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Inspiring Black Motivational Quotes To Celebrate Black History Month

Today’s black motivational quotes are the perfect way to uplift yourself.

Everyone needs a little motivation sometimes and what better way to get it than through these powerful words from some of the world’s most influential Black leaders who have made their mark in history?

From Harriet Tubman’s fierce determination to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s moving speeches about civil rights, these leaders remind us all of why we should never give up on ourselves or our dreams no matter what obstacles stand in our way.

So if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed with life’s challenges, let these black motivational quotes be your guide!

Powerful black motivational quotes

1. “If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against all odds.” – Rev. Jessie L. Jackson, Sr

2. “The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires. But in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley

3. “In all my work, what I try to say is that as human beings we are more alike than we are unalike.” – Maya Angelou

4. “This is one of the truths of the universe and you heard it first from here; Whatever we decide we want to do is what we do.” – Morgan Freeman

5. “If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.” – Malcolm X

6. “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

7. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes

black motivational quotes

8. “Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal.” – Ava Duvernay

9. “Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J. Walker

10. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

11. “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” – Oprah Winfrey

12. “The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” – Chadwick Boseman

13. “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of it’s own.” – Michelle Obama, Former First Lady

14. “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” – Angela Davis

15. “Dreams do come true. If anyone’s proof of that, it’s me.” – Jennifer Hudson

16. “We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is Work! Work!! Work!!! Work!!!!” – Frederick Douglass

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17. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

18. “So the next time you feel like your world is about to end, I hope you studied because he’s testing your faith.” – Kendrick Lamar

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

Positivity black inspirational quotes

20. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

21. “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm

22. “Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.” – Angela Bassett

If you’re enjoying these quotes, also check out these Les Brown quotes for more inspiration along with Will Smith quotes about life and purpose.

23. “Raise a ruckus and make a change. You may not always be popular, but you’ll be part of something larger and bigger and greater than yourself.” – Samuel Jackson

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

25. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

26. “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

27. “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” – George Washington Carver

28. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison

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

Inspirational quotes from black leaders

30. “If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something about it.” – John Lewis

31. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

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32. “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

33. “A man who stands for nothing with fall for anything.” – Malcom X

34. “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

35. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

36. “Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world.” – Mary Mcleod Bethune

37. “You can only fool reality until truth comes knocking on your door.” – Michael B. Jordan

38. “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.” – Serena Williams

39. “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” – Marian Wright Edelman

40. “Our unity is our strength, and our diversity is our power.” – Kamala Harris

41. “If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” – Marvin Gaye

42. “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.” – Jackie Robinson

43. “I was raised to believe that Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life.” – Oprah Winfrey

44. “With confidence, you have won before you started.” – Marcus Garvey

45. “Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.” – Gen. Colin Powell

46. “If you can be the best, then why not try to be the best.” – Garrett Morgan

More inspirational quotes by black leaders

47. Don’t let anyone convince you that your dream, your vision to be an etnrepreneur, is something that you shouldn’t do. What often happens is that people who are well meaning, who really care for us are afraid for us and talk us out of it.” – Cathy Hughes

48. “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.” – Cicely Tyson

49. “I’ve heard of nothing coming from nothing, but I’ve never heard of absolutely nothing coming fro hard work.” – Uzo Aduba

50. “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they do.” – Kobe Bryant

51. “I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. The reason they knew who I was is because I told them.” – Ursula Burns

52. “If you can, always be appreciative of the ebb and flow of the losses and the wins.” – Jamie Foxx

53. “Do not desire to fit in. Desire to oblige yourselves to lead.” – Gwendolyn Brooks

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

55. “Not one ounce of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me.” – Quincy Jones

56. “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.” – Booker T. Washington

57. “The minute you learn to love yourself you won’t want to be anyone else,” – Rihanna

58. “It was when I realized I needed to stop trying to be somebody else and be myself, I actually started to own, accept and love what I had.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

59. “We spend far too much time complaining about the way things are and forget that we have the power to change anything and everything.” – Bozoma Saint John

60. “Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.” – Sadie Delany

61. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

62. “Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” – Harriet Tubman

Final thoughts

I hope you enjoyed these inspiring words from some of the most influential black leaders in history.

It is encouraging to know that there are strong voices out there offering guidance on how to keep striving in life no matter what obstacles you may face.

Race, gender, or any other form of difference should not be a barrier when it comes to achieving your dreams.

Instead, use it as an opportunity to make a lasting impact on this world and become something larger than yourself.

We can change our mindsets and our attitudes toward one another by embracing kindness, understanding, and humility.

Let’s continue to use their wisdom to make a positive impact in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Discover unique products that inspire at the
InspiredLife ShopWear Your Motivation. Inspire Your Space.