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20 Inspiring Quotes from Black Writers

Quotes by Black Authors

In honor of Black History Month, we’ve collected 20 inspiring quotes from black writers and authors. Please enjoy!

“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 (The Black Unicorn)

“But surely to tell these tall tales and others like them would be to spread the myth, the wicked lie, that the past is always tense and the future, perfect.” – Zadie Smith (White Teeth)

“To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.” -Dorothy West (The Richer, the Poorer)

“My passion for social justice and uplifting people also serves as my inspiration.” – Mitta Xinindlu

“The moment you want someone else’s life is the moment you spiritually kill yourself.” – Qwana M. “BabyGirl” Reynolds-Frasier

“When you know your name, you should hang on to it, for unless it is noted down and remembered, it will die when you do.” –Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin (As Much Truth As One Can Bear, New York Times)

“I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.” – Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

“It’s a bit cliche, but you can’t go wrong by writing what you know. Even if you’re a horrible writer, your own knowledge and experience is unrivaled. Nobody knows what you know like you know what you know. The way you see things is pretty unique.” – Issa Rae (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl)

“Having a superpower has nothing to do with the ability to fly or jump, or superhuman strength. The truest superpowers are the ones we all possess: willpower, integrity, and most importantly, courage.” – Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down)

“No matter how obsessed you’ve been with your own vanishing, there will always be someone who wants you whole.” – Hanif Abdurraqib, (They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us)

“When you choose to be a poet, you become a place that people walk through and then leave when they are ready” – Rudy Francisco, (Helium)

“People think that forgiveness is for the person who wronged you, but it’s not. Because when we allow things to bottle up inside of us and we don’t release it, or forgive the people who may have caused hurt to come in our lives, we just become bitter. And God can’t use bitter people.” – Vanessa Miller, (Long Time Coming)

“For me, I start at the place that my characters are human. I start at the place that they are onions that are layered and meant to be peeled, just as we as human beings are.” – Mara Brock Akil (American Screenwriter)

“When the news wants to tell you something is important, they put dramatic theme music behind it. They scare you into watching the story.” – Aaron McGruder (American writer)

““It was only sunlight she needed. Pure, delicious sunlight flooding through a room.” – Kathleen Collins, (Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?)

“The poetry of a people comes from the deep recesses of the unconscious, the irrational and the collective body of our ancestral memories.” – Margaret Walker (American poet)

“I’m a firm believer that language and how we use language determines how we act, and how we act then determines our lives and other people’s lives.” – Ntozake Shange (American playwright)

“Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding, too eager tenderness. The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.” – Naomi Long Madgett (American poet)

““But isn’t that the way it is with memory? Give it enough time and it will become worn down and covered in a patina of self-serving omissions.” – Jason Mott (The Returned)

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