Black History Month isn’t over until it’s over!
The contributions of Black people should be celebrated every single day of the year. But, since we can’t do that yet, February also known as Black History Month, is a great time to spotlight and pay homage to the legacy and achievements of the folks who came, saw, conquered, and left. It’s also a time of reverie, when we can come to appreciate the struggle and growth of our people throughout time.
Though Black History is was oftentimes stained with struggle and strife, it wasn’t all about that. Black history is also about enlightenment, perseverance and celebration of Black excellence.
We’ve rounded up 30 Black History Month quotes from notable folks – heroes, presidents, civil rights activists, athletes and more, who’ve helped to change the world.
Let these quotes challenge your mindset and thinking, and motivate you to become a success story in all areas of your life.
- “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
- “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do keep moving forward.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison
- “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
- “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
- “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” – Serena Williams
- “As black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences — experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.” – Viola Davis
- “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
- “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
- “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm
- “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
- “Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free . . . your true self comes out.” – Tina Turner
- “The impatient idealist says: ‘Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.’ But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace.” – Chinua Achebe
- “Don’t let anything stop you. There will be times when you’ll be disappointed, but you can’t stop.” – Sadie T. M. Alexander
- “Life has two rules: number 1, never quit! Number 2, always remember rule number one.” – Duke Ellington
- “A man without knowledge of himself and his heritage is like a tree without roots.” – Dick Gregory
- “If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.” – James Baldwin
- “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
- “I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.” – Tracee Ellis Ross
- “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” – Beyonce Knowles
- “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
- “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph
- “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
- “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
- “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
- “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” – Carol Moseley-Braun