In honor of black history month and those who historically fought for the civil rights of the black, the marginalized, and the disenfranchised within our communities, we’ve created this list of 30 inspirational quotes.
Implement these quotes into your daily life and you’ll find out just how far love, belief, and action will take you. Enjoy!
1. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” —Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut
2. “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.
3. “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” —W.E.B. Du Bois
4. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” —Thurgood Marshall, first African American U.S. Supreme Court member
5. “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” —Coretta Scott King
6. “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” —Susan L. Taylor, journalist
7. “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” —Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer
8. “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
9. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” —Desmond Tutu
10. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” —Langston Hughes
11. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” —Frederick Douglass
12. “The time is always right to do what is right.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
13. “Have a vision. Be demanding.” —Colin Powell
14. “Freedom is never given; it is won.” —A. Philip Randolph, civil rights activist
15. “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
16. “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
17. “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” —Rosa Parks
18. “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
19. “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
20. “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
21. “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.
22. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” —Muhammad Ali
23. “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
24. “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” —Maya Angelou
25. “Truth is powerful and it prevails.” —Sojourner Truth
26. “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” —Michael Jordan
27. “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
28. “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” —Earl G. Graves, Sr.
29. “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
30. “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.” —Morgan Freeman