101 Inspiring Black History Month Quotes for 2023

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Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is celebrated in the United States and Canada every February to honor the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history. During this month, inspiring quotes from famous African American leaders, activists, and cultural figures serve as a reminder of their strength and resilience in the face of adversity. These “Black History Month” quotes not only celebrate the past but also inspire us to continue the fight for equality and justice for all.

Apart from these black history month quotes, you can also read our other motivational quotes on out-of-control, disorganized thinking, mind body spirit, and growth process.

Black History Month Quotes for 2023

Let’s read the collection of black history month quotes.

1. “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.” – Barack Obama

2. “A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess.” – A. Philip Randolph

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

4. “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X

5. “A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”  – Malcolm X

6. “Age is just a number. Life and aging are the greatest gifts that we could possibly ever have.” – Cicely Tyson

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

8. “Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.” – Phylicia Rashad

9. “As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.” – Marian Anderson

10. “At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments.” – Denzel Washington

11. “Be unwavering and relentless in your approach.” – Halle Berry

12. “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.” – Aretha Franklin

13. “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

14. “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

15. “Character is power.” – Booker T. Washington

16. “Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.”- Jesse Jackson

17. “Don’t tell me it’s the worst ever seen – that is an insult to the slaves, to Holocaust survivors, to the women who marched for voting rights, to the LGBT community.” – Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

18. “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

19. “Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor. I want to encourage each and everyone of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and for each other.” – Laverne Cox

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

21. “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

22. “Every successful social movement in this country’s history has used disruption as a strategy to fight for social change. Whether it was the Boston Tea Party to the sit-ins at lunch counters throughout the South, no change has been won without disruptive action.” – Alicia Garza

23. “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

24. “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant

25. “Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.”- Hank Aaron

26. “Have a vision. Be demanding.” – U.S. Gen. Colin Powell

27. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali

28. “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

29. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”- Langston Hughes

30. “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” – Earl G. Graves, Sr.

Famous Black History Month Quotes

31. “I had a little portable typewriter. I call it my Harlem Literary Fellowship.”- Amiri Baraka

32. “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

33. “I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to a part of an ongoing historical movement.” – Angela Davis

34. “I was raised to be an independent woman, not the victim of anything.”- Kamala Harris

35. “I’m not going to continue knocking that old door that doesn’t open for me. I’m going to create my own door and walk through that.”  – Ava DuVernay

36. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

37. “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

38. “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm

39. “If you don’t have a lens that’s been trained to look at how various forms of discrimination come together, you’re unlikely to develop a set of policies that will be as inclusive as they need to be.” – Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

40. “If you stop at general math, you’re only going to make general math money.” – Snoop Dogg

41. “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

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

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

44. “It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald

45. “It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald

46. “Life has two rules: Number , never quit! Number , always remember rule number .”-  Duke Ellington

47. “Life is Lived on the Edge.”- Will Smith

48. “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

49. “Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.” – Serena Williams

50. “My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline.” – Michael Jordan

51. “My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don’t use special creams or treatments – I’ll use a little bit of everything. It’s a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. Happiness is the greatest beauty secret.” – Tina Turner

52. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison

53. “Nothing is a bigger waste of time than regretting the past and worrying about the future.” – James Meredith

54. “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

55. “Poetry has never been the language of barriers, it’s always been the language of bridges.” – Amanda Gorman

56. “Speech is a very important aspect of being human. A whisper doesn’t cut it.” – James Earl Jones

57. “Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” – Rosa Parks

Inspirational Black History Month Quotes to treat everyone equally

58. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

59. “Success is the result is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.” – U.S. Gen. Colin Powell

60. “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

61. “The advice I would give to someone is to not take anyone’s advice.” – Eddie Murphy

62. “The African race is a rubber ball. The harder you dash it to the ground, the higher it will rise.” – African Proverb

63. “The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic but to end the injustice.”- Paul Robeson

64. “The best advice that was given to me was that I had to be  times smarter, braver, and more polite to be equal. So I did.” – Samuel Jackson

65. “The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.” – James Baldwin

66. “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” – W.E.B. Du Bois

67. “The first need of a free people is to define their own terms.”- Stokely Carmichael

68. “The Greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” – Coretta Scott King

69. “The man who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does. No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.” – Daisy Bates

70. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

71. “The movement for black lives isn’t just about black people. Black liberation has never just been about black people. It’s been about a fight for our humanity, for our dignity.” – Patrisse Cullors

72. “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

73. “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” – Viola Davis

74. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

75. “The valuation of profit over people impedes human rights across much of the world.” – Opal Tometi

76. “There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” – Rita Dove

77. “Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”- Barbara Jordan

78. “To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed.” – Sidney Poitier

79. “Truth is powerful and it prevails.” – Sojourner Truth

80. “Unless man is committed to the belief that all mankind are his brothers, then he labors in vain and hypocritically in the vineyards of equality.” – Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

81. “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” – Barack Obama

Best Black History Month Quotes to inspire you

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

83. “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

84. “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” – Susan L. Taylor

85. “When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody going to speak out for you.”- Fannie Lou Hamer

86. “When we pull back the curtain and take a look at what out ‘colorblind’ society creates without affirmative action, we see a familiar social, political, and economic structure – the structure of racial caste. The entrance into this new caste system can be found at the gate.” – Michelle Alexander

87. “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

88. “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” – George Washington Carver

89. “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” – George Washington Carver

90. “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”  – Maya Angelou

91. “Winning is not always the barometer of getting better.” – Tiger Woods

92. “Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grown and develop.” – Dorothy Height

93. “You borrow from the greats, and you make your own path without losing the core of who you are.” – Michael B. Jordan

94. “You can cage the singer, not the song.”- Harry Belafonte

95. “You can never know where you are going unless you know where you have been.” – Amelia Boynton Robinson

96. “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

97. “You can’t let fear paralyze you. The worse that can happen is you fail, but guess what: You get up and try again. Feel that pain, get over it, get up, dust yourself off and keep it moving.”- Queen Latifah

98. “You don’t have to be anything but yourself to be worthy.”  – Tarana Burke

99. “You have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking, you are under pressure.” – Chadwick Boseman

100. “You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way… to get in the way.” – John Lewis

101. “You’ve got to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. A thermostat shapes the climate of opinion: a thermometer just reflects it.”  – Cornel West

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