Since 1976, every United States president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
The federally recognized celebration, as then-President Gerald Ford said in 1976, calls for all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Each month also has a theme to go along with it. This year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History announced the theme of “African Americans and the Vote.”
As we begin a monthlong exploration and appreciation of black history, here are eight quotes from some of our country’s most notable historical figures.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
— Frederick Douglass
“... history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
— Michelle Obama
“I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
— Rosa Parks
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
— Harriet Tubman
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.”
— Mae C. Jemison
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
—- Maya Angelou
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
— Malcolm X
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