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Fighting Racism: Quotes by Black Women

Words of Wisdom from Black Women

Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and living in the post-trump era America, there is no question that this is a difficult but important time. What lies ahead is an opportunity to change our country for the better, end police brutality, and create a more equal society for Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color. And while for many, this time seems frightening and confusing, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and refuse to lose the path to equality being laid out before us. That’s why we are turning to the wise words of Black Women and sharing just some of our favorite quotes by Black Women.

When you have moments of feeling exhausted and like giving up–especially if you are white– we encourage you to read and read the following quotes by Black Women who have changed our world for the better.

quotes by black women
Alice Walker

Quotes by Black Women

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

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

Your silence will not protect you. -Audre Lorde

“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

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

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

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

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

quotes by black women
Audre Lorde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quotes by black women

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

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

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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Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.
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