We all know that to make a difference, it’s not about what you say; it’s about what you do. But sometimes, our words truly can have the power to motivate others to go out and change the world.
The people we honor during Black History Month are men and women of action. But their words, in addition to their deeds, continue to inspire people to create, to change, to persevere. We collected some amazing quotes from famous men and women in black history. Which one inspires you the most? Read each then vote in our poll! Is there a different quote you love, but we didn’t include? Share it in the comments section.
1. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. “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
3. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
4. “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
5. “You face the biggest challenge of all: to have the courage to seek your big dream regardless of what anyone says. You are the only person alive who can see your big picture and even you can’t see it all.” – Oprah Winfrey
6. “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody — a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns — bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” – Thurgood Marshall
7. “I will not take ‘but’ for an answer.” – Langston Hughes
8. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
9. “It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald
10. “Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” – Dorothy Height