Absent Black History Month, many people, including some African Americans, might not know how much people of African descent in the United States and other parts of the world have contributed to society, technology, medicine, education, religion, and law. For many, these contributions are kept alive and embodied in history books, well-researched documentaries, and in quotes for Black History Month.
Quotes for Black History Month
These Black History Month quotes for students as well as Black History Month quotes for teachers center around the work that ministers, community organizers, entertainers, business owners, and dedicated parents have done. For centuries, the hard work and contributions made by people from the African Diaspora went largely unnoticed. Fortunately, Carter G. Woodson, among other influential African Americans, changed this.
Thanks to the work of Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month was founded in 1926. At its start, only one week was set aside to acknowledge and celebrate contributions from African Americans. Carter G. Woodson along with minister Jesse E. Moorland started to commemorate Negro History Week in February 1926, nearly a century ago.1
Of the quotes for Black History Month, a popular quote from Carter G. Woodson states that "Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” Over four decades would pass before Negro History Week would be celebrated as Black History Month, often on college campuses throughout the United States. It was President Gerald Ford who, in 1976, officially declared February as Black History Month.
Among President Gerald Ford's quotes for Black History Month is the encouragement for the nation to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” The following are more quotes for Black History Month that shed light on inventions, courage, inspirational and other contributions made by African Americans.
Black History Month Quotes for Teachers2
Quotes for Black History Month are helpful whether they are used by teachers, at home, at corporate offices, or in the community. Check out these Black History Month quotes for teachers:
“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.
“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”—W.E.B. Du Bois
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
“I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.” —Rosa Parks
“I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” —Serena Williams
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel
“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
“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
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” —Shirley Chisholm
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” —Muhammad Ali
“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
Inspirational Quotes For Black History Month
Teachers aren't the only people who can benefit from using quotes for Black History Month. That shared, check out these inspirational quotes for Black History Month that can be used during February and year-round.
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” —Rosa Parks
“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” —Ola Joseph
“The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” —Frederick Douglass
“’ We, the people.’ It is a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787 I have not included in that “We, the people.” I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation and court decision I have finally been included in ‘We, the people.’” —Barbara Jordan
“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” —Michelle Obama
“We have a wonderful history behind us…and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.” —Carter G. Woodson
“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
“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” —Aretha Franklin
“The thing about black history is that the truth is so much more complex than anything you could make up.” —Henry Louis Gates
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Although Black History Month quotes for teachers and Black History Month quotes for students can be impactful, they don't offer as much influence as real-life examples of people from the African Diaspora who are succeeding. As happens with moving quotes for Black History Month, to truly celebrate Black History Month, it's important to highlight real-life, rewarding choices and contributions that are being made by youth and adults in the African American community today.
These real-life examples come through worship centers, schools, community centers, technology, the arts, and sports. Entrepreneurs and African and African American business owners also demonstrate to youth and adults that, even in today's competitive business world, it's possible to succeed while operating a business online or in-person. In fact, women business owners like Nigerian born Dr. Unoma Okorafor not only manage a staff, they also lead manufacturing, partner relationships, trademark, and marketing initiatives.
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It is through WAAW that Herbal Goodness supports the education of girls living in Africa. In fact, the WAAW Foundation impacts the lives of more than 10,000 African girls a year. WAAW is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. The foundation operates offices in McKinney, Texas, Abuja, Nigeria, and Kigali, Rwanda. As it continues to support Africans, African Americans, and those seeking organic, non-GMO products, Herbal Goodness also offers scholarships to women farmers that it partners with. It is this work that is inspiring, that makes inspirational quotes for Black History Month realistic, powerful, and far-reaching.
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- History. Black History Month. Accessed July 10, 2020.
- Parade. Lindsay Lowe. 110 Inspiring Quotes for Black History Month: Freedom Is Never Given. February 24, 2020. Accessed July 10, 2020.