History

Get to know your Heroes

W.E.B Dubois (African-American historian, activist and author)

W.E.B Dubois

"Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor—all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked—who is good? Not that men are ignorant—what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."

Nikki Giovanni Jr. (African-American writer and educator)

Nikki Giovanni Jr.

“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”

Toni Morrison (African-American novelist and professor)

Toni Morrison

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

Kwame Nkrumah (Former President of Ghana)

Kwame Nkrumah

"We face neither East nor West: we face forward."

"The best way of learning to be an independent sovereign state is to be an independent sovereign state."

"Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them."

Sojourner Truth (African American human rights activist and poet)

Sojourner Truth

“We do as much, we eat as much, we want as much.”

"It is the mind that makes the body."

Marilyn Nelson (African-American poet, translator and children's book author)

Marilyn Nelson

"Miracles happen all the time. We're here, aren't we?"

George Washington Carver (African-American educator, scientist and inventor)

George Washington Carver

“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

Dr. Sebi (World renowned herbal healer, pathologist, and Naturopathic healer)

Dr. Sebi

"Work for a cause, not applause. Live Life to express, not to Impress. Don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your Absence FELT."

Alice Walker (African-American author, poet and activist)

Alice Walker

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book.”

“If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for?”

Derek Walcott (St. Lucian poet and playwright)

Derek Walcott

… the truest writers are those who see language not as a linguistic process but as a living element….”

Nelson Mandela (Former President of South Africa)

Nelson Mandela

"I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites."

Maya Angelou (African-American author and poet)

Maya Angelou

“You can only become accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

Booker T. Washington (African-American educator, author and orator)

Booker T. Washington

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed."

"Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work."

Alex Haley (African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Roots")

Alex Haley

"In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it"

"Beginning writers must appreciate the prerequisites if they hope to become writers. You pay your dues - which takes years."

"Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help."

Malidoma Patrice Somé (West African writer born in Dano, Burkina Faso)

Malidoma Patrice Somé

"As long as we are not ourselves, we will try to be what other people are."

Langston Hughes (African-American poet, novelist and playwright)

Langston Hughes

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”

Audre Lorde (Caribbean-American poet and author)

Audre Lorde

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

Chinua Achebe (Nigerian novelist, poet and professor)

Chinua Achebe

"The impatient idealist says: 'Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.' But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace."

Wole Soyinka (Nigerian writer, poet and playwright)

Wole Soyinka

“I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.”

“My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being.”

Rita Dove (African-American poet and author)

Rita Dove

“There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.”

James Baldwin (African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic)

James Baldwin

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

Marcus Garvey (Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur & orator)

Marcus Garvey

"Go to work! Go to work in the morn of a new creation... until you have... reached the height of self-progress, and from that pinnacle bestow upon the world a civilization of your own."

Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa of the Ejisu Clan of the Asante (b. 1863 - d. October 1923)

Queen Yaa Asantewaa

“Now I have seen that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our king.”

“If it were in the brave days of, Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye, and Opolu Ware, chiefs would not sit down to see their king taken away without firing a shot.”

Katherine Dunham (African-American dancer, choreographer, author, educator and social activist)

Katherine Dunham

"I used to want the words "She tried" on my tombstone. Now I want "She did it."

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Black History Month has been celebrated all across the UK for around 30 years.

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