Black History Month helps us reflect on the influence of Black leaders. Many have been instrumental as activists, poets, songwriters, and even political office holders. They have left their mark through their remarkable stories, bold actions, and unforgettable words. We've put together 15 inspiring quotes by influential Black leaders that will help you to believe in yourself and encourage you to be more of who you are.
1. Viola Davis
"Living out loud is living a life that's bigger than yourself. Living out loud is long after you're gone—you leave something on this Earth that's bigger than yourself."
2. Spike Lee
"I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect."
3. Kamala Harris
"Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they've never seen it before."
4. Rosa Parks
"Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."
5. Ava Duvernay
"If your dream only includes you, it's too small."
6. Diana Ross
"You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself."
7. Muhammad Ali
"I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I was really the greatest."
8. Robert F. Smith
"African Americans, I think, are some of the most interesting people on the planet. We've had some of the most challenging journeys, but we've brought so much joy."
9. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are."
10. Shonda Rhimes
"There's nothing wrong with being driven. And there's nothing wrong with putting yourself first to reach your goals."
11. Oprah Winfrey
"Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don't fight them. Just find a new way to stand."
12. Amanda Gorman
"There is always light. Only if we are brave enough to see it. There is always light. Only if we are brave enough to be it."
13. Quincy Jones
"So, make your mistakes now and make them quickly. If you've made the mistakes, you know what to expect the next time. That's how you become valuable."
14. Maya Angelou
"Let nothing dim the light that shines from within."
15. Shirley Chisholm
"We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes that we hold of ourselves."
We hope these inspiring quotes from these Black leaders inspire you in your pursuits. Dive deeper into the 5 things you can do to honor Black History Month for more ideas or see other informative posts on our blog.