70+ inspiring Black History Month quotes to celebrate black history

70+ inspiring Black History Month quotes to celebrate black history

Black History Month takes place in February. The month recognises the Black community's experiences and accomplishments. The month's goal is to highlight the significance of civil rights, advocate for greater equality, and empower Black history-makers to tell their own stories. Explore some of the most inspiring Black History Month quotes from influential Black leaders.

Black History Month quotes
Dr Martin Luther King Jr is speaking before a crowd of 25,000 Selma To Montgomery, Alabama, civil rights marchers. Photo: Stephen F. Somerstein (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Black History Month is a time to honour and reflect on remarkable African American trailblazers who have left lasting legacies by igniting a desire for change and hope. These leaders have shared thought-provoking ideas that continue to inspire the Black community. May these wise words influence, challenge, and motivate you.

Inspiring Black History Month quotes

Black History Month serves as a reminder to reflect on Black people's struggles, triumphs, and invaluable accomplishments. Here are some inspirational Black History Month quotes.

Famous quotes for Black history month

The Black community has had an immeasurable impact, from civil rights leaders to scientists, artists to athletes. To honour this rich legacy, here are inspiring quotes that capture the wisdom of those who paved the way for advancement and equality.

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  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression. – W.E.B. Du Bois
  • I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up. – Rosa Parks
  • Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. – Coretta Scott King
  • 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
  • In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist. – Angela Davis
  • Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. – Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. – Thurgood Marshall
  • Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 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

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Short Black History quotes

Short but impactful quotes have captured the spirit that characterises Black history. Here are some short Black History Month quotes that are powerful and inspiring.

Black history Month quotes
A black woman in African jewellery. Photo: pexels.com, @nappy (modified by author)
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  • Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it. – James Baldwin
  • What the people want is simple. They want an America as good as its promise. – Barbara Jordan
  • If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair. – Shirley Chisholm
  • My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. – Desmond Tutu
  • If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. – Marcus Garvey
  • The soul that is within me no man can degrade. – Frederick Douglass
  • Character is power. – Booker T. Washington
  • Truth is powerful, and it prevails. – Sojourner Truth
  • If you judge people, you have no time to love them. – Mother Teresa
  • Don't agonise, organise. –Florynce Kennedy

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Black excellence quotes

Black excellence is a concept that captures the incredible accomplishments and contributions made by the Black community. Here are some quotes to celebrate Black excellence.

Black History Month
Two black girls wearing yellow sleeveless dresses. Photo: pexels.com, @nappy (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • 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. – Booker T. Washington
  • Have a vision of excellence, a dream of success, and work like hell. – Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook
  • I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. –Oprah Winfrey
  • Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. – Booker T. Washington
  • If you can be the best, then why not try to be the best? – Garrett Morgan
  • Excellence is an attitude. – Colin Powell
  • I work really hard to just focus on the joy of the work that gets to be done, regardless of what it means for me personally. – Ava DuVernay
  • You are your best thing. –Toni Morrison
  • I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. – Muhammad Ali
  • Almost always, the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Black History Month motivational quotes

Black History Month is a prompt to recognise and honour the accomplishments that have moulded the world. These inspirational quotes will inspire you to appreciate and honour the legacy of Black history.

Black history Month quotes
Mohammad Ali poses for the camera in Bronx, New York. Photo: Stanley Weston (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images
  • If there is no struggle, there is no progress. –Frederick Douglass
  • Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. – Langston Hughes
  • Have a vision. Be demanding. – Colin Powell
  • The time is always right to do what is right. – Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. – Dr Mae Jemison
  • Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us. – Susan L. Taylor
  • He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. –Muhammad Ali
  • One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. – Arthur Ashe
  • Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. – Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Greatness can be captured in one word: lifestyle. Life is God's gift to you, and style is what you make of it. – Mae Jemison

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Black History Month quotes for students

For students, Black History Month is a powerful reminder of the exceptional people who paved the way for progress and equality. Here are some inspiring Black History Month quotes explicitly curated for students to instil resilience, motivation, and pride in their educational and self-discovery journeys.

Black History Month quotes
A black lady is reading books. Photo: pexels.com, @rfstudio (modified by author)
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  • The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. – B.B. King
  • Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X
  • 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
  • The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X
  • Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that count. – Winston Churchill (quoted by Barack Obama)
  • 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
  • Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. –Michael Jordan
  • 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
  • Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. – Langston Hughes
  • 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

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Black king quotes

Black History Month quotes
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"Black King" is more than just a title; it represents strength, resilience, and the embodiment of leadership. Here are inspirational Black History Month quotes that capture the essence of being a Black king.

  • Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you must do is put it on. – James Baldwin
  • I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. – Oprah Winfrey
  • Don’t listen to those who say YOU CAN’T. Listen to the voice inside yourself that says, I CAN. – Shirley Chisolm
  • Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part. –John Lewis
  • There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. – Michelle Obama
  • The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. – Alice Walker
  • Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another. – Toni Morrison
  • When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. – Audre Lorde
  • It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts. – Ella Fitzgerald
  • There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. – Malcolm X

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These inspiring Black History Month quotes demonstrate the courage, wisdom, and determination of the remarkable Black people who shaped history and continue to inspire future generations. Reflect on these quotes and use them as motivation to create a future that values equality, diversity, and justice for all.

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