From Muhammad Ali to Andrew Young
Compiled by Ann Marie Imbornoni
Try the African-American Quotations Quiz.
I never thought of losing, but now that it's happened, the only thing is to do it right. That's my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.
Muhammad Ali (1942-)
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 (1942- )
Read more quotes from Muhammad Ali.
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
Maya Angelou (1928-)
Man, if you gotta ask you'll never know.
Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong (1900-1971)
Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.
Arthur Ashe (1943-1993)
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.
James Baldwin (1924-1987)
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 (1875-1955)
The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.
Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932)
You're either part of the solution or part of the problem.
(Leroy) Eldridge Cleaver (1935-1998)
Lucille Clifton (1936-)
Life is short, and it's up to you to make it sweet.
Sadie Delany (1889-1999)
You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.
It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others... One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warrings ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
I used to want the words "She tried" on my tombstone. Now I want "She did it."
Katherine Dunham (1910-2006)
The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to.
Marian Wright Edelman ((1939-)
There will always be men struggling to change, and there will always be those who are controlled by the past.
Ernest J. Gaines (1933-)
What happens to a dream deferred?
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. . . . Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston (1901?-1960)
Our nation is a rainbow—red, yellow, brown, Black, and white—and we're all precious in God's sight.
Jesse Jackson (1941)
We have come over a way that with tears has
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) Lift Every Voice and Sing, stanza 2 (1900)
When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.