Celebrating 40 Great Quotes From Past To Present

Celebrating 40 Great Quotes From Past To Present
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 30, 2009

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“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.”-President Obama

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“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 G. Woodson

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“Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo—obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.”-Angela Davis

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“You know, I think I still have a sense that no matter what you do, no matter what you achieve, no matter how much success you have, no matter how much money you have, relationships are important.”-Ed Bradley

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“There is really nothing more to say—except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.”-Toni Morrison

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“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.”-Langston Hughes

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“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your live those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”-Nikki Giovanni

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“When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.”–Harriet Tubman

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“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.”-First Lady Michelle Obama

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“Violence is Black children going to school for 12 years and receiving 6 years’ worth of education.”-Julian Bond

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“I know that there is a God—the God within me that’s always present and will protect me. I’m not afraid to climb any mountain, because I know that I’m protected. Even if I fall and die, I’m still protected. My faith is on that level."-Halle Berry

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“One had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap.”-Ida B. Wells

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“You’ve got to put your head down and do the work. There are no shortcuts.” -Russell Simmons

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“I’m not intimidated by anyone. Everyone is made with two arms, two legs, a stomach and a head. Just think about that.”–Josephine Baker

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If you aren’t familiar with the name Alice Walker, you certainly have heard of her most distinguished novel, The Color Purple. Walker won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Award for the novel. Walker also wrote several non-fiction books, was an editor for liberal feminist magazine Ms. and co-founded feminist publishing company, Wild Tree Press.

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“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”–Zora Neale Hurston

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“I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” – Oprah Winfrey

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“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.”–Frederick Douglass

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“I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.”-Whoopi Goldberg

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“There’s definitely a dangerous feeling when you’re in love—it’s giving your heart to someone else and knowing that they have control over your feelings. I know for me, who always tries to be so tough, that’s the dangerous thing.”

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“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.”–W.E.B. Du Bois

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“I blame my mother for nothing, but forgive her for everything.”-Mary J. Blige

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“Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.”–Sojourner Truth

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“Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.”-Marian Wright Edelman

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“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”–Malcolm X

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“When you lose, you’re more motivated. When you win, you fail to see your mistakes and probably no one can tell you anything.”-Venus Williams

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“Education is the medium by which a people are prepared for the creation of their own particular civilization, and the advancement and glory of their own race.”– Marcus Garvey

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“Greatness occurs when your children love you, when your critics respect you and when you have peace of mind.”-Quincy Jones

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“For I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

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“Tennis is just a game, family is forever.”-Serena Williams

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“I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.”-Denzel Washington

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“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” –Audre Lorde

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“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”– Maya Angelou

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“I want history to remember me not just as the first Black woman to be elected to Congress, not as the first Black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a Black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.” –Shirley Chisholm

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“I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

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“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

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“During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams.”– 2pac

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“Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change.”– Jesse Jackson

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“Civilization had too many rules for me, so I did my best to rewrite them.”– Bill Cosby


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