Skip to Content

Black History Month Quotes


We are so inspired by these Black History Month Quotes that honor the achievements, struggles, and experiences of these Black cultural icons throughout history.

Black History Month Quotes text with red, green, yellow hands



These men and women, powerful historical and contemporary figures, have inspired the world with their insightful words and historical speeches. Let us honor them this month of February and beyond. 

Black History Month Quotes that will Inspire you today and tomorrow!!

Rosa Park Quotes

“Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.”

– Rosa Parks

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes the fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

– Rosa Parks

“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

– Rosa Parks

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”

– Rosa Parks

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

– Rosa Parks

“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would also be free.”

– Rosa Parks

“I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.”

– Rosa Parks

“From the time I was a child, I tried to protest against disrespectful treatment.”

– Rosa Parks

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”

– Rosa Parks

“Differences of race, nationality or religion should not be used to deny any human being citizenship rights or privileges.”

– Rosa Parks

“I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.”

– Rosa Parks



Shirley Chisholm Quotes

“I have never cared too much what people say. What I am interested in is what they do.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“In the end anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“I ran for the presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the twentieth century and who dared to be a catalyst for change.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“At present, our country needs women’s idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“I don’t measure America by its achievement but by its potential.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“All we want is for the trivial difference to make no difference.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“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

“Defeat should not be the source of discouragement, but a stimulus to keep plotting.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Take away an accident of pigmentation of a thin layer of our outer skin and there is no difference between me and anyone else.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Laws will not eliminate prejudice from the hearts of human beings.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“The one thing you’ve got going: your one vote.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“America has the laws and the material resources it takes to insure justice for all its people. What it lacks is the heart, the humanity.

– Shirley Chisholm

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

– Shirley Chisholm

“Anyone who takes that role must pay a price.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Health is a human right, not a privilege to be purchased.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“I’m looking to no man walking this earth for approval of what I’m doing.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“It is not female egotism to say that the future of mankind may very well be ours to determine. It is a fact.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes that we hold of ourselves.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Be as bold as the first man or woman to eat an oyster.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Of my two ‘handicaps’, being female put many more obstacles in my path than being black.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Some fine men are in Congress, too few, trying to do a responsible job.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“I love America not for what she is, but for what she can become.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Some members of Congress are among the best actors in the world.”

– Shirley Chisholm



James Baldwin Quotes

“I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”

– James Baldwin

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

– James Baldwin

“People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.”

– James Baldwin

“If you’re treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are described to you as being real they’re real for you whether they’re real or not.”

– James Baldwin

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”

– James Baldwin

“Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.”

– James Baldwin

“The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”

– James Baldwin

“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

– James Baldwin

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

– James Baldwin

“Nakedness has no color: this can come as news only to those who have never covered, or been covered by, another naked human being.”

– James Baldwin

“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”

– James Baldwin

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

– James Baldwin

“People can cry much easier than they can change.”

– James Baldwin

“Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.”

– James Baldwin

“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle. Love is a war. Love is growing up.”

– James Baldwin

“People can’t, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, any more than they can invent their parents. Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say ‘Yes’ to life.”

– James Baldwin

“All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations.”

– James Baldwin

“You have to decide who you are and force the world to deal with you, not with its idea of you.”

– James Baldwin

“To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.”

– James Baldwin

“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.”

– James Baldwin

“Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?”

– James Baldwin

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

– James Baldwin

“The purpose of education…is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”

– James Baldwin

“There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.”

– James Baldwin

“Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.”

– James Baldwin

“Precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society.”

– James Baldwin

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”

– James Baldwin



Barack Obama Quotes

“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

“The role of citizen in a democracy does not end with your vote.”

– Barack Obama

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”

– Barack Obama

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep on walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

– Barack Obama

“It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.”

– Barack Obama

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

– Barack Obama

“Change doesn’t come from Washington; change comes to Washington.”

– Barack Obama

“Americans still believe in an America where anything’s possible – they just don’t think their leaders do.”

– Barack Obama

“Those who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can… that’s why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction… the American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours.”

– Barack Obama

“Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us.”

– Barack Obama

“You can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time.” 

– Barack Obama

“What Washington needs is adult supervision.”

– Barack Obama



Harriet Tubman Quotes

“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

– Harriet Tubman

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

– Harriet Tubman

“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

“Lord, I’m going to hold steady on to You and You’ve got to see me through.”

– Harriet Tubman

“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.”

– Harriet Tubman

“Never wound a snake; kill it.”

– Harriet Tubman

“I can’t die but once.”

– Harriet Tubman

“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person.”

– Harriet Tubman

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

– Harriet Tubman

“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



Ruby Bridges Quotes

“My mother had taught me that the only thing you could depend on was your faith, and I had that.”

– Ruby Bridges

“I now know that experience comes to us for a purpose, and if we follow the guidance of the spirit within us, we will probably find that the purpose is a good one.”

– Ruby Bridges

“God makes each of us unique in ways that go much deeper.”

– Ruby Bridges

“I believe that we have to come together, and we have to rely on the goodness of each other.”

– Ruby Bridges

“A lot of my strength came from my upbringing.”

– Ruby Bridges

“History definitely should be taught the way it happened—good, bad, or ugly.”

– Ruby Bridges

“Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!”

– Ruby Bridges

“Once my school was integrated, and I was there with white kids and a few black kids, it really didn’t matter to us what we looked like.”

– Ruby Bridges

“When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!”

– Ruby Bridges

“Each and every one of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn – and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start.”

– Ruby Bridges

“Racism is a form of hate. We pass it on to our young people. When we do that, we are robbing children of their innocence.”

– Ruby Bridges

“If kids have the opportunity to come together to get to know one another, they can judge for themselves who they want their friends to be. All children should have that choice. We, as adults, shouldn’t make those choices for children. That’s how racism starts.”

– Ruby Bridges

“Racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”

– Ruby Bridges

“Never judge people by the color of their skin.”

– Ruby Bridges

“I wanted to use my experience to teach kids that racism has no place in hearts and minds.”

– Ruby Bridges

“I think that racism is ugly and so unfair, and I believe that we all need one another.”

– Ruby Bridges

“Evil isn’t prejudiced. It doesn’t care what you look like; it just wants a place to rest. It’s up to you whether you give it that place.”

– Ruby Bridges

“My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children.”

– Ruby Bridges

“Evil looks like you and I. I know what evil looks like, and I know that it comes in all shades and colors.”

– Ruby Bridges

“We have tolerance, respect, and equality in our written laws but not in the hearts of some of our people.”

– Ruby Bridges

“The only bad thing about burning your bridges behind you is that the world is round.”

– Ruby Bridges

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

– Ruby Bridges

“None of our kids come into the world knowing anything about disliking one another.”

– Ruby Bridges

“We all have a common enemy, and it is evil.”

– Ruby Bridges



Jackie Robinson Quotes

“Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.”

-Jackie Robinson

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

-Jackie Robinson

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

-Jackie Robinson

“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

“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.”

-Jackie Robinson



Jesse Owens Black History Month Quotes

“Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.”

– Jesse Owens

“I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

– Jesse Owens

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

– Jesse Owens

“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

“One chance is all you need.”

– Jesse Owens

“I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.”

– Jesse Owens

“In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?”

– Jesse Owens



Dr. Mae Jemison Quotes

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“What we find is that if you have a goal that is very, very far out, and you approach it in little steps, you start to get there faster. Your mind opens up to the possibilities.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“I like to think of ideas as potential energy. They’re really wonderful, but nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“You have the right to be involved. You have something important to contribute, and you have to take the risk to contribute it.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“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

“More women should demand to be involved. It’s our right. This is one area where women can get in on the ground floor and possibly help to direct where space exploration will go in the future.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“I think one of the things that we have to think about it is, we are all part of the universe.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“The future never just happened. It was created.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“The biggest challenge is to overcome the things in yourself that keep you from moving forward.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.

– Dr. Mae Jemison

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison



Gordon Parks Black History Month Quotes

“The funny and sad thing is that photography is an art, but these guys have such an inferiority complex about it that all they do is tag on gold-plate words where they aren’t needed. If they’d only let it talk for itself.”

– Gordon Parks

“Pictures I’ve made that have become the most important pictures, were pictures that I wished I never had to take – of people who were impoverished, people in need – and I suppose that I pointed my camera mostly at people who needed someone to say something for them. They couldn’t speak for themselves.”

– Gordon Parks

“The guy who takes a chance, who walks the line between the known and unknown, who is unafraid of failure, will succeed.”

– Gordon Parks

“Think in terms of images and words. They can be mighty powerful when they are fitted together properly.”

– Gordon Parks

“I have for a long time, worked under the premise that everyone is worth something; that every life is valuable to our own existence. Consequently, I’ve felt it was my camera’s responsibility to shed light on any condition that hinders growth or warps the spirit of those trapped in the ruinous evils of poverty… To me they were ghosts of my own past.”

– Gordon Parks

“I want my children and children’s children to be able to look at my pictures and know what my world was like. Even if it only helps a little bit toward this understanding, then I’ve done my job and done it well.”

– Gordon Parks

“The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.”

– Gordon Parks

“You know, the camera is not meant just to show misery. You can show beauty with it; you can do a lot of things. You can show – with a camera you can show things that you like about the universe, things you hate about the universe. It’s capable of doing both. And I think that after nearly 85 years upon this planet that I have a right after working so hard at showing the desolation and the poverty, to show something beautiful as well. It’s all there, and you’ve only done half the job if you don’t do that.”

– Gordon Parks

“The world must see the tragedy of poverty as it is, and feel all its drama. Everyone must face the problems of humanity. My way of facing these issues is through photography. It is important because it can show, without needing words, everything that is wrong and can be improved.”

– Gordon Parks

I’ve known both misery and happiness, lived in so many different skins it is impossible for one skin to claim me. And I have felt like a wayfarer on an alien planet at times – walking, running, wondering about what brought me to this particular place, and why. But once I was here the dreams started moving in, and I went about devouring them as they devoured me.

– Gordon Parks

“I’ve been asked if I think there will ever come a time when all people come together. I would like to think there will. All we can do is hope and dream and work toward that end. And that’s what I’ve tried to do all my life.”

– Gordon Parks

I suffered evils, but without allowing them to rob me of the freedom to expand.

– Gordon Parks

I have always felt as though I needed a weapon against evil.

– Gordon Parks

You have a 45mm automatic pistol on your lap, and I have a 35mm camera on my lap, and my weapon is just as powerful as yours.

– Gordon Parks

I picked up a camera because it was my choice of weapons against what I hated most about the universe: racism, intolerance, poverty. I could have just as easily picked up a knife or a gun, like many of my childhood friends did … most of whom were murdered or put in prison… but I chose not to go that way. I felt that I could somehow subdue these evils by doing something beautiful that people recognise me by, and thus make a whole different life for myself, which has proved to be so

– Gordon Parks



Barbara Jordan Quotes

“What the people want is very simple – they want an America as good as its promise.”

– Barbara Jordan

“A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good.”

– Barbara Jordan

“The citizens of America expect more. They deserve and they want more than a recital of problems.”

– Barbara Jordan

“If we promise as public officials, we must deliver. If we as public officials propose, we must produce.”

– Barbara Jordan

“The imperative is to define what is right and do it.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Let’s all understand that these guiding principles cannot be discarded for short-term political gains. They represent what this country is all about. They are indigenous to the American idea. And these are principles which are not negotiable.”

– Barbara Jordan

“… we must face the fact that unilateral action on the part of the United States will never be enough to stop illegal immigration.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Life is too large to hang out a sign: For Men Only.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Our concept of governing is derived from our view of people. It is a concept deeply rooted in a set of beliefs firmly etched in the national conscience, of all of us.”

– Barbara Jordan

“I have confidence that we can form this kind of national community.”

– Barbara Jordan

“We cannot improve on the system of government handed down to us by the founders of the Republic. There is no way to improve upon that. But what we can do is to find new ways to implement that system and realize our destiny.”

– Barbara Jordan

“I never intended to become a run-of-the-mill person.”

– Barbara Jordan

“My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.”

– Barbara Jordan

“If this is the best you have to offer, I haven’t missed anything.”

– Barbara Jordan

“It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision.”

– Barbara Jordan

“I really do not have much interest in being a symbol.”

– Barbara Jordan

“One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.”

– Barbara Jordan

“If you’re going to play the game properly, you’d better know every rule.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Just remember the world is not a playground but a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday but an education. One eternal lesson for us all: to teach us how better we should love.”

– Barbara Jordan

“It’s a remarkable opportunity to have an impact on the generation that will succeed me.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Education remains the key to both economic and political empowerment.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I ask, ‘What is my exciting thing for today?’ Then, I do the day. Don’t ask me about tomorrow.”

– Barbara Jordan

“The greatest motivation… has to come from inside you.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Ethical behavior means being honest, telling the truth, and doing what you said you would do.”

– Barbara Jordan

“Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.”

– Barbara Jordan

“There is no executive order; there is no law that can require the American people to form a national community. This we must do as individuals and if we do it as individuals, there is no President of the United States who can veto that decision.”

– Barbara Jordan

“It is a privilege to serve people, a privilege that must be earned, and once earned, there is an obligation to do something good with it.”

– Barbara Jordan

“For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future.”

– Barbara Jordan

“We must exchange the philosophy of excuse – what I am is beyond my control for the philosophy of responsibility.”

– Barbara Jordan

“If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.”

– Barbara Jordan



Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“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.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“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.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop… I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“A lie cannot live.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“In some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will. And we shall continue to love you.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“You know, a lot of people don’t love themselves. And they go through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts. So the length of life means that you must love yourself. And you know what loving yourself also means? It means that you’ve got to accept yourself.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother in law.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“A right delayed is a right denied.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.



W.E.B Du Bois Black History Month Quotes

“You are not and yet you are: your thoughts, your deeds, above all your dreams still live.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“We say easily, for instance, ‘The ignorant ought not to vote.’ We would say, ‘No civilized state should have citizens too ignorant to participate in government,’ and this statement is but a step to the fact: that no state is civilized which has citizens too ignorant to help rule it.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“Nations reel and stagger on their way; they make hideous mistakes; they commit frightful wrongs; they do great and beautiful things. And shall we not best guide humanity by telling the truth about all this, so far as the truth is ascertainable?”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“Beneath the Veil lay right and wrong, vengeance and love, and sometimes throwing aside the veil, a soul of sweet Beauty and Truth stood revealed.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“I believe in pride of race and lineage and self; in pride of self so deep as to scorn injustice to other selves.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

Rule-following, legal precedence, and political consistency are not more important than right, justice and plain common-sense.

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“And 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

“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world’s need of that work. With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois

“Crucified on the vast wheel of time, I flew round and round with the Zeitgeist, waving my pen and lifting faint voices to explain, expound and exhort; to see, foresee and prophesy, to the few who could or would listen.”

– W. E. B. Du Bois



Thurgood Marshall Quotes

“A man can make what he wants of himself if he truly believes that he must be ready for hard work and many heartbreaks.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“We can always stick together when we are losing, but tend to find means of breaking up when we’re winning. In grace under pressure.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“I’m the world’s original gradualist. I just think ninety-odd years is gradual enough.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Truth is more than a mental exercise.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“The process of democracy is one of change. Our laws are not frozen into immutable form, they are constantly in the process of revision in response to the needs of a changing society.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“You do what you think is right and let the law catch up,”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Each of you, as an individual, must pick your own goals. Listen to others, but do not become a blind follower.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“I never worked hard until I got to the Howard Law School and met Charlie Houston… I saw this man’s dedication, his vision, his willingness to sacrifice, and I told myself, ‘You either shape up or ship out.’”

– Thurgood Marshall

“My father had a flat rule. He believed that every man’s house was his castle. He had a flat rule: no man could come in his house without his permission.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Racism separates, but it never liberates. Hatred generates fear, and fear once given a foothold; binds, consumes and imprisons. Nothing is gained from prejudice. No one benefits from racism.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Lawlessness is lawlessness. Anarchy is anarchy is anarchy. Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“We deal here with the right of all of our children, whatever their race, to an equal start in life and to an equal opportunity to reach their full potential as citizens.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Sometimes history takes things into its own hands.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“As soon as I reach any town, I talk to the shoe-shine boys or the barbers or the people in the restaurants, because it’s Mr. Joe Doakes who is very close to reality.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better”

– Thurgood Marshall

“To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“It is important that the strongest pressures against the continuation of segregation, North or South, be continually and constantly manifested. Probably, as much as anything else, this is the key in the elimination of discrimination in the United States.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Deciding not to decide is, of course, among the most important things done by the Supreme Court.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“We will only attain freedom if we learn to appreciate what is different and muster the courage to discover what is fundamentally the same.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Today’s Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“What is the quality of your intent? Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the intent behind the words.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“Classifications and distinctions based on race or color have no moral or legal validity in our society. They are contrary to our constitution and laws.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“America’s diversity offers so much richness and opportunity. Take a chance, won’t you? Knockdown the fences, which divide. Tear apart the walls that imprison you. Reach out. Freedom lies just on the other side. We shall have liberty for all.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“When you are being challenged by a great human being, you know that you can’t ship out.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“This is a great country, but fortunately for you, it is not perfect. There is much to be done to bring about complete equality. Remove hunger. Bring reality closer to theory and democratic principles.”

– Thurgood Marshall

“We must dissent from the fear.”

– Thurgood Marshall

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

– Thurgood Marshall

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

– Thurgood Marshall



Colin Powell Black History Month Quotes

“Don’t bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself.”

– Colin Powell

“Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror.”

– Colin Powell

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”

– Colin Powell

“Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.”

– Colin Powell

“It’s a disgrace that we have millions of people who are uninsured.”

– Colin Powell

“Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”

– Colin Powell

“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

“The chief condition on which, life, health, and vigor depend on, is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.”

– Colin Powell

“Just as they did in Philadelphia when they were writing the constitution, sooner or later, you’ve got to compromise. You’ve got to start making the compromises that arrive at a consensus and move the country forward.”

– Colin Powell

“War should be the politics of last resort.”

– Colin Powell

“Experts often possess more data than judgment.”

– Colin Powell

“In other words, don’t expect to always be great. Disappointments, failures and setbacks are a normal part of the lifecycle of a unit or a company and what the leader has to do is constantly be up and say, ‘We have a problem, let’s go and get it.’”

– Colin Powell

“If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed.”

– Colin Powell

“Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.”

– Colin Powell

“I try to be the same person I was yesterday.”

– Colin Powell

“When we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.”

– Colin Powell

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.”

– Colin Powell

“Politics is not bean bags. It’s serious, tough stuff.”

– Colin Powell

“We need to understand that we as citizens and as a government in any community throughout this country have no more important obligation than to educate those who are going to replace us.”

– Colin Powell

“The ties that bind us are stronger than the occasional stresses that separate us.”

– Colin Powell

“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves.”

– Colin Powell

“It takes more courage to send men into battle than to fight the battle yourself.”

– Colin Powell

“If you get the dirty end of the stick, sharpen it and turn it into a useful tool.”

– Colin Powell

“I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.”

– Colin Powell

“Look at the world. There is no pure competitor to the United States of America.”

– Colin Powell

“Never neglect details.”

– Colin Powell

“When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.”

– Colin Powell

“Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so just because you might not like what you find.”

– Colin Powell

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could look forward to a whole world in which no child will be left behind?”

– Colin Powell

“Get mad, then get over it.”

– Colin Powell

“It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.”

– Colin Powell

“The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.”

– Colin Powell

“I’m not perfect, but I’ll be the creator of perfection.”

– Colin Powell

“We can seldom get our children to do what we tell them, but they almost never fail to imitate us.”

– Colin Powell

“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”

– Colin Powell

“The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.”

– Colin Powell

“Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.”

– Colin Powell

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

– Colin Powell

“You can’t just have slogans, you can’t just have catchy phrases. You have to have an agenda.”

– Colin Powell

“There are no secrets to success. Don’t waste time looking for them.”

– Colin Powell

“Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.”

– Colin Powell

“It isn’t enough just to scream at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. We need our political system to start reflect this anger back into, ‘How do we fix it? How do we get the economy going again?’”

– Colin Powell

“Ninety percent of my time is spent on 10% of the world.”

– Colin Powell

“Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it, spend time with your families.”

– Colin Powell

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through the argument debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

– Colin Powell

“Today I can declare my hope and declare it from the bottom of my heart that we will eventually see the time when that number of nuclear weapons is down to zero and the world is a much better place.”

– Colin Powell

“You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”

– Colin Powell

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

– Colin Powell

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”

– Colin Powell



Nelson Mandela Quotes

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

– Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

– Nelson Mandela

“Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

– Nelson Mandela

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

– Nelson Mandela

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

– Nelson Mandela

“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.”

– Nelson Mandela

“There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

– Nelson Mandela

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”

– Nelson Mandela

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

– Nelson Mandela

“After climbing a great hill. One only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

– Nelson Mandela

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

– Nelson Mandela

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

– Nelson Mandela

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

– Nelson Mandela

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

– Nelson Mandela

“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

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived; it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

– Nelson Mandela

“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

– Nelson Mandela



Maya Angelou Quotes

“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

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

– Maya Angelou

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself: to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

– Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.”

– Maya Angelou

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

– Maya Angelou

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

– Maya Angelou

“‎The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”

– Maya Angelou

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

– Maya Angelou

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

– Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

– Maya Angelou

“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”

– Maya Angelou

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

– Maya Angelou

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

– Maya Angelou

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

– Maya Angelou

“I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”

– Maya Angelou

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

– Maya Angelou

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

– Maya Angelou

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

– Maya Angelou

“If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”

– Maya Angelou



Ida B. Wells Black History Month Quotes

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

– Ida B. Wells

“The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”

– Ida B. Wells

“One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap.”

– Ida B. Wells

“There must always be a remedy for wrong and injustice if we only know how to find it.”

– Ida B. Wells

“The appetite grows for what it feeds on.”

– Ida B. Wells



Enjoyed these Black History Month Quotes? Be sure to stick around to Today’s Creative Ideas for more Black History month posts.


COMING SOON:

  • Black History Month Facts of the Day
  • Black History Month Books