Great Eagle Wisdom

Quotes from In Our Own Words: A Treasury of Quotations from the African American Community

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
– Booker T. Washington (19th Century educator and leader)

I shall write the history that will inspire the millions that are coming and leave the posterity of our enemies to reckon with the hosts for the deeds of their fathers.
– Marcus Garvey (early 20th Century leader and nationalist)

I knew I could have been lynched, manhandled, or beaten when the police came. I chose not to move. When I made that decision, I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.
– Rosa Parks (activist in the Civil Rights Movement)

“Say it Loud: I’m Black
and I’m Proud.”

– James Brown (soul singer)

Find out what it means to me.

– Aretha Franklin (soul singer)

The question for black people is not when is the white man going to give us our rights, or when is he going to give us good education for our children, or when is he going to give us jobs. If the white man gives you anything — just remember when he gets ready he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves.
– Fannie Lou Hamer (activist in the Civil Rights Movement)

You can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution.
– Fred Hampton (Black Panther Party activist)

We are African women and we know, in our blood’s telling, the tenderness with which our foremothers held each other.
– Audre Lorde (poet)

From: In Our Own Words: A Treasury of Quotations From the African American Community, Elza Dinwiddie-Boyd (New York: Avon Books, 1996).