Black and African-American Quotes

The only freedom you will probably ever know, you have begun to know now, here, the freedom to think, to imagine, to reform, to change—to start by changing yourselves and those areas around you with which you do not agree.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou on Owning Your Personal Freedom

Source: Smith College, 1980

Thank you. Nina Simone said it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights, the act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you that we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.

John Legend

I’m going to speak to you about love and the courage to love, indeed, about courage itself. It is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you cannot be sure that you can practice any other virtue with consistency. So it is important to develop courage, the courage to love in an era, in a time, when love is almost synonymous with distrust, abuse, misuse and, in fact, negligence. In order to love, I mean erotic love, agape love, familial love, platonic love, consistently, you must care first about yourselves because in order to say one loves someone else and act upon that love, one must really love one’s self.

Maya Angelou