February is Black History Month and it gives us all the opportunity to reflect and learn about the history and future of this culture.
There are approximately 124,551 black-owned businesses in the United States with around 28.5% of these are found in the Social Assistance and Health Care sector; the highest percentage out of all minority groups.
To acknowledge the contributions of African American’s made to our country, I’ve compiled more than 200 of the most amazing slogans and quotes about this historical month.
- Black History Month Slogans
- Black History Month Quotes
- Black History Quotes for Students
- Inspirational Quotes from Black Leaders
- Black History Quotes about Education
- Black History Quotes about Love
- African American Leaders
Black History Month Slogans
- Praise Black history month.
- There is no life without Black history month.
- This is not just Black History. It’s American History.
- Break the chains, what can you do to help?
- He who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave.
- Let Black history month Begin.
- Their voices aren’t enough, we need yours.
- For some, freedom isn’t given, it’s taken.
- The struggle continues, but we will succeed.
- Fight for what is right until equity is reached.
- Speak up for those who can’t.
- Freedom. Everyone’s right.
- The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.
- Say no to injustice.
- Live & Let live.
- Freedom is never given; it is won.
- Black history is American history.
- Stand against injustice.
- Fight for your rights.
- Never forget our history of oppression. Never forget to keep hope.
- We all bleed red!
- Be black and shine.
- Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.
- I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.
- Don’t let racism hold you back from your dreams.
- Black people have always been America’s wilderness in search of a promised land.
- Every Mother, Child, Son and Father deserves freedom.
- Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves
- Humans are not for sale.
- Black lives have always mattered.
- Black history month for a better future.
- The magic of Black history month.
- Today’s fight for tomorrow freedom
- When they go low, we go high.
- For the love of Black history month.
- Black history month is the future.
Black History Month Quotes
- “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison
- “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.
- “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
- “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
- “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama
- “If you wake up deciding what you want to give versus what you’re going to get, you become a more successful person. In other words, if you want to make money, you have to help someone else make money.” – Russell Simmons
- “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” – Carol Moseley-Braun
“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
- “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
- “The thing about black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.” – Henry Louis Gates
- “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
- “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
- “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – Michelle Obama
- “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
- “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
- “We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.” – Yvette Clarke
- “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” – Angela Davis
- “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
- “The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.” – Ijeoma Oluo
- “The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” – Toni Morrison
“Friendly reminder that you don’t have to say the ‘n word’ to be racist. That’s not the sole requirement. Asking people to prove racism is another tool the oppressor uses to marginalize and discredit us.” – Lizzo
- “Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals?” – Barack Obama
- “The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.” – Eldridge Cleaver
- “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” – Nelson Mandela
- “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
- “One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” – James Earl Jones
- “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” – Booker T. Washington
- “For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” – Maya Angelou
- “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
- “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that’s where it’s at.” – Jesse Owens
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “God’s time [Emancipation]is always near. He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.” – Harriet Tubman
- “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” – Arthur Ashe
Black History Quotes for Students
- “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
- “Free at last, Free at last, thank god almighty we are free at last.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “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.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have the time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have the time to complain, I’m going to press on.” – Barack Obama
- “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.” – Frederick Douglas
- “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
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
- I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.” – Reggie Jackson
“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.” – Rosa Parks
- “No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” – Booker T. Washington
- “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.” – (Leroy) Eldridge Cleaver
- “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 keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “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
- “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” Maya Angelou
- “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu
- “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” – Susan L. Taylor
- “The African race is a rubber ball. The harder you dash it to the ground, the high it will rise.” – African Proverb
- “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it’s right.” – Rosa Parks
- “Change will not come if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
- “Freedom is never given, it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph
- “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
- “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J.Walker
- “Racism is a man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
- “Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can” – Arthur Ashe
- “If we want to get to the place where all lives matter, then we have to make sure that all lives matter, too.” – Alicia Garza
“Use your skills, your knowledge, your instincts to serve – to go change the world in the way that only you can” – Robert F. Smith
- “What’s in front of you is a whole world of experiences beyond your imagination. Put yourself, and your growth and development, first.” – Phylicia Rashad
- “Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.” – Unknown
- “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” – Michelle Obama
- “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
- “Character is power.” – Booker T. Washington
Inspirational Quotes from Black Leaders
- “I want to stop transforming and just start being.”- Ursula Burns
- “Discipline is not a dirty word. There is far more freedom and opportunity for creativity and success in enjoying discipline. Years ago someone I very much respect told me the reason they were successful is that they embraced doing what other people resent or are reluctant to do.” – Janice Bryant Howroyd
- “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.” – Cicely Tyson
- “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
- “It’s a fact of life that progress is almost exclusively generated through people. If you’re not sensitive to the needs of people within your organization, or with whom you have to deal, you’re not going to be effective.” – Reginald F. Lewis
- “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
- “Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.” – Angela Bassett
- “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey
- “I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure, but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.” – Nikki Giovanni
- “I am not going to die; I’m going home like a shooting star.” – Sojourner Truth
“Never, ever, let them see you sweat, negra. Fight until you can’t breathe, & if you have to forfeit, you forfeit smiling, make them think you let them win.””- Elizabeth Acevedo
- “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” – Aretha Franklin
- “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
- “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” – Frederick Douglass
- “For I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart.” – Mary McLeod Bethune
- “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X
- “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison
- “If we can’t look at the good, bad and ugly of who we are, we are never going to progress as people— ever.” – Rosie Perez
- “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
- “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
- “It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne
“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.” – Carter Woodson
- “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
- “The thing about Black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.” – Henry Louis Gates
- “Life has two rules: number 1, never quit! Number 2, always remember rule number one.” – Duke Ellington
- “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” – Shirley Chisholm
- “The right way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” – Ida B. Wells
- “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
- “You are not and yet you are: your thoughts, your deeds, above all your dreams still live.” – W.E.B. Du Bois
- “I feel safe in the midst of my enemies, for the truth is all powerful and will prevail.” – Sojourner Truth
- “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
- “If you approach 100 people for seed capital, 99 of them may say no, you just need that one.” – Dr. William Pickard
- “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama
- “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.” – Kenneth Chenault
- “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.” – Harriet Tubman
Black History Quotes about Education
- “It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass
- “Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.” – Robert M. Hutchins
- “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” – John Dewey
- “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward
- “I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life.” – Oprah Winfrey
- “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “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
- “If you can be the best, then why not try to be the best?” – Garrett Morgan
- “The things that make us different, those are our super powers.” – Lena Waithe
“We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.” – Barack Obama
- “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” – James Baldwin
- “Have a vision of excellence, a dream of success, and work like hell.” – Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook
- “It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald
- “Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.” – George Evans
- “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
- “God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed.” – African Proverb
- “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy
- “Freedom is never given; it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph
- “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” – Earl G. Graves Sr.
- “We are the heirs of a past of rope, fire, and murder. I for one am not ashamed of this past. My shame is for those who became so inhuman that they could inflict this torture upon us.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”
- “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” – George Washington Carver
“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
- “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
- “You can never know where you are going unless you know where you have been.” – Amelia Boynton Robinson
- “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” – Ola Joseph
- “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou
- “The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.” – Mae C. Jemison
- “Don’t aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.” – Denzel Washington
- “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” – Beyoncé Knowles
- “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
- “There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” – Rita Dove
- “When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.” – Margaret Walker
- “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” – Rosa Parks
Black History Quotes about Love
- “To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients — care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.” – Bell Hooks
- “The leaves believe such letting go is love, such love is faith, such faith is grace, such grace is God. I agree with the leaves.” – Lucille Clifton
- “Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even loving and loved.” – Octavia E. Butler
- “Love is an endless act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is me giving up the right to hurt you for hurting me.” – Beyoncé
- “I found god in myself / and I loved her / I loved her fiercely” – Ntozake Shange
- “Out of love, / No regrets- / Though the goodness / Be wasted forever. / Out of love, / No regrets- / Though the return / Be never.” – Langston Hughes
- “We choose love. Our love for our children. Our commitment to leaving them a better world. Our love for our country … our love for our fellow citizens … that’s what we choose.” – Michelle Obama
- “Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” – James Baldwin
- “I am grateful to have been loved, and to be loved now and to be able to love. Because love liberates.” – Maya Angelou
- “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” – Toni Morrison
- “We love each other. That’s all we need to make it work.” – N.D. Jones
- “Kindness eases change, Love quiets fear.” – Octavia Butler
Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be the roses that grow in the concrete.” – Angie Thomas
- “I believe in one day and someday and this perfect moment called Now.” – Jacqueline Woodson
- “Yes, I do have a big ego … and I am in love with myself … Because if you don’t love yourself how can anybody love you back?” – Mel B
- When you put love out in the world it travels, and it can touch people and reach people in ways that we never even expected.” – Laverne Cox
- “Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.” – Janelle Monae
- “In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.” – Maya Angelou
- “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” – Zora Neale Hurston
- “I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.” – Alice Walker
- “Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, knowing and known. Perhaps even loving and loved.” – Octavia Butler
- “Some say we are responsible for those we love. Others know we are responsible for those who love us.” – Nikki Giovanni
“There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God.” – Toni Morrison
- “To return to love, to get the love we always wanted but never had, to have the love we want but are not prepared to give, we seek romantic relationships. We believe these relationships, more than any other, will rescue and redeem us. True love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.” – Bell Hooks
- “The leaves believe such letting go is love, such love is faith, such faith is grace, such grace is God. I agree with the leaves.” – Lucille Clifton
- “If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” – Maya Angelou
African American Leaders
Maya Angelou is one of the most famous African American figures to date. Despite going through terrible periods in her early days, she continued to persist. Angelou started with her love of poetry and became a successful author. Later in life, Angelou became a fearless civil rights activist, working as Martin Luther King Jr’s northern coordinator for his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Maya Angelou also worked with Malcolm X to establish the organization of Afro-American Unity as well.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the most popular African American icon. MLK was also a key figure in the American civil rights movement. At age 35, Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965. He led several peaceful protests and marches, including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Malcolm X was a civil rights activist and a minister. He founded the Nation of Islam newspaper Muhammad Speaks in 1957 and it remains as one of his lasting legacies. Through this newspaper, Malcolm X was able to spread his revolutionary message. He accepted violence as one of the ways to achieve equality. However, Malcolm X started preaching about peaceful resistance and integration as well as unity later in life.
As we all know, Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States and the first black president. However, when he filed his candidacy, many did not know who he was. But, his campaign quickly became a movement. Barack served two terms as president and during that time, he enacted a health care reform law, tamed the Great Recession, rescued the struggling auto industry, and restored hope.
Harriet Tubman was the influential Underground Railroad “conductor”. Harriet was born into slavery and endured physical violence nearly everyday when she was growing up. However, in 1849, she managed to escape through the Underground Railroad that she used to help save hundreds of enslaved people’s lives.