African American History Quotes

African American History Quotes by John Henrik Clarke, Billie Holiday, Carol Moseley Braun, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates and many others.

The acceptance of the facts of African-American history

The acceptance of the facts of African-American history and the African-American historian as a legitimate part of the academic community did not come easily. Slavery ended and left its false images of black people intact.
John Henrik Clarke
You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation.
Billie Holiday
Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.
Carol Moseley Braun
The time is always right to do what is right.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Black people have always been America’s wilderness in search of a promised land.
Cornel West
My producers and I worked with these consultants and came up with seventy [stories] which we think are exemplary of the larger arc of African-American history between 1513 and 2013. We covered half a millennium, and it’s amazing.
Henry Louis Gates
No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
Booker T. Washington
Precisely that, covering 500 years of African-American history in six hours. I’ve been working on this for seven years. The biggest challenge was deciding which stories to tell.
Henry Louis Gates
For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.
Maya Angelou
Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet
Sarah Louise Delany
You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.
Eldridge Cleaver
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
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.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
June Jordan
Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.
Arthur Ashe
Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.
Barbara Jordan
I’m not against knowing the history of white people in the U.S. – that’s not the point. The point is that there’s so much greater history. We don’t know about Native Americans. Very basically, we don’t know that much about African American history, except that they were enslaved. You only get bits and pieces.
Luis J. Rodriguez