24 Quotes to Celebrate Black History Month

UPDATED: June 24, 2024
PUBLISHED: February 1, 2023
happy black woman

Officially recognized as Black History Month in 1976, the month of February offers a chance to recognize the accomplishments of Black Americans in every era of history.

At SUCCESS, we want to honor those who paved the way toward equality and those who still actively challenge injustice today. We want to share our appreciation for the people who changed history and who continue to empower everyone around them.

Celebrate Black History Month with 24 quotes that touch on the topics of success, gratitude, humanity and resilience.

Black History Month quotes about success

“It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

Michelle Obama


“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


“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”

Mae Jemison, M.D.


“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

Frederick Douglass


“I have learned that 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


“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”

Jesse Owens


“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Muhammad Ali


“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

Maya Angelou


“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world… ”

Nelson Mandela

Quotes about resilience

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”

Rosa Parks


“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

Ella Fitzgerald


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

Michael Jordan


“I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”

Serena Williams


“Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted.”

A. Philip Randolph


“Hold fast to dreams / For if dreams die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly. / Hold fast to dreams / For when dreams go / Life is a barren field / Frozen with snow.”

Langston Hughes, Dreams

Black History Month quotes about humanity

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who’ve been told that they cannot have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can.”

Barack Obama


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Jackie Robinson


“Only in a free society could right triumph in difficult times, and could civilization record its magnificent advancement. In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

Thurgood Marshall


“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


“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.”

Aretha Franklin


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

Alice Walker


“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

Ida B. Wells


“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

This article was published in February 2022 and has been updated. Photo by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

Madison Pieper is the Multimedia Content Producer for SUCCESS. With a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University, she has a passion for creative storytelling both on and off the camera. Outside of work, Madison loves figure skating, fashion and spending time with her friends and family.