All About African Quotes: 80 Inspiring Quotes from African-American Figures on Black History Month!

All About African Quotes: 80 Inspiring Quotes from African-American Figures on Black History Month!
Photo by Glodi Miessi from Unsplash
SHARE - Black History Month is the moment to celebrate and commemorate those African-Americans who fought and struggled against injustice back in history.

Many African-American figures can be seen in the history of the United States. Back in the 60s, where discrimination towards African-Americans was finally banished, many notorious figures showed up to the public such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. 

If you're looking for African quotes, this collection compiled by Tripboba can be your inspiration. Start reading and get inspired!

African American Quotes

Photo by Glodi Miessi from Unsplash

These lists of African quotes can be your inspiration to celebrate Black History Month this year. Let's check 'em out!

  • “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” — Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer
  • “Freedom is never given; it is won.” — A. Philip Randolph, civil rights activist
  • “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” — Coretta Scott King
  • “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
  • “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” — Rosa Parks
  • “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” — Frederick Douglass
  • “If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything… that smacks of discrimination or slander.” — Mary McLeod Bethune
  • “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” — Thurgood Marshall, first African American U.S. Supreme Court member
  • “Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” — Ella Fitzgerald
  • “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” — Desmond Tutu
  • “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” —Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut
  • “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, activist, philanthropist, and former president of the Ford Foundation
  • “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
  • “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” — W.E.B. Du Bois
  • “The time is always right to do what is right.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “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
  • “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” — Susan L. Taylor, journalist
  • “Wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion.” — William Lloyd Garrison
Keep reading fo more inspiring African quotes from the famous Black figures in history. 

Famous African American Quotes

Famous African American Quotes
Photo by Vonecia Carswell from Unsplash

You may have noticed the history of Black History Month with various figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and others.

These famous African quotes from those figures in the history will give you inspiration about struggle. Let's find out!

  • “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Character is power.” — Booker T. Washington
  • “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” —Ola Joseph
  • “During Black History Month, I’m reminded yet again of the ways that the struggle for civil rights is interwoven with the struggle for workers’ rights.” — Tom Perez
  • “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” — Muhammad Ali
  • “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” — Earl G. Graves, Sr.
  • “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan
  • “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.” — Morgan Freeman
  • “I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or rat in a trap.  I had already determined to sell my life as early as possible if attacked. I felt if I could take one lyncher with me, this would even up the score a little bit.” — Ida B. Wells
  • “I knew then and I know now, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it.” — Claudette Colvin
  • “I swear to the Lord I still can’t see why democracy means everybody but me.” — Langston Hughes
  • “I’m not quite sure what freedom is, but I know damn well what it ain’t. How have we gotten so silly, I wonder.” — Assata Shakur
  • “It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.” — Barack Obama
  • “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Truth is powerful and it prevails.” — Sojourner Truth
  • “We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “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

African American Inspirational Quotes

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The Civil Rights Act in the 1960s was the new beginning of the equality of African-American history. It marked the acknowledgment of their existence as American residents.

These African quotes from Black Americans will surely inspire you. Let's check 'em out!

    • “’We, the people.’  It is a very eloquent beginning.  But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787 I was not included in that “We, the people.”  I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation and court decision I have finally been included in ‘We, the people.’” — Barbara Jordan
    • “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
    • “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
    • “Have a vision of excellence, a dream of success, and work like hell.” — Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook
    • “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
    • “I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” — Serena Williams
    • “I had no idea that history was being made.  I was just tired of giving up.” — Rosa Parks
    • “If the only time you think of me as a scientist is during Black History Month, then I must not be doing my job as a scientist.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” — Marcus Garvey
    • “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” — Mother Teresa
    • “One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.” — Michelle Obama
    • “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” — Abraham Joshua Heschel
    • “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught.  I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates?  Naps! End of list.” — Dennis Leary
    • “The majority of the Negroes who took part in the year-long boycott of Montgomery’s buses were poor and untutored; but they understood the essence of the Montgomery movement; one elderly woman summed it up for the rest.  When asked after several weeks of walking whether she was tired, she answered: ‘My feet is tired, but my soul is at rest.’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” — Frederick Douglass
    • “There comes a time when people get tired of being plunged into the abyss of exploitation and nagging injustice.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • “Today we know with certainty that segregation is dead.  The only question remaining is how costly will be the funeral.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • “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
    • “You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” — Malcolm X

    Inspirational African American Quotes

    Inspirational African American Quotes
    Photo by Glodi Miessi from Unsplash

    The endless struggles the African-Americans had endured since the end of the Civil War in 1885 had impacted many aspects. But, after 200 years, in 1965 the Civil Rights Act really created a new beginning for them.

    These inspirational African quotes depict the essence and the core of being Black in the United States. Let's check 'em out!

    • “A man without knowledge of himself and his heritage is like a tree without roots.” — Dick Gregory
    • “Be as you are and hope that it’s right.” — Dizzy Gillespie
    • “Black history isn’t a separate history. This is all of our history, this is American history, and we need to understand that. It has such an impact on kids and their values and how they view black people.” — Karyn Parsons
    • “Black History Month must be more than just a month of remembrance; it should be a tribute to our history and reminder of the work that lies in the months and years ahead.” — Marty Meehan
    • “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou
    • “Don’t agonize, organize.” — Florynce Kennedy
    • “Don’t let anything stop you. There will be times when you’ll be disappointed, but you can’t stop.” — Sadie T. M. Alexander
    • “I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that’s from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.” — Jay-Z
    • “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” — Toni Morrison
    • “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” — Shirley Chisholm
    • “If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” — Carl Lewis
    • “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
    • “Life has two rules: number 1, never quit! Number 2, always remember rule number one.” — Duke Ellington
    • “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
    • “Stretch your mind and fly.” — Whitney M. Young Jr
    • “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
    • “The thing about black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.” — Henry Louis Gates
    • “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” — Michelle Obama
    • “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” — Aretha Franklin
    • “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
    Those are the 80 inspiring African quotes from African American figures in history. Good luck!


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