negro has, at last arrived before the public eye, as a factor not easily to be evaded.
– Mitchell Davis, One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race, 1917

Throughout history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.
– James Baldwin, African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.
– Dorothy West, American novelist and short-story writer

To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow.
– William Faulkner, American writer and Nobel Prize laureate

To serve, you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Today we know with certainty that segregation is dead.  The only question remaining is how costly will be the funeral.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn life around.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.
– Marva Collins, American educator

Truth is powerful and it prevails.
– Sojourner Truth, African American human rights activist and poet

Turn your wounds into wisdom.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
– Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games

We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
– Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games

We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.
– Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet, author, and teacher

We are the heirs of a past of rope, fire, and murder. I for one am not ashamed of this past. My shame is for those who became so inhuman that they could inflict this torture upon us.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Alice Walker, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
– June Jordan, Jamaican American self-identified bisexual+ poet, essayist, teacher, and activist

We are the wrong people of the wrong skin in the wrong continent and what in the hell is everybody being reasonable about?
– June Jordan, Jamaican American self-identified bisexual+ poet, essayist, teacher, and activist

We are to mirror right here on Earth, what’s already being done in Heaven.
– Reverend Kirbyjon Caldwell, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly (1998)

We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.
– Jimmy Carter,  US president and philanthropist

We black men seem the sole oasis of simple faith and reverence in a dusty desert of dollars and smartness.
– W.E.B Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor

We can push ourselves further. We always have more to give.
– Simone Biles, American artistic gymnast

We did not hesitate to call our movement an army.  But it was a special army, with no supplies but its sincerity, no uniform but its determination, no arsenal except its faith, no currency but its conscience.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

We do as much, we eat as much, we want as much.
– Sojourner Truth, African American human rights activist and poet

We do not deride the fears of prospering white America.  A nation of violence and private property has every reason to dread the violated and the deprived.
– June Jordan, Jamaican American self-identified bisexual+ poet, essayist, teacher, and activist

We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.
Yvette Clarke,  The U.S. House of Representatives representing New York’s 9th congressional district

We need to be more supportive with everything. With body images, especially with women, showing that all sizes are beautiful. And I’m talking about in magazines, advertisements in regard to what’s sexy and what’s not sexy. We all need to be a little more supportive of each other.
– Tia Mowry, American actress

We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.
– Bayard Rustin, American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights

We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.
– Carter G. Woodson, American historian, author, journalist

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, —
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties…
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
      We wear the mask!
– Paul Laurence Dunbar, American poet, novelist, and playwright 

What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.
– Carter G. Woodson, American historian, author, journalist

What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow. But what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday.
– Condoleezza Rice, American political scientist, diplomat, civil servant, and professor

What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.
– Muhammad Ali, American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist

What’s the world for if you can’t make it up the way you want it?
– Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor

Whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.
– Serena Williams,  American professional tennis player

Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.
Susan L.Taylor, American editor, writer, and journalist

When I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
Audre Lorde, Caribbean-American poet & author

When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. – Harriet Tubman, on her first escape from slavery, 1845

When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.
– James Earl Jones, American actor

When I say there should not be a BET channel or a Black History Month, I’m saying we deserve more. I just hope people understand that I’m not judging; I’m coming from experience.
– Stacey Dash, American actress and former talk show host

When I’m tired, I rest. I say, ‘I can’t be a superwoman today.’
– Jada Pinkett Smith, American actress, singer-songwriter, comedian, screenwriter and businesswoman

When peoples care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.
– Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright

When the Negro was completely an underdog, he needed white spokesmen.  Liberals played their parts in this period exceedingly well…. But now that the Negro has rejected his role as an underdog, he has become more assertive in his search for identity and group solidarity; he wants to speak for himself.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

When they go low, we go high. 
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
– George Washington Carver, African-American educator, scientist and inventor

When you first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are), and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro… when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” – then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist

When you put love out in the world it travels, and it can touch people and reach people in ways that we never even expected.
– Laverne Cox, American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate

When you take care of yourself, you’re a better person for others. When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better.
– Solange Knowles,  American singer, songwriter, record producer, performance artist, and actress

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
– Abraham Lincoln, US president, American statesman, lawyer 

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.
– Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

Where there is no vision, there is no hope.
– George Washington Carver, African-American educator, scientist and inventor

Wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion.
– William Lloyd Garrison,  American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer

While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.
– Wilma Rudolph, U.S. track and field athlete

With an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans not just to opponents, but to enemies.
Barack Obama, US President

Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential. So it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making.
– Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex is an American former actress

Won’t it be wonderful when black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Yes we can!
– Barack Obama, President of the United States

Yes, I do have a big ego … and I am in love with myself … Because if you don’t love yourself how can anybody love you back?
– Mel B,  English singer, songwriter, rapper, television personality, actress and author.

You are no better than anyone else, and no one is better than you.
Katherine Johnson, American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee

You are where you are today because you stand on somebody’s shoulders.And wherever you are heading, you cannot get there by yourself. If you stand on the shoulders of others, you have a reciprocal responsibility to live your life so that others may stand on your shoulders. It’s the quid pro quo of life. We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.
Vernon Jordan, American business executive and civil rights activist 

You can be the lead in your own life.
– Kerry Washington, American actress

You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
– Billie Holiday, African American jazz singer with nickname “Lady Day”

You can never know where you are going unless you know where you have been.
Amelia Boynton Robinson, American activist who was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma

You can not possibly have a broader basis for government than that which includes all the people, with all their rights in their hands, and with an equal power to maintain their rights.
– William Lloyd Garrison,  American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer

You can only become accomplished at something you love.Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.
Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen. 
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

You can’t be hesitant about who you are.
– Viola Davis, American actress and producer

You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.
– Diana Ross, American singer, actress, and record producer

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Malcolm X​, American Muslim minister and human rights activist 

You don’t have to be one of those people that accepts things as they are. Every day, take responsibility for changing them right where you are.
– Cory Booker, US senator

You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining.  You make progress by implementing ideas.
– Shirley Chisholm, American politician, educator, and author

You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.
Frederick Douglass​, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there.
– Venus Williams, Olympic gold medalist in tennis

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
– Nanny Aibileen Clack, The Help

You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own. 
Michelle Obama,  American lawyer, university administrator, and writer, the first lady of the United States

You never know how or when you’ll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else.
– Denzel Washington, African-American actor, director, and producer

You never know which experiences of life are going to be of value . . . You’ve got to leave yourself open to the hidden opportunities.
– Robin Roberts, American television broadcaster

You really can change the world if you care enough.
– Marian Wright Edelman, American activist for children’s rights

You wanna  fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.
Toni Morrison, American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor

You wanna know what scares people? Success. When you don’t make moves and when you don’t climb up the ladder, everybody loves you because you’re not competition.
– Nicki Minaj, Rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and model.

You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.
– Marian Wright Edelman, American activist for children’s rights

Your silence will not protect you.
Audre Lorde, Caribbean-American poet & author

You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.
– Eldridge Cleaver, American writer, and political activist, leader of the Black Panther Party

You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
Malcolm X​, American Muslim minister and human rights activist

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