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 “Black Migrations.”
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