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75 Great Black History Month Quotes

Black History Month is the annual remembrance of the events and individuals in the history of African diaspora beyond their traditional homeland. The United States and Canada have celebrated Black History Month every February since its inception in 1976, with the United Kingdom recognizing Black History Month in October.

Black History Month is based upon Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week created in 1926. Both events are intended to educate and honor Blacks regarding their cultural background to instill pride regarding their race.

Black History Month is frequently also referred as African-American History Month.
Here are the 75 Best Black History Month Quotes:

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

2. "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

3. "For Africa to 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

4. "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

5. "This being Black History Moth, I would like to ask people to celebrate the similarities and and not focus on the difference between people of color and not of color."
Lynne Swann

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

7. "I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history."
Morgan Freeman

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

9. "I am American. 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

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

11. "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.

12. "I swear to the Lord
I still can't see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me."
Langston Hughes

13. "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

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

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

16. "Black people have always been America's wilderness in search of a promised land."
Cornel West

17. "There is no Negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own constitution."
Frederick Douglass

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

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

20. "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

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

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

23. "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

24. "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

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

26. "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

27. "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

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

29. "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

30. "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

31. "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

32. "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

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

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

35. "I am an invisible man...I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."
Ralph Ellison

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

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

38. "It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others...One ever feels his twoness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."
W.E.B. Dubois

39. "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.

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

41. "Our nation is a rainbow - red, yellow, brown, black, and white - and we're all precious in God's sight."
Jesse Jackson

42. "'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

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

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

45. "[W]hen you first name becomes 'nigger,' your middle name becomes 'boy' (however old you are0, and your wife and mother are never given the respected title 'Mrs.,' when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro...when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of 'nobodiness' - then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

47. "The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the shadowy and of the Egypt the Sphinx. Throughout history, the powers of single blacks flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness."
W.E.B. DuBois

48. "We black men seem the sole oasis of simple faith and reverence in a dusty desert of dollars and smartness."
W.E.B. DuBois

49. "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

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

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

52. "You can not possibly have a broader basis for government than that which includes all people, with all their rights in their hands, and with an equal power to maintain their rights."
William Lloyd Garrison

53. "I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government."
Cissy Farenthold

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

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

56. "Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart."
Countess of Blessington

57. "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

58. "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.

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

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

61. "As I like to say to the people in Montgomery: 'The tension in this city is not between white people and Negro people. The tension is, at bottom, between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

63. "American means white, and Africanist people struggle to make the term applicable to themselves with ethnicity and hyphen after hyphen after hyphen."
Toni Morrison

64. "My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I'm going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you. And no fascist-minded people like you will drive me from it."
Paul Robeson

65. "When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything."
Harriet Tubman

66. "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 dearly 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

67. "As long as the colored man look to white folks to put the crown on what he long as he looks to white folks for approval...then he ain't never gonna find out who he is and what he's about."
August Wilson, Jr.

68. "The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste, and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance."
Maya Angelou

69. "It is a civilization naturally backward because it is different? Outside of cannibalism, which can be matched in this country, at least, by lynching, there is no vice and no degradation in native African customs which can begin to touch the horrors thrust upon them by white masters. Drunkenness, terrible diseases, immortality, all of these have been gifts of European civilization."
W.E.B. Dubois

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

71. "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, no matter how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash."
Harper Lee

72. "Prejudice is the child of ignorance."
William Hazlitt

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

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

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

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