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Black Author Quotes
To commemorate Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list Top motivational Black History Month quotations from civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, and W.E.B. Du Bois. With their incisive comments, landmark speeches, and more, these prominent public leaders have left an indelible impression on our country.
The month celebrates African Americans’ diverse experiences, difficulties, and accomplishments throughout history and into the present.
The black family has been “reverenced, stereotyped, and despised from the days of slavery to our own day,” according to this year’s theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which founded Black History Month, the theme encompasses the individual black family and encourages “discussions on the nature and impact of parenting, childhood, marriage, gender norms, sexuality, and incarceration.”
The theme also includes people from Africa and the diaspora, as well as how the black family’s larger identity has been depicted in history, literature, the visual arts, and other disciplines.
“The black family knows no one location,” the ASALH says on its website, “since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches attest to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents.” “Not only are individual black families diasporic, but Africa and the diaspora have long been portrayed collectively as the black family.”
We’ve gathered great inspiring quotes from civil rights heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, and W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as words of wisdom from inspiring modern personalities like Viola Davis, Janelle Monáe, and Shonda Rhimes, in honour of Black History Month. With their incisive comments, significant speeches, stunning writing and performances, and more, these public people have left an indelible impression on our country.
Black History Month Quotes
- “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” —Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut.
- “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.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” —W.E.B. Du Bois
- “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” —Thurgood Marshall, first African American U.S. Supreme Court member
- “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” —Coretta Scott King
- “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” —Susan L. Taylor, journalist
- “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” —Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer
- “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
- “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” —Desmond Tutu Related, new Artists, Songs and Albums to Add to Your Playlists in Honor of Black Music Month.
- “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” —Langston Hughes
- “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” —Frederick Douglass
- “The time is always right to do what is right.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 13. “Have a vision. Be demanding.” —Colin Powell
- “Freedom is never given; it is won.” —A. Philip Randolph, 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
- “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, world record-setting Olympic athlete
- “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” —Rosa Parks
- “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
- “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
- “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.
- “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.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” —Muhammad Ali
- “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
- “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” —Maya Angelou
- “Truth is powerful and it prevails.” —Sojourner Truth
- “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” —Michael Jordan
- “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
- “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” —Earl G. Graves, Sr.
- “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
- “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.” —Morgan Freeman
- “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
- ”I swear to the Lord I still can’t see why democracy means everybody but me.” —Langston Hughes
- “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “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
- “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
- “I knew then and I know now, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it.” —Claudette Colvin
- “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
- “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
- “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” —Ola Joseph
- “Character is power.” —Booker T. Washington
- “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
- “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” —Mother Teresa
- “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
- “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” —Frederick Douglass
- 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
- “Have a vision of excellence, a dream of success, and work like hell.” —Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook
- “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.
- “Today we know with certainty that segregation is dead. The only question remaining is how costly will be the funeral.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “’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
- “I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.” —Rosa Parks
- “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel
- “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.’” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” —Marcus Garvey
- “There comes a time when people get tired of being plunged into the abyss of exploitation and nagging injustice.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” —Serena Williams
- “As black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences — experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.” —Viola Davis
- “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
- “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
- “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” —Shirley Chisholm
- “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
- “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” —Muhammad Ali
- “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou
- “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” —Aretha Franklin
- “The thing about black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.” —Henry Louis Gates
- “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
- “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
- “Don’t agonize, organize.” —Florynce Kennedy
- “Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free . . . your true self comes out.” —Tina Turner
- “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” —Toni Morrison
- “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” —Michelle Obama
- “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
- “If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” —Carl Lewis
- “Stretch your mind and fly.” —Whitney M. Young Jr
- “Don’t let anything stop you. There will be times when you’ll be disappointed, but you can’t stop.” —Sadie T. M. Alexander
- “Life has two rules: number 1, never quit! Number 2, always remember rule number one.” —Duke Ellington
- “Be as you are and hope that it’s right.” —Dizzy Gillespie
- “A man without knowledge of himself and his heritage is like a tree without roots.” —Dick Gregory
- “If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.” —James Baldwin
- “We have a wonderful history behind us…and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.” —Carter G. Woodson
- “When I look at the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.” —Oprah Winfrey
- “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” —Alice Walker
- “You are your best thing.” —Toni Morrison
- “I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black; it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.” —June Jordan
- “I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.” —Tracee Ellis Ross
- “You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.” —Nina Simone
- “Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.” —Janelle Monáe
- “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
- “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” —Beyonce Knowles
- “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
- “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.” —Madam C.J. Walker
- “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” —Ida B. Wells
- “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” —Harriet Tubman
- “Make a difference about something other than yourselves.” —Toni Morrison
- “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” —Arthur Ashe
- “God’s time [Emancipation]is always near. He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.” —Harriet Tubman
- “The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.” —Mae C. Jemison
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” —Nelson Mandela
- “One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” —James Earl Jones
- “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” —Nelson Mandela
- “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
- “The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.” —Eldridge Cleaver
- “There is no vaccine for racism.” —Kamala Harris
- “Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals?” —Barack Obama
- “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
- “Friendly reminder that you don’t have to say the ‘n word’ to be racist. That’s not the sole requirement. Asking people to prove racism is another tool the oppressor uses to marginalize and discredit us.” —Lizzo
- “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
- “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
- “Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” —John Lewis
- “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” —Alice Walker
- “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” —Angela Davis
- ”We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.” —Yvette Clarke
- “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own. –Michelle Obama
- “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” – W.E.B. Du Bois
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
- “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” – Thurgood Marshall
- “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King
- “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
- “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” – Carol Moseley-Braun
- “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
- “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
- “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcom X
- “It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald
- “Character is power.” – Booker T. Washington
- “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
- “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
- “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
- “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Freedom is never given; it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph
- “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
Black Quotes About Dreams
- “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” –Earl G. Graves, Sr.
- “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
- “Have a vision. Be demanding.” – Colin Powell
- “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
- “There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” – Rita Dove
- “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
- “What’s the world for if you can’t make it up the way you want it?” – Toni Morrison
- “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison
- “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
- “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” – Susan L. Taylor
- “It’s no use of talking unless people understand what you say.” -Zora Neale Hurston
- “No black woman writer in this culture can write “too much.” Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.” – bell hooks
- “I’m a firm believer that language and how we use language determines how we act, and how we act then determines our lives and other people’s lives.” -Ntozake Shange
- “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
- “We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans – because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings.” – Maya Angelou
- “I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money, or what will make fame.” -Alice Walker
- “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison
- “The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.” -Toni Morrison
- “Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- “Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it.” – Toni Morrison
- “Challenging power structures from the inside, working the cracks within the system, however, requires learning to speak multiple languages of power convincingly.” – Patricia Hill Collins
- “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- “Writing can be a lifeline, especially when your existence has been denied, especially when you have been left on the margins, especially when your life and process of growth have been subjected to attempts at strangulation.” ― Micere Githae Mugo
- “Sure you can do anything when talking or writing, it’s not like living when you can only do what you doing.” ― Sapphire
- “A writer should get as much education as possible, but just going to school is not enough; if it were, all owners of doctorates would be inspired writers.” – Gwendolyn Brooks
- “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” ― Octavia E. Butler
- “I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive. I can only change how they live, not how they think.” -Ntozake Shange
- “Let woman’s claim be as broad in the concrete as the abstract. We take our stand on the solidarity of humanity, the oneness of life, and the unnaturalness and injustice of all special favoritism, whether of sex, race, country, or condition. If one link of the chain is broken, the chain is broken.” – Anna Julia Cooper
- “I don’t want to be limited or ghettoized in any way.” -Sista Soulja
- “Discomfort is always a necessary part of enlightenment.” ― Pearl Cleage
- “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” -Maya Angelou
- “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ― Octavia E. Butler
- “Many times, what people call ‘writer’s block’ is the confusion that happens when a writer has a great idea, but their writing skill is not up to the task of putting that idea down on paper. I think that learning the craft of writing is critical.” -Pearl Cleage
- “Shakespeare wrote about love. I write about love. Shakespeare wrote about gang warfare, family feuds and revenge. I write about all the same things.” -Sister Souljah
- “Putting words on paper regularly is part of the necessary discipline of writing.” -Pearl Cleage
- “Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.” -Alice Walker
- “You must be unintimidated by your own thoughts because if you write with someone looking over you shoulder, you’ll never write.” ― Nikki Giovanni
- “Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. …If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.” ― Nikki Giovanni
- “There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” -Lorraine Hansberry
- “People who want to write either do it or they don’t. At last I began to say that my most important talent – or habit – was persistence. Without it, I would have given up writing long before I finished my first novel. It’s amazing what we can do if we simply refuse to give up.” ― Octavia E. Butler
- “People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that’s a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated.” –Lucille Clifton 32. “Poetry is a political act because it involves telling the truth.” ― June Jordan
- “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” -Angela Davis
- “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” -Maya Angelou
- “It is the duty of the younger Negro artist…to change through the force of his art that old whispering ‘I want to be white,’ hidden in the aspirations of his people, to ‘Why should I be white?
- I am a Negro—and beautiful!'” -Langston Hughes
- “We are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings…In fact, we are actually fighting for rights that are even greater than civil rights and that is human rights.” -Malcolm X (Black Revolution)
- “Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” -Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon) “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin (As Much Truth As One Can Bear, New York Times) toni morrison
- “Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.” -Toni Morrison (Nobel lecture, 1993)
- ‘Many and most moments go by with us hardly aware of their passage. But love and hate and fear cause time to snag you, to drag you down like a spider’s web holding fast to a doomed fly’s wings.” -Walter Mosley (When the Thrill Is Gone)
- “Miracles happen all the time. We’re here, aren’t we?” -Marilyn Nelson (Abba Jacob and Miracles)
- “The greatest lie ever told about love is that it sets you free.” -Zadie Smith (On Beauty) james baldwin author “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” -James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)
- “Nobody’s as powerful as we make them out to be.” -Alice Walker (The Third Life of Grange Copeland)
Powerful Quotes Celebrating Black History Month
Many black figures, including Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, and W.E.B. DuBois, have bravely addressed major societal concerns like education, identity, equality, and civil rights, as well as presenting fresh ideas that have helped build the world as we know it today and made it a better place to live.
These men and women have garnered various prizes and distinctions, including the Nobel Prize, for their dedicated labour, prophetic insights, and creative output, which includes introducing astounding innovations and writing timeless fiction and nonfiction. We’ve gathered some compelling quotes from renowned black writers to share with friends and loved ones as you celebrate this wonderful month, or any other day, in honour of these remarkable people and this fantastic month. These quotations are both inspirational and motivating.
For millions of individuals all throughout the world, they have been a source of inspiration. Below are some beautiful morsels of wisdom from notable black writers.
W.E.B Dubois (African-American historian, activist and author).
“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.”
Nikki Giovanni Jr. (African-American writer and educator).
“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.”
Toni Morrison (African-American novelist and professor).
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
Derek Walcott (St. Lucian poet and playwright).
“… the truest writers are those who see language not as a linguistic process but as a living element….”
Maya Angelou (African-American author and poet).
“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.”
George Washington Carver (African-American educator, scientist and inventor).
“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
Alice Walker (African-American author, poet and activist).
“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.”
“If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?”
Langston Hughes (African-American poet, novelist and playwright).
“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
Booker T. Washington (African-American educator, author and orator).
“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.”
“Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”
Chinua Achebe (Nigerian novelist, poet and professor).
“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.”
Wole Soyinka (Nigerian writer, poet and playwright).
“I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.”
“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.”
Alex Haley (African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Roots”).
“In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it”
“Beginning writers must appreciate the prerequisites if they hope to become writers. You pay your dues – which takes years.”
“Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”
Hi, I’m Tammy! Here I share some lovely and self-written Birthday Wishes & Quotes for you. Please do Share this webpage together with your family and friends.