20 Inspirational Black History Month Quotes

Black History Month is an annual month-long celebration in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Although the month is not long enough to celebrate and appreciate all the great history Black people have contributed to the world. It is a great time to commemorate some of the greatest thought-leaders, activist, artists and philanthropist. Here are twenty quotes celebrating Black History Month from some of the most influential Black men and women.

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

2. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

3. 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 (African-American author and poet).

4. “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

5. “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

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

7. “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”- Susan L. Taylor, journalist

8. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde (Caribbean-American poet & author)

9. “There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” – Rita Dove (African-American poet and author)

10. “Go to work! Go to work in the morn of a new creation… until you have… reached the height of self-progress, and from that pinnacle bestow upon the world a civilization of your own.” – Marcus Garvey

11. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J. Walker

12. “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

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

14. “You are where you are today because you stand on somebody’s shoulders. And wherever you are heading, you cannot get there by yourself. If you stand on the shoulders of others, you have a reciprocal responsibility to live your life so that others may stand on your shoulders. It’s the quid pro quo of life. We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” – Vernon Jordan

15. “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” – Beyonce Knowles

16. You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X 

17. As long as we are not ourselves, we will try to be what other people are.” – Malidoma Patrice Somé 

18. Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them. – Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana)

19. “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

20. “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey


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The Black Detour Team

The Black Detour is a independent, digital publication that transcends black culture.

The Black Detour Team

The Black Detour is a independent, digital publication that transcends black culture.

7 thoughts on “20 Inspirational Black History Month Quotes

  • February 5, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    I love “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” Peole are quick to put their fears on you. Don’t force me into a box.

  • February 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT – this quote is certainly one everyone should live by! SO much truth behind it!

  • February 7, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Yes to all of this! I especially love the quotes by Maya Angelou, Susan Taylor, and Madam C J Walker. Truth!

  • February 7, 2018 at 11:32 am

    That Beyonce quote snuck up on me because you had it mixed in with people who are considered more “academic” and “historical.” Thank you for adding her perspective to the list.

  • February 8, 2018 at 4:09 am

    These are great quotes. They are right on time for Black History month.

  • February 12, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Yass, some powerful words that will have us inspired for lifetimes ahead! I love this!


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