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12 Powerful quotes from influential African Americans

February marks the start of Black History Month, in which we acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of African Americans. It is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made and honor those who have enhanced the lives of African Americans in the United States.

More: Black History Month is a way for us to celebrate our culture

There is no better way to honor the influential African Americans who have made tremendous contributions to American society than to highlight some of their most profound quotes. All of them truly speak to the spirit, struggle, strength and continuous journey of the African American people. Celebrate Black History Month with your friends and family by sharing these 12 powerful quotes. Enjoy!

1. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” — Audre Lorde

2. “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

3. “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” — Barack Obama

4. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou

More: How black actors and artists gave me hope growing up during segregation

5. “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X

6. “Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” — Tupac Shakur

7. “I got my start by giving myself a start.” — Madam C.J. Walker

8. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” — Nelson Mandela

9. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

10. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” — Oprah Winfrey

11. “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” — George Washington Carver

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

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