Black History Quotes

Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.
Arthur Ashe

Freedom is never given; it is won.
A. Philip Randolph

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Abraham Lincoln

Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

Black History Quotes
Black History Month Quotes

The African-American experience is one of the most important threads in the American tapestry.
Bill Frist

No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
Booker T. Washington

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

You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
Billie Holiday

Do not call for black power or green power.  Call for brain power.
Barbara Jordan

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

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

Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
Desmond Tutu

You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.
Frederick Douglass

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Frederick Douglass

I think there's just one kind of folks.  Folks.
Harper Lee

We are the wrong people of the wrong skin in the wrong continent and what in the hell is everybody being reasonable about?
June Jordan

We do not deride the fears of prospering white America.  A nation of violence and private property has every reason to dread the violated and the deprived.
June Jordan

This being Black History Month, I would like to ask people to celebrate the similarities and not focus on the differences between people of color and not of color.
Lynn Swann

For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart.
Mary McLeod Bethune

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.

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.

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

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

The time is always right to do what is right.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

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

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

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

I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.
Oprah Winfrey

I had no idea that history was being made.  I was just tired of giving up.
Rosa Parks

The United States has been called the melting pot of the world.  But it seems to me that the colored man either missed getting into the pot or he got melted down.
Thurgood Marshall

In this country American means white.  Everybody else has to hyphenate.
Toni Morrison

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.
W.E.B. DuBois

To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow.
William Faulkner

Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.
William Lloyd Garrison

Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
William Hazlitt

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