1 – A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman – refuses to be anyone’s victim.
2 – All great achievements require time.
3 – As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
4 – Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it.
5 – At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.
6 – Be present in all things, and thankful for all things.
7 – Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently.
8 – Courage – you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.
9 – Determine to live life with flair and laughter.
10 – Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
11 – Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, “That’s life.”
12 – Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.
13 – Faith is the evidence of the unseen.
14 – Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns. I like beautiful things around me. I like to be beautiful because it delights my eyes and my soul is lifted up.
15 – Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.
16 – I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
17 – I believe that every person is born with talent.
18 – I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
19 – I created myself. I have taught myself so much.
20 – I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.
21 – I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
22 – I think a hero is any person really intent on making his a better place for all people.
23 – I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.
24 – I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.
25 – I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
26 – I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
27 – If you’re a human being, you can attempt to do what other human beings have done. We don’t understand talent any more than we understand electricity.
28 – If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
29 – If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
30 – If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
31 – In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats – maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats – but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.
32 – It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
33 – Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.
34 – Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
35 – Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
36 – My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done, to try and love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
37 – My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
38 – Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.
39 – Nothing will work unless you do.
40 – People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.
41 – Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.
42 – Stand up straight and realize who you are. That you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.
43 – The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.
44 – There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
45 – To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents
46 – Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
47 – We are only as blind as we want to be.
48 – We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
49 – We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.
50 – Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.
1 – And I prayed to God to make me strong and able to fight, and that’s what I’ve always prayed for ever since.
2 – Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
3 – 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.
4 – I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
5 – I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
6 – I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was on of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.
7 – I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.
8 – I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.
9 – I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.
10 – It wasn’t me, it was the Lord! I always told Him, ‘I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect You to lead me,’ and He always did.
11 – Never wound a snake; kill it.
12 – Slavery is the next thing to hell.
1 – Each person must live their life as a model for others.
2 – Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.
3 – I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.
4 – 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.
5 – I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black.
6 – I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.
7 – I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.
8 – I’m tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.
9 – It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn’t feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working.
10 – Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
11 – Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.
12 – Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.
13 – The only tired i was was tired of giving in.
14 – Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.
15 – You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.
In honor of Black History Month, check out these 15 inspiring quotes from civil rights icons including Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, and W.E.B. Du Bois.
1. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”
—Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut
2. “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.
3. “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”
—W.E.B. Du Bois
4. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
—Thurgood Marshall, first African American U.S. Supreme Court member
5. “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”
—Coretta Scott King
6. “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”
—Susan L. Taylor, journalist
7. “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.”
—Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer
8. “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
9. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
10. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
11. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
12. “The time is always right to do what is right.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
13. “Have a vision. Be demanding.”
14. “Freedom is never given; it is won.”
—A. Philip Randolph, civil rights activist
15. “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
1 – A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
2 – A lie cannot live.
3 – A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.
4 – A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
5 – A riot is the language of the unheard.
6 – All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
7 – All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
8 – Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
9 – An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
10 – At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
11 – By opening our lives to God in Christ, we become new creatures. This experience, which Jesus spoke of as the new birth, is essential if we are to be transformed nonconformists … Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.
12 – Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.
13 – Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.
14 – Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles ; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity ; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe ? Expediency asks the question, is it politic ? Vanity asks the question, is it popular ? But conscience ask the question, is it right ? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.
15 – Every man lives in two realms: the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live.
16 – Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
17 – Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
18 – Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
19 – Forgiveness is not an occasional act ; it is a constant attitude.
20 – Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
21 – He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
22 – He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
23 – History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
24 – Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
25 – I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.
26 – I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
27 – I came to the conclusion that there is an existential moment in your life when you must decide to speak for yourself; nobody else can speak for you.
28 – I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
29 – I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
30 – I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.
31 – I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
32 – I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.
33 – 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.
34 – I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
35 – I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.
36 – If any earthly institution or custom conflicts with God’s will, it is your Christian duty to oppose it. You must never allow the transitory, evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.
37 – If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
38 – If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
39 – If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.
40 – 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 you have to keep moving forward.
41 – In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.
42 – In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
43 – Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
44 – It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
45 – It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
46 – Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
47 – Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.
48 – Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others ?’
49 – Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.
50 – Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
51 – Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
52 – Mankind must put and end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
53 – Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
54 – Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.
55 – Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
56 – No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
57 – No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.
58 – No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
59 – Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
60 – Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.
61 – Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
62 – Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.
63 – Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
64 – Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.
65 – Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
66 – Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
67 – Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.
68 – Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
69 – Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
70 – People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.
71 – Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.
72 – Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
73 – Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.
74 – Science investigates ; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power ; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts ; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.
75 – Seeing is not always believing.
76 – Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
77 – Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
78 – Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.
79 – That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.
80 – The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
81 – The equality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.
82 – The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’
83 – The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
84 – The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able.
85 – The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
86 – The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.
87 – The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.
88 – The more there are riots, the more repressive action will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing takeover and eventually a fascist society.
89 – The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
90 – The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.
91 – The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.
92 – The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
93 – The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
94 – There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
95 – There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.
96 – There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.
97 – There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.
98 – Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.
99 – Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.
100 – Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.
101 – We are not makers of history. We are made by history.
102 – We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.
103 – We cannot walk alone.
104 – We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
105 – We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
106 – We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
107 – We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.
108 – We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace.
109 – We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
110 – We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
111 – We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
112 – We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
113 – We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
114 – What is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy.
115 – Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
116 – Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
117 – When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
118 – When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.
119 – World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.
120 – You will change your mind ; You will change your looks ; You will change your smile, laugh, and ways but not matter what you change, you will always be you.
Dome of the Rock, Arabic Qubbat al-Ṣakhrah, shrine in Jerusalem built by the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān in the late 7th century CE. It is the oldest extant Islamic monument. The rock over which the shrine was built is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.
Golden Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel