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Black History Month Quotes

Black History Month Quotes

People say there needs to be more progress. People are shouting – asking Americans to say their names.

According to an NBC article, More officers were charged in fatal police shootings in 2021. Not everyone sees progress. (nbcnews.com), more law officials brought charges against U.S. Police Officers for fatal police shootings. Data shows a record number of 21 officers charged.

And, the shooting pattern continues in 2022 with the death of Jason Walker, in Fayetville, in North Carolina. An AlJazeera article, US: Protest after unarmed Black man killed by off-duty officer | Police News | Al Jazeera, adds that the judge dismissed the case.

February is known as “African American History” month, but the lives of African Americans should be acknowledged each day.

In honor of February, here are some inspirational quotes from African American leaders about fighting social justice and never giving up.

If asked, they would also, probably say, this fight needs to occur every day.

Keep. On. Fighting.

 

120 Powerful Black History Month Quotes From African American Leaders

— BHM Quotes 2022

 

1. “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

First African American First Lady of the United States, 2009 to 2017

 

2. “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” – W.E.B. Du Bois

American Scholar, Author and Civil Rights Advocate

 

3. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

First President of South Africa, 1994 to 1999

 

4. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” – Thurgood Marshall

First African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1967 to 1991
American Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist

 

5. “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

Co-Founder of Def Jam Recordings, American Entrepreneur and Writer

 

6. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”Jackie Robinson

American Baseball player
* Known for breaking the color barrier for the MLB, Brooklyn Dodgers

 

7. “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 Talk Show Host, Actress, Author, and Philanthropist

 

8. “It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.”Ella Fitzgerald

American Jazz Singer

 

9. “Character is power.”Booker T. Washington

American Educator, Author, Orator, and Adviser to Several U.S. Presidents

 

10. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”Frederick Douglass

American Social Reformer, Abolitionist, Orator, Writer, and Statesman

 

11. “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

First African American President of the United States, 2009 to 2017
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 2009

 

12. “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

American Civil Rights Activist
“The First Lady of Civil Rights”
Known for starting the Montgomery bus boycott by not giving up her seat.

 

13. “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 Several U.S. Presidents

 

14. “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.”Earl G. Graves, Sr.

Founder of “Black Enterprise” magazine
American Entrepreneur, Publisher, Businessman, and Philanthropist

 

15. “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

Received the National Medal of Arts, 2000
Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2011
Nominated for a Pulitzer Award,1972
American Poet, Memoirist, and Civil Rights Advocate

 

16. “Have a vision. Be demanding.”U.S. Gen. Colin Powell

First African American Secretary of State, 2001 to 2005
American Politician, Statesman, and Diplomat

 

17. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”- Langston Hughes

American Poet, Social Activist, Writer

 

18. “There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.”Rita Dove

First African American Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 1993 to 1995
Second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1987
Holds the Chair of the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing, at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 2020
American Poet, Essayist, Scholar

 

19. “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
Known for her role in the Underground Railroad

 

— 20th of 120 Black History Month Quotes

20. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”Dr. Mae Jemison

American Engineer, Physician, NASA Astronaut
First African American to travel in space on the Endeavour.

 

21. “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”Susan L. Taylor

American Editor, Writer, and Journalist

 

22. “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”  – Maya Angelou

Received the National Medal of Arts, 2000
Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2011
Nominated for a Pulitzer Award,1972
American Poet, Memoirist, and Civil Rights Advocate

 

23. “Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.” – Serena Williams

American Tennis Player
BBC named her Greatest Female Tennis Player of the Open Era, 2017
Won 23 Grand Slam titles – most by any player in the Open Era

 

24. “We will all, at some point, encounter hurdles to gaining access and entry, moving up and conquering self-doubt; but on the other side is the capacity to own opportunity and tell our own story.”- Stacey Abrams

American Lawyer, Politician, and Voting Rights Activist
Former Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017

 

25. “I’m not going to continue knocking that old door that doesn’t open for me. I’m going to create my own door and walk through that.”  – Ava DuVernay

American Filmmaker
Won Director Award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

 

26. “The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.”James Baldwin

American Writer and Activist
Received La Légion D’Honneur, France’s highest honor, 1986

 

27. “A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”  – Malcolm X

African American Minister and Human Rights Activist

 

28. “You don’t have to be anything but yourself to be worthy.”  – Tarana Burke

American Activist
Founder of the “Me Too” Movement

 

29. “Be unwavering and relentless in your approach.”Halle Berry

American Actress
Won the Oscar, 2001
Won the Emmy and the Golden Globe, 1999

 

30. “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.”Barack Obama

First African American President of the United States, 2009 to 2017
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 2009

 

31. “At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments.”Denzel Washington

American Actor
Golden Globe Winner, 1989 and 1999
Tony Award Winner, 2010
Best Actor Oscar Winner and Best Supporting Actor Winner, 2001 and 1989

 

32. “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”Barack Obama

First African American President of the United States, 2009 to 2017
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 2009

 

33. “Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”Rosa Parks

American Civil Rights Activist
“The First Lady of Civil Rights”
Known for starting the Montgomery bus boycott by not giving up her seat.

 

34. “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
First African American Woman to Win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1982

 

35. “The next time a woman of whatever color, or a dark-skinned person of whatever sex aspires to be president, the way should be a little smoother because I helped pave it.”Shirley Chisholm

American politician, educator, and author
New York House Representative for the 12th Congressional District, Bedford-Stuyvesant District
First African American Candidate for Major-Party Nomination, Democratic Party, 1972

 

36. “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”Viola Davis

American Actress
Tony Award Winner, 2010
First African American to Receive the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, 2015
Won Best Supporting Actress Oscar, 2016

 

37. “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”Malcolm X

African American Minister and Human Rights Activist

 

38. “It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.”Ella Fitzgerald

American Jazz Singer
Received the Grammy Award and Bing Crosby Lifetime Achievement Award, 1967
Received Other Grammy Awards in 1958,  1959, 1960 (two), 1962, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, and1990

 

39. “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”George Washington Carver

American Agricultural Scientist and Inventor

 

— 40th of 120 Black History Month Quotes 2022

40. “My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline.”Michael Jordan

American Basketball Player
The Chicago Bulls
Six National Basketball Association Championships, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998

 

41. “Success is the result is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.”U.S. Gen. Colin Powell

First African American Secretary of State, 2001 to 2005
American Politician, Statesman, and Diplomat

 

42. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”Muhammad Ali

American Professional Boxer, Activist, Entertainer, Poet, and Philanthropist
National Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion, 1959
Gold-Medal, Rome Olympics, Light Heavyweight Champion, 1959
World Heavyweight Champion, 1964-67, 1974-78, 1978-79

 

43. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”Martin Luther King Jr.

American Baptist Minister and Activist
Noble Peace Prize, 1964
Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumously), 1977

 

44. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”- Thurgood Marshall

First African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1967 to 1991
American Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist

 

45. “Truth is powerful and it prevails.” – Sojourner Truth

American abolitionist and women’s rights activist
Posthumously Inducted Into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, 1981

 

46. “When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.”Ava DuVernay

American Filmmaker
Won Director Award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

 

47. “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”Martin Luther King Jr.

American Baptist Minister and Activist
Noble Peace Prize, 1964
Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumously), 1977

 

48. “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”Shirley Chisholm

American politician, educator, and author
New York House Representative for the 12th Congressional District, Bedford-Stuyvesant District
First African American Candidate for Major-Party Nomination, Democratic Party, 1972

 

49. “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, Screenwriter, and Author
Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Drama Series, 2006 and 2007 (Grey’s Anatomy) and
2021 (Bridgerton)

 

50. “Life has two rules: Number 1, never quit! Number 2, always remember rule number 1.”-  Duke Ellington

American Musician (jazz)
Grammy Award Winner
Won 14 Grammy awards, from 1959 to 2000. Three Awarded Posthumously.
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 1966

 

51. “Winning is not always the barometer of getting better.” – Tiger Woods

Golf Player
Won 15 Major Championships including the Masters Tournament: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2019

 

52. “You borrow from the greats, and you make your own path without losing the core of who you are.” – Michael B. Jordan

American Actor

 

53. “You have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking, you are under pressure.”Chadwick Boseman

American Actor

 

54. “The advice I would give to someone is to not take anyone’s advice.” – Eddie Murphy

American Actor
Golden Globe Winner for Best Supporting Actor, 2007
Grammy Award Winner, 1984
Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, 2020

 

55. “If you stop at general math, you’re only going to make general math money.” – Snoop Dogg

American musician (rapper)

 

56. “To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed.” – Sidney Poitier

American actor
Oscar Award Winner: 1963 and 2001 (Honorary Academy Award)
Golden Globe Winner: 1963, 1968, 1981 (the Henrietta Award)
Grammy Award Winner: 200

 

57. “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.” – Jackie Robinson

American Baseball player
* Known for breaking the color barrier for the MLB, Brooklyn Dodgers

 

58. “Speech is a very important aspect of being human. A whisper doesn’t cut it.” – James Earl Jones

American Actor
Honorary Lifetime Academy Achievement Award, 2011
Tony Award Winner: 1969, 1987, 2017 (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Emmy Award Winner: 1991, 2000
Grammy Award: 1977
Golden Globe Award: 1970

 

59. “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant

American Basketball Players
The Los Angeles Lakers
Five NBA Championships: 2000-2002, 2009, 2010

 

— 60th of 120 Black History Month Quotes

60. “You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way… to get in the way.” – John Lewis

Civil Rights Activist
U.S. House Representative for Atlanta, Georgia

 

61. “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

American Author
Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction, 1988
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1993
Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2012

 

62. “I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to a part of an ongoing historical movement.” – Angela Davis

Scholar and Activist

 

63. “Unless man is committed to the belief that all mankind are his brothers, then he labors in vain and hypocritically in the vineyards of equality.” – Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Civil Rights Activist
U.S. House Representative for Harlem, New York

 

64. “When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody going to speak out for you.”- Fannie Lou Hamer

Civil Rights Leader

 

65. “You can cage the singer, not the song.”- Harry Belafonte

American activist, singer, and actor

 

66. You can’t let fear paralyze you. The worse that can happen is you fail, but guess what: You get up and try again. Feel that pain, get over it, get up, dust yourself off and keep it moving.”- Queen Latifah

American Actress and Musician
Won a Golden Globe, 2008
Won a Grammy Award, 1995
Won an Emmy Award, 2016

 

67. “The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic but to end the injustice.”- Paul Robeson

American Bass Baritone Concert Artist, Stage and Film Actor, Athlete, and Activist
Received a UN Award, Posthumously, for Helping End Apartheid in South America, 1978

 

68. “Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”- Barbara Jordan

American Lawyer, Educator, and Politician
State Texas Representative for the 11th District
First Southern African-American Woman Elected to the United State House of Representatives

 

69. “Life is Lived on the Edge.”- Will Smith

American Actor, Musician, and Writer
Grammy Award Winner: 1989, 1992, and 1999
Golden Globe Winner: 2022

 

70. “Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.”- Hank Aaron

American Baseball Player
Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers
World Series Championship: 1957

 

71. “The first need of a free people is to define their own terms.”- Stokely Carmichael

Civil Rights Movement Organizer
One of Two Credited with Coining the Phrase, “Institutional Racism”

 

73. “As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.” – Marian Anderson

American Contralto and Civil Rights Activist
First African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera
Grammy Award Winner: 1991 (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Presidential Medal of Freedom: 1963

 

74. “Age is just a number. Life and aging are the greatest gifts that we could possibly ever have.” – Cicely Tyson

American Actress
Oscar Award Winne: 2018 (Honorary Award)
Emmy Award Winner: 1974, 1994
Tony Award Winner: 2013
Presidential Medal of Freedom Award: 2016
Peabody Award: 2020

 

75. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Won three Grandslams: Australian Open in 1970, Wimbledon in 1975, and U.S. Open in 1968.
Won the inaugural Association of Tennis Players Sportsman Award: 1977
Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Winner: 1993, Posthumously

 

76. “I had a little portable typewriter. I call it my Harlem Literary Fellowship.”- Amiri Baraka

American Writer and Music Critic
Co-founded the Black Arts Movement in 1960s
Second Poet Laureate of New Jersey in 2002

 

77. “Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.”- Jesse Jackson

American Political Activist, Baptist Minister, Politician
Served as a Shadow U.S. Senator for the District of Columbia: 1991 to 1997
Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Winner: 2000

 

78. “Poetry has never been the language of barriers, it’s always been the language of bridges.” – Amanda Gorman

Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate: 2014 to 2015
National Youth Poet Laureate: 2017 to 2018

 

79. “We may not all be equally guilty. But we are all equally responsible for building a decent and just society. – Ruby Bridges

American Civil Rights Activist and Writer
First African American Child to Desegregate William Frantz Elementary School
Presidential Citizens Medal Award Winner: 2001

 

— 80th of 120 Black History Month Quotes

80. “A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess.” – A. Philip Randolph

American Labor Unionist and Civil Rights Activists
Led the first successful African American Labor Union
Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Winner: 1964

 

81. “I was raised to be an independent woman, not the victim of anything.”- Kamala Harris

First African American Vice President: 2021 to present
American Politician and Attorney

 

82. “When we pull back the curtain and take a look at what out ‘colorblind’ society creates without affirmative action, we see a familiar social, political, and economic structure – the structure of racial caste. The entrance into this new caste system can be found at the gate.” – Michelle Alexander

American Civil Rights Advocate, Scholar, and Author
Author of the “New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”

 

83. “My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don’t use special creams or treatments – I’ll use a little bit of everything. It’s a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. Happiness is the greatest beauty secret.” – Tina Turner

American Singer, Songwriter, and Actress
Grammy Award Winner: 1972, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 2008, 2018 (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Inducted in Grammy Hall of Fame: 2012, 2003, 1999

 

84. “Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.” – Phylicia Rashad

American Actress, Singer, and Stage Director
Tony Award Winner: 2004

 

85. “Nothing is a bigger waste of time than regretting the past and worrying about the future.” – James Meredith

American Civil Rights Activist, Writer, Political Adviser, and Air Force Veteran
First African American Admitted Into Racially Segregated University of Mississippi
Received the Harvard Graduate School of Education “Medal for Education Impact”: 2012

 

86. “The best advice that was given to me was that I had to be 10 times smarter, braver, and more polite to be equal. So I did.” – Samuel Jackson

American Actor and Producer
Oscar Academy Award Winner: 2022 (Honorary)

 

87. “You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” – Lebron James

American Basketball Player
Played for Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers
Four NBA Basketball Championships: 2012 (Miami Heat), 2013 (Miami Heat), 2016 (Cleveland Cavaliers), 2020 (Los Angeles Lakers)

 

88. “In order to establish peace, you must have fair justice for everyone.” – Al Sharpton

American Civil Rights Activist, Baptist Minister, Talk Show Host, and Politician

 

89. “Inner city education must change. Our responsibility is not merely to provide access to knowledge; we must produce educated people.”- James L. Farmer Jr.

American Civil Rights Activist
Initiator and Organizer of the first Freedom Ride in 1961
Co-Founded the Committee of Racial Equality in Chicago
Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner: 1998

 

90. “I thrive on obstacles. If I’m told that it can’t be done, then I push harder.” – Issa Rae

American Actress, Writer, and Producer
Created TV Show “Insecure,” Which was Honored at Peabody Awards: 2018 

 

91. “I’m not persuaded that the opposite of poverty is wealth – I’ve come to believe…that the opposite of poverty is justice.” – Bryan Stevenson

American Lawyer, Social Justice Activist, Author, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction: 2015

 

92. “The valuation of profit over people impedes human rights across much of the world.” – Opal Tometi

American Human Rights Activist, Writer, Strategist, and Community Organizer
Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter
Former Executive Director of the U.S.’ First National Immigrant Rights Organization for People of African Descent, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee: 2021

 

93. “If you don’t have a lens that’s been trained to look at how various forms of discrimination come together, you’re unlikely to develop a set of policies that will be as inclusive as they need to be.” – Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

American Civil Rights Advocacy and Scholar
Helped Develop Intersectional Theory

 

94. “Don’t tell me it’s the worst ever seen – that is an insult to the slaves, to Holocaust survivors, to the women who marched for voting rights, to the LGBT community.” – Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

American Protestant Minister and Social Activist
Co-Chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

 

95. “You’ve got to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. A thermostat shapes the climate of opinion: a thermometer just reflects it.”  – Cornel West

American Philosopher, Scholar, Social Critic, Actor, Public Intellectual
Co-Initiated the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

 

96. “Every successful social movement in this country’s history has used disruption as a strategy to fight for social change. Whether it was the Boston Tea Party to the sit-ins at lunch counters throughout the South, no change has been won without disruptive action.” – Alicia Garza

American Civil Rights Activist
Co-Founder of the Black Lives Matter
Was Named to the Inaugural Cohort of the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity in 2018

 

97. The movement for black lives isn’t just about black people. Black liberation has never just been about black people. It’s been about a fight for our humanity, for our dignity.” – Patrisse Cullors

American Activist, Artist, and Writer
Co-Founder of the Black Lives Matter Matter
Created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag

 

98. Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor. I want to encourage each and everyone of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and for each other.” – Laverne Cox

American Actress and LGBT Advocate
Won a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class Special
First Transgender Nominated for an Emmy Award

 

99. Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.” – Aretha Franklin

American Singer, Songwriter, Pianist, and Actress
Grammy Award Winner: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991 (Legend Award), 1994 (Lifetime Achievement Award), 2004, 2006, 2008 (MusiCares Person of the Year)
Presidential Medal of Freedom Award
Pulitzer Prize Award Winner: 2019 (Posthumously)

 

— 100th of 120 Black History Month Quotes

100. “Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grown and develop.” – Dorothy Height

American Civil Rights Advocate and Women’s Rights Activist
First Civil Rights Leader to Recognize Inequality for Women African Americans

 

101. “Give light and people will find the way.” – Ella Baker

American Civil Rights and Human Rights Activist

 

102. “The Greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” – Coretta Scott King

American Author, Activist, Civil Rights Leader
Helped Make Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday a National Holiday
Referred to as “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement”

 

103. “The man who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does. No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.” – Daisy Bates

American Civil Rights Advocate, Publisher, Journalist, Lecturer
She Selected the Nine Students to Integrate Central High School – Little Rock Nine – Which De-Segrated the School.

 

104. “I love helping other people. When I made a commitment to stay in the South, to work for change, it meant devoting my life to working for and helping others. I feel good when I know that I’ve saved someone’s farm, or helped a family to get a home or access to credit. Or when I can get young people to see that there’s more to life than just trying to make the biggest dollar for yourself.” – Shirley Sherrod

Advocated African American Land Ownership and Land Retainment
Former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agricultures
Helped De-Segregate All-White High School in Baker County
Co-Founded New Communities

 

105. 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

Received the National Medal of Arts, 2000
Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2011
Nominated for a Pulitzer Award,1972
American Poet, Memoirist, and Civil Rights Advocate

 

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

 

106. “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” – George Washington Carver

American Agricultural Scientist and Inventor

 

107. “You can never know where you are going unless you know where you have been.” – Amelia Boynton Robinson

American Civil Rights Advocate
Participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Marches
Founding Vice-President of the Schiller Institute

 

108. “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

American Businessman, Attorney, and Philanthropist 
Former President and CEO of the Ford Foundation
Was First African American Deputy Police Department for New York City Police Department

 

109. “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 Woodson

American Historian, Author, Journalist
Founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Founder of the “Journal of Negro History” in 1916

 

110. “Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.” – Barbara Jordan

American Lawyer, Educator, and Politician
State Texas Representative for the 11th District
First Southern African American Woman Elected to the United State House of Representatives

 

111. “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, Planetary Scientist, Author, and Science Communicator
Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City

 

112. “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” – Ola Joseph

 

113. “Don’t aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.” – Denzel Washington

American Actor
Golden Globe Winner, 1989 and 1999
Tony Award Winner, 2010
Best Actor Oscar Winner and Best Supporting Actor Winner, 2001 and 1989

 

114. “If Everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.”- Beyoncé Knowles

American Actress, Songwriter, and Singer
Was a Part of Destiny’s Child

 

115. “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

American Talk Show Host, Actress, Author, and Philanthropist

 

116. 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, Entertainer, Poet, and Philanthropist
National Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion, 1959
Gold-Medal, Rome Olympics, Light Heavyweight Champion, 1959
World Heavyweight Champion, 1964-67, 1974-78, 1978-79

 

117. “The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” – Toni Morrison

American Author
Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction, 1988
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1993
Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2012

 

118. “To me, we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world. Black people. And I mean that in every sense.” – Nina Simone

American Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Arranger, and Civil Rights Activist
Grammy Hall of Fame Award: 2000
Addressed Racial Inequality in the Song “Mississippi Goddam”

 

119. “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – Malcolm X

 

120. African American Minister and Human Rights Activist “The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.” – Ijoema Oluo

American Writer
Writing Covers Black Lives Matter, Racism, and Social Justice.

Rasha Aly
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