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Black Americans Uplifting America

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Black History Month Quotes

10 Inspiring Quotes Celebrating Black History Month

As we celebrate and honor Black History Month, we asked our Weld North Education team to share the uplifting stories and words of Black heroes who have inspired their lives. Hear how these Black Americans have impacted our nation’s history, and how they have personally touched and inspired educators.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quote

Serena Amos, Professional Development Specialist, Edgenuity, WNE DE&I Committee Member

Growing up, Maya Angelou's words jumped off the page and into my heart! She was my much so that I named my only daughter after her.

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes is:

“If you're always trying to be normal, you'll never know how amazing you can be."

Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges Quote

Daniel Townsend, Account Partnership Manager, Imagine Learning, WNE DE&I Committee Member

Ruby was the first African-American to desegregate her school in Louisiana. Although, she wasn’t the first in America, she did it alone and this picture has made a major impact in the world, especially in education.

Ruby Bridges School

Ruby still works with students across the country today, advocating for equity and racial healing.

Her courage at a young age has opened doors for so many people of color, including our current Vice President, Kamala Harris.

Lewis Howard Latimer

Lewis Howard Latimer Quote

Dana Pawinski, Senior Grants & Funding Initiatives Director, Weld North Education, WNE DE&I Committee Member

To me, this means to continuously improve our life, our surroundings, and really any tangible item to create a more prosperous future. No matter how many opportunities one may encounter and experience, small improvements make life, our society, and the world a better place to live and live in.

Eunice Hunton Carter

Eunice Hunton Carter Quote

Tammy Wilder, Corporate Counsel, Weld North Education WNE DE&I Committee Member

Born in Atlanta Georgia, she became one of the first Black female lawyers in New York as well as one of the first Black female prosecutors in the US. After pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, Ms. Carter graduated from Fordham Law School in 1932.

Despite the discrimination she faced as a Black person and even more as a woman, she persevered and excelled to leave a legacy both motivational and inspirational to everyone. She served as a committee chair for the United Nations Committee on Laws and as a charter member, chairperson, and trustee of the National Council of Negro Women.

Of her many accomplishments, Ms. Carter built the case which led to the successful prosecution of the notorious mob boss, Charles Luciana—though it was credited to Thomas Dewey.

Even the storyline of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire failed to portray this character as a Black woman.

Ms. Carter is a lifelong inspiration for defying odds despite discrimination, inequity, and other barriers.

Katherine Johnson

Kathrine Johnson Quote

Enoch Robinson, Software Engineering Manager, Weld North Education WNE DE&I Committee Member

I like the stories of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughn—the female engineers of NASA whose stories were made popular by the Hidden Figures movie.

I particularly like the Katherine Johnson quote:

“Do your best. But like it! Like what you do; then you will do your best.”

I try and teach this to my children every day by showing them that I enjoy my work. Anyone can do almost anything, but few find what they like. To me, that’s a shame.

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Quote

Robert Reimer, Area Partnership Manager, Imagine Learning WNE DE&I Committee Member

I’d like to recommend Toni Morrison, especially since she passed recently in 2019. Song of Solomon was one of my favorite books growing up, and I’ve often reflected on it as I endure my own struggles and choices.

Here are a couple of great quotes that match exactly what we do for students:

“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.” 

“Writing is really a way of thinking—not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic, or just sweet.” 

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker Quote

Freedom Dean-Flowers, M.Ed., North Central Region Elementary Supervisor, Edgenuity WNE DE&I Committee Member

I’m from Kansas City, so I had to go with Jazz legend Charlie Parker.

This is one of my favorite quotes from him:

“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you that music has boundaries. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.”

I love this quote because I feel that it inspires young artists to think outside the box and try new approaches, and not be hemmed in by what they see in the art that they see around them. Art can be anything and everywhere, and I love the thought that art has no boundaries!

James Baldwin

James Baldwin Quote

Wallace Weatherspoon, Creative Studio Producer, Weld North Education WNE DE&I Committee Member

James Baldwin was a prolific writer/poet/speaker with the masterful skill of distilling human experience into eloquent thoughts, which presents me with the challenge of selecting one quote!

In the context of Black History Month, along with the national zeitgeist, I feel this one is profoundly appropriate:

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington Quote

Amy Scholz, VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Weld North Education WNE DE&I Committee Member

Growing up in Kansas City, I’ve always had a deep appreciation of jazz music.  Duke Ellington has long inspired me as a jazz singer - his miniatures and the art of swing scaled across everything he composed.

An intelligent and colorful artist, Duke Ellington left his mark on the jazz scene with his music, style, and passion for his art.

He also left behind some very profound words of wisdom for us:

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison Quote

Performance Marketing Strategist, Weld North Education

Growing up in Texas obsessed with NASA and space travel, Mae Jemison has always been a huge hero of mine. She is a doctor, engineer, and former NASA astronaut who was the first African-American woman in space.

Both her actions and her inspiring words show young learners that anything is possible and they shouldn't let anyone limit them from reaching for the stars.

We’d love to hear from you!

What stories and words from Black Americans inspire you? Share with us on social media using @ImagineLearning.