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85 Quotes From Black Women To Inspire You

Sunday, March 04, 2012 Leave a Comment

At some point, we all need a little pick me up. Each of these quotes by notable Black women will provide you with inspiration and help you seize the day.

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 Tweet This

What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine. -Oprah Winfrey

I did what my conscience told me to do, and you can't fail if you do that. -Anita Hill

Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now. -Audre Lorde

It’s not about supplication, it’s about power. It’s not about asking, it’s about demanding. It’s not about convincing those who are currently in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself. - Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts. -Nikki Giovanni

Don't feel entitled to anything you didn't sweat and struggle for. -Marian Wright Edelman

No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you. -Althea Gibson

As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you - the first time around. -Oprah Winfrey

We can say "Peace on Earth." We can sing about it, preach about it or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be. -Betty Shabazz

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. -Lena Horne

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

There's always something to suggest that you'll never be who you wanted to be. Your choice is to take it or keep on moving. -Phylicia Rashad

Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself. -Alice Walker

Give light and people will find the way. -Ella Baker

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.  -Oprah Winfrey

All great achievements require time. -Maya Angelou

The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within - strength, courage, dignity. -Ruby Dee

Service is the rent that you pay for room on this earth. -Shirley Chisholm

Related: How to Trust Your Vision, Even When Others Don't

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. -Lorraine Hansberry

I get angry about things, then go on and work. -Toni Morrison

Just remember the world is not a playground but a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday but an education. One eternal lesson for us all: to teach us how better we should love. -Barbara Jordan

Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose. -Billie Holiday

Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals. -Dorothy Height

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

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. - Marian Wright Edelman

You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. - Shirley Chisholm

Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear. -Zora Neale Hurston

How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers names. -Alice Walker

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others. - Marian Wright Edelman

I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. -Audre Lorde

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. -Maya Angelou

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it. - Toni Morrison

Just because I have my standards they think I'm a bitch. -Diana Ross

Your silence will not protect you. -Audre Lorde

There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made. -Michelle Obama

Cease to be a drudge, seek to be an artist. -Mary McLeod Bethune

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. -Harriet Tubman

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. -Zora Neale Hurston

Don't be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it's just death. -Lena Horne

Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister. -Alice Walker

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

Don't agonize, organize. -Florynce Kennedy

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying. -Nikki Giovanni

I did my best, and God did the rest. -Hattie McDaniel

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. -Oprah Winfrey

You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day. -Marian Wright Edelman

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. -Lorraine Hansberry

Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change -Iyanla Vanzant

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation. -Coretta Scott King

If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive. -Audre Lorde

I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance. -bell hooks

If you don't understand yourself you don't understand anybody else. -Nikki Giovanni

Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. -Mae Jemison

You never find yourself until you face the truth. -Pearl Bailey

Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all. -Toni Morrison

The greatest gift is not being afraid to question. -Ruby Dee

Related: The Recession Lesson

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. -Oprah Winfrey

You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself. -Diana Ross

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. -Alice Walker

It's in the act of having to do things that you don't want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego. -bell hooks

Each person must live their life as a model for others. -Rosa Parks

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou

I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process. -Oprah Winfrey

Nobody's free until everybody's free. -Fannie Lou Hamer

A lot of people refuse to do things because they don't want to go naked, don't want to go without guarantee. But that's what's got to happen. You go naked until you die. -Nikki Giovanni

The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class-it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity. -Anna Julia Cooper

Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be. -Alice Walker

Always be smarter than the people who hire you. -Lena Horne

No person has the right to rain on your dreams. -Marian Wright Edelman

Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. -Oprah Winfrey

Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat. -Audre Lorde

You have a right to your thoughts and feelings. Your feelings are always valid. -Iyanla Vanzant

Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. -Marian Wright Edelman

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. -Coretta Scott King

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. -Maya Angelou

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

Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever. - Audre Lorde

A woman's gifts will make room for her. -Hattie McDaniel

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

Prayer begins where human capacity ends. -Marian Anderson

I am not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star. -Sojourner Truth

We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. -Angela Davis

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly. -Oprah Winfrey


Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. -Marian Wright Edelman

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