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African American Quotations (A to B)

  1. "I never doubted my ability, but when you hear all your life you're inferior, it makes you wonder if the other guys have something you've never seen before. If they do, I'm still looking for it."
    -- Hank Aaron

  2. "I'm not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as much time in the library as they do on the basketball court. If they took the idea that they could escape poverty through education, I think it would make a more basic and long-lasting change in the way things happen. What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals."
    -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  3. "You can't win unless you learn how to lose."
    -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  4. "I don't know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future."
    -- Ralph Abernathy

  5. "Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."
    -- Muhammed Ali

  6. "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."
    -- Muhammed Ali

  7. "Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters: some die, some get hurt, some go on. You just don't let yourself believe it will happen to you."
    -- Muhammed Ali

  8. "I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and peace."
    -- Muhammed Ali

  9. "I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I'm in a world of my own."
    -- Muhammed Ali

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  10. "None of us is responsible for the complexion of his skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath."
    -- Marian Anderson

  11. "It is easy to look back, self-indulgently, feeling pleasantly sorry for oneself and saying I didn't have this and I didn't have that. But it is only the grown woman regretting the hardships of a little girl who never thought they were hardships at all. She had the things that really mattered."
    -- Marian Anderson

  12. "I have a great belief in the future of my people and my country."
    -- Marian Anderson

  13. "You lose a lot of time, hating people."
    -- Marian Anderson

  14. "Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman."
    -- Marian Anderson

  15. "I suppose I might insist on making issues of things. But that is not my nature, and I always bear in ming that my mission is to leave behind me the kind of impression that will make it easier for those who follow."
    -- Marian Anderson

  16. "We really are fifteen different countries and it's really remarkable that each of us thinks we represent the real America. The midwesterner in Kansas, the black American in Durham-- both are certain they are the real American."
    -- Maya Angelou

  17. "Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God."
    -- Maya Angelou

  18. "By no amount of agile exercising of a wistful imagination could my mother have been called lenient. Generous she was; indulgent never. Kind, yes, permissive, never. In her world, people she accepted paddled their own canoes, pulled their own weight, put their own shoulders to their own plows and pushed like hell."
    -- Maya Angelou

  19. "I find it interresting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at commensurate speed."
    -- Maya Angelou

  20. "If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die."
    -- Maya Angelou

  21. "I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people."
    -- Maya Angelou

  22. "The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago."
    -- Louis Armstrong

  23. "There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them."
    -- Louis Armstrong

  24. "We all do 'do, re, mi,' but you have got to find the other notes yourself."
    -- Louis Armstrong, 1956, on Jazz

  25. "A wise person speaks carefully and with truth, for every word that passes between one's teeth is meant for something."
    -- Molefi Kete Asante

  26. "A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive."
    -- Pearl Bailey

  27. "People see God every day, they just don't recognize him."
    -- Pearl Bailey

  28. "When you're young, the silliest notions seem the greatest achievements."
    -- Pearl Bailey

  29. "There is a way to look at the past. Don't hide from it. It will not catch you if you don't repeat it."
    -- Pearl Bailey

  30. "The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains."
    -- Josephine Baker

  31. "A violinist had a violin, a painer his palette. All I had was myself. I was the instrument that I must care for."
    -- Josephine Baker

  32. "I believe in prayer. It's the best way we have to draw strength from heaven."
    -- Josephine Baker

  33. "Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent."
    -- James Baldwin

  34. "I imagine that one of the reasons that people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with the pain."
    -- James Baldwin

  35. "I want to be an honest man and a good writer."
    -- James Baldwin

  36. "The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side."
    -- James Baldwin

  37. "There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now."
    -- James Baldwin

  38. "The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in."
    -- James Baldwin

  39. "No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it."
    -- James Baldwin

  40. "To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread."
    -- James Baldwin

  41. "The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions."
    -- James Baldwin

  42. "The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose."
    -- James Baldwin

  43. "Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time."
    -- James Baldwin

  44. "One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return."
    -- James Baldwin

  45. "The only thing that white people have that black people need, or should want, is power -- and no one holds power forever."
    -- James Baldwin

  46. "I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all."
    -- James Baldwin

  47. "When I used to live in the Brewster Projects, I always thought it would be fantastic to have a phone. I would dream about a phone."
    -- Florence Ballard

  48. "If I weren't earning more than $3 million a year to dunk a basketball, most people on the street would run in the other direction if they saw me coming."
    -- Charles Barkley

  49. "I don't care what people think. people are stupid."
    -- Charles Barkley

  50. "Kids are great. That's one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet. It's a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names."
    -- Charles Barkley

  51. "Of course, there are a lot of ways you can treat the blues, but it will still be the blues."
    -- Count Basie

  52. "It appears that my worst fears have been realized: we have made progress in everything yet nothing has changed."
    -- Derrick Bell

  53. "We have a powerful potential in out youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends."
    -- Mary MacLeod Bethune

  54. "Knowledge is the prime need of the hour "
    -- Mary Macleod Bethune

  55. "I don't have any bad habbits. They might be bad habits for other people, but they're all right for me."
    -- Eubie Blake

  56. "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
    -- Eubie Blake

  57. "Art hurts. Art urges voyages -- and it is easier to stay at home."
    -- Gwendolyn Brooks

  58. "Despite everything that Harlem did to our generation, I think it gave something to a few. It gave them a strength that couldn't be obtained anywhere else."
    -- Claude Brown

  59. "Sometimes you struggle so hard to feed your family one way, you forget to feed them the other way, with spiritual nourishment. Everybody needs that."
    -- James Brown

  60. "When I'm on stage, I'm trying to do one thing: bring people joy. Just like church does. People don't go to church to find trouble, they go there to lose it."
    -- James Brown

  61. "Propaganda, however legitimate, can speak no louder than the truth."
    -- Sterling Brown

  62. "Despotism increases in severity with the number of despots; the responsibility is more divided, and the claims are more numerous."
    -- William Wells Brown

  63. "We, as individuals, are fast losing our reputation for honest dealing. Our nation is losing its character. The loss of a firm national character, or the degredation of a nation's honour, is the inevitable prelude to her destruction."
    -- William Wells Brown

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