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“Hold on to dreams, because if dreams die, life is a bird with broken wings that cannot fly.”
February marks Black History Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on notable African American trailblazers who have left lasting legacies by igniting hope and a desire for change. In honor of Black History Month, we have collected the most inspiring quotes from powerful black leaders such as Toni Morrison, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. These leaders have shared suggestive ideas that have always influenced and continue to influence us. Encourage us today. These wise words about dreams, humanity and Freedom inspire you, influence you and challenge you.
Quotes About Change
Civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. knew that social change was necessary, but it wouldn’t be easy. He urged his followers, ” run if you can’t fly, walk if you can’t run, crawl if you can’t walk, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving.”Read what these changemakers have to say about what is going on them.
- “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own. –Michelle Obama
- “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” –W.E.B. Du Bois
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” –Nelson Mandela
- “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” –Malcolm X
- “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass
- “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
- “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
- “The time is always right to do what is right.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Freedom is never given; it is won.” –A. Philip Randolph
- “We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.” –Amanda Gorman
- “Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome; that we will rise up. This is American aspiration.” –Kamala Harris
Quotes About Humanity
Recognizing the humanity in ourselves and in others is what uplifts us in the face of adversity. These beautiful quotes emphasize the importance of self-worth as well as the necessity of making a positive impact for our fellow humans.
- “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” –Thurgood Marshall
- “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” –Coretta Scott King
- “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
- “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” –Carol Moseley-Braun
- “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” –Jackie Robinson
- “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” –Desmond Tutu
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
- “It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” –Ella Fitzgerald
- “Character is power.” –Booker T. Washington
- “I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.” –Katherine Johnson
Quotes About Achieving Your Dreams
Daring, courage, determination. These qualities and so many others drive us to achieve our dreams. Quotes from the important figures below inspire us to continue the struggle until we succeed.
- “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” –Earl G. Graves, Sr.
- “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
- “Have a vision. Be demanding.” –Colin Powell
- “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” –Langston Hughes
- “There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” –Rita Dove
- “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
- “What’s the world for if you can’t make it up the way you want it?” –Toni Morrison
- “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” –Dr. Mae Jemison
- “I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.” –Langston Hughes
- “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” –Susan L. Taylor
- “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
- “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 was walking through [Harvard] Yard in the evening, and a Black woman I did not know was passing me on the sidewalk … She leaned over as we crossed and said, ‘Persevere.'” –Ketanji Brown Jackson
- “Education is transformational. It changes lives. That is why people work so hard to become educated and why education has always been the key to the American Dream, the force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlocks every person’s God-given potential.” –Condoleezza Rice