50 Inspiring Quotes From Famous Black Women to Celebrate Black History Month

Kayla Boyd | Feb 14, 2018 Celebrities
50 Inspiring Quotes From Famous Black Women to Celebrate Black History Month
Image: Splash News

Oprah Winfrey
Splash News

When we're having a long, tiring, hard day or there is a lot weighing on our minds, sometimes inspirational quotes can give the boost needed to raise our confidence or change our mindset. Sometimes the words of those we respect and admire have the power to make us feel better during a difficult time or even challenge our way of thinking. 

Since February is Black History Month, it's important to acknowledge all of the talented, strong, beautiful black women that have done amazing things in the world. So, we gathered 50 motivating quotes from all types of fabulous black women. Actresses, singers, politicians, writers, models, and athletes -- they are all here, and they all have some incredible advice for women. 

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These quotes can help lift all people's spirits, no matter what color they are. They range from the topics of empowerment, self-worth, love, family, work, and more. These celebrities are all talented and wonderful in different ways and it can be refreshing to receive inspiration or advice from those we view as successful. I'm sure all folks can find a quote or two in here to make them smile. 


ITM/Splash News

  • Tracee Ellis Ross

    1
    Tracee Ellis Ross
    Zuma/Splash News

    “It was when I realized I needed to stop trying to be somebody else and be myself, I actually started to own, accept and love what I had.”

    More from CafeMom: 6 Black History Movies You Haven't Already Seen

  • Angela Bassett

    2
    angela bassett
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

    "Don't settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that's in us"

  • Oprah Winfrey

    3
    oprah winfrey
    ITM/Splash News

    "What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have." 

  • Gabrielle Union

    4
    Gabrielle Union
    PG/Splash News

    "If you prioritize yourself, you are going to save yourself."

  • Beyonce Knowles

    5
    Beyonce Knowles
    Splash News
    “It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else's job to take care of me but me."
  • Maya Angelou

    6
    maya angelou
    Mathew Imaging/Getty Images
    "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

    More from CafeMom: What My Son Needs to Know About Black History Month

  • Issa Rae

    7
    issa rae
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

    "I thrive on obstacles. If I'm told that it can't be told, then I push harder."


  • Zendaya

    8
    zendaya
    Brandon Voight/Splash News

    "I have standards I don't plan on lowering for anybody … including myself."

  • Rihanna

    9
    rihanna
    Michael Murdock/Splash News
    "I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose, because settling is the worst feeling in the world."
  • Janelle Monae

    10
    janelle monae
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

    "Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn't have to become perfect because I've learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness."

  • Michelle Obama

    11
    michelle obama
    Michael Brochstein/ZUMA Press/Splash News
    "You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."
  • Solange Knowles

    12
    Solange Knowles
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News
    "When you take care of yourself, you're a better person for others. When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better."

    More from CafeMom: Celebrate Black History Month: 8 Creative Things to Do With Your Kids

  • Danielle Brooks

    13
    danielle brooks
    Jen Lowery/Splash News

    "Ideally, I want to see all beauties, all shapes, all sizes, all skin tones, all backgrounds represented in my profession. Now that I am blessed to be that reflection I was once looking for, I'm making a promise to speak out for that little girl that I used to be. I might not have the power to change what media puts out there, or to single-handedly convince young girls like me that they should love themselves. But what I can do is start with me: living each day, embracing who I am."

  • Nicki Minaj

    14
    nicki minaj
    Celebrity Monitor/Splash News
    "You wanna know what scares people? Success. When you don't make moves and when you don't climb up the ladder, everybody loves you because you're not competition."
  • Halle Berry

    15
    halle berry
    Igor Vidyashev/ZUMA Press/Splash News

    "There have been so many people who have said to me, 'You can't do that,' but I've had an innate belief that they were wrong. Be unwavering and relentless in your approach."

  • Tyra Banks

    16
    tyra banks
    Celebrity Monitor/Splash News
    "Girls of all kinds can be beautiful -- from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing, and all in between. It's not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box ... Think outside of the box ... Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you."
  • Simone Biles

    17
    simone biles
    @ParisaMichelle/Splash News
    "I'd rather regret the risks that didn't work out than the chances I didn't take at all."

    More from CafeMom: 28 Cool & Surprising Black History Facts for Every Day of the Month
  • Laverne Cox

    18
    laverne cox
    Brett D. Cove/Splash News
    "When you put love out in the world it travels, and it can touch people and reach people in ways that we never even expected."
  • Mary J. Blige

    19
    Mary J. Blige
    AdMedia/Splash News
    "There's so many things that life is, and no matter how many breakthroughs, trials will exist and we're going to get through it. Just be strong."
  • Raven Symone

    20
    raven symone
    Splash News
    "It's important for young people to know that they are made the way they are made and they're beautiful and that's how they're supposed to be."
  • Missy Elliott

    21
    missy elliott
    STARPICZ/Splash News

    "Don't let anyone steal ya joy! There's always someone miserable trying to bring you down ... you just wish them well & proceed on enjoying your life." 

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    22
    Lupita Nyong'o
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

    "I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something I just had to be."

    More from CafeMom: 15 Unforgettable Black Women Who Make Us Want to Stand Up & Get Something Done 

  • Meghan Markle

    23
    meghan markle
    D. Long/ZUMA Press/Splash News
    "Women make up more than half of the world's population and potential. So it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making."
  • Kerry Washington

    24
    Kerry Washington
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News
    "I realized that I don't have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life."
  • Aaliyah

    25
    aaliyah
    Evan Agostini/Getty Images
    "Everything is worth it. The hard work, the times when you're tired, the times where you're a bit sad, in the end, it's all worth it because it really makes me happy. There's nothing better than loving what you do."
  • Yara Shahidi

    26
    yara shahidi
    London Entertainment/Splash News
    "I don't know everything. I know a fraction of what there is to know and I don't think I will ever know everything, but it's important to me to constantly challenge myself, to understanding different viewpoints, really understanding nuance in topics, so I can feel qualified in what I say, so I'm not preaching falsely of what I'm unaware of."
  • Mel B

    27
    mel b
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

    "Yes, I do have a big ego … and I am in love with myself … Because if you don't love yourself how can anybody love you back?"

  • Viola Davis

    28
    viola davis
    AdMedia/Splash News

    "You can't be hesitant about who you are." 

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  • Queen Latifah

    29
    queen latifah
    PictureLux/Splash News
    "Beauty is not just a white girl. It's so many different flavors and shades."
  • Taraji P. Henson

    30
    Taraji P. Henson
    Bauer Griffin LLC/Splash News
    "I don't harp on the negative because if you do, then there's no progression. There's no forward movement. You got to always look on the bright side of things, and we are in control. Like, you have control over the choices you make."
  • Whitney Houston

    31
    Whitney Houston
    Splash News
    "I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow; if I fail, if I succeed, at least I'll live as I believe."
  • Alicia Keys

    32
    alicia keys
    AXELLE WOUSSEN/Bauergriffin.com/Splash News
    "I'm not ashamed of what I am and that I have curves and that I'm thick. I like my body."
  • Jada Pinkett Smith

    33
    jada pinkett smith
    PG/Splash News
    "When I'm tired, I rest. I say, 'I can't be a superwoman today.'"

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  • Ciara

    34
    ciara
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News
    "I truly believe that if you put your goals in writing, speak them out loud, and work for them, they will happen."
  • Janet Jackson

    35
    janet jackson
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News
    "In complete darkness we are all the same; it is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us. Don't let your eyes deceive you."
  • Naomi Campbell

    36
    Naomi Campbell
    David Acosta/IPA/Splash News
    "Am I bossy? Absolutely. I don't like to lose, and if I'm told 'no,' then I find another way to get my 'yes.' But I'm a loyal person."
  • Tina Turner

    37
    tina turner
    Peter Bischoff/Splash News
    "Sometimes you've got to let everything go -- purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything ... whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out."

  • Rosa Parks

    38
    rosa parks
    William Philpott/Getty Images

    "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."

  • Vivica A. Fox

    39
    vivica fox
    ParisaMichelle/Splash News

    "A great figure or physique is nice, but it's self-confidence that makes someone really sexy."

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  • Diana Ross

    40
    diana ross
    London Entertainment/Splash News

    "You can't just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You've got to get out there and make it happen for yourself."

  • Tia Mowry

    41
    tia mowry
    AdMedia/Splash News
    "We need to be more supportive with everything. With body images, especially with women, showing that all sizes are beautiful. And I'm talking about in magazines, advertisements in regard to what's sexy and what's not sexy. We all need to be a little more supportive of each other."
  • Meagan Good

    42
    meagan good
    Xavier Collin/Celebrity Monitor/Splash News

    "Just be honest and true to yourself. If your friends around you love you, they'll wish you the best and want only what's going to make you happy."

  • Wendy Williams

    43
    Wendy Williams
    Splash News

    "Jealous people are insecure. The more you like and respect yourself, the less likely you are to be envious." 

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  • Lauren London

    44
    lauren london
    Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images
    "I think that in any family -- black, white, Chinese, Spanish, whatever -- family is family. You know that there's dysfunction, and that there's this cousin who doesn't like this auntie. But, at the end of the day, like I say, love brings everybody together."
  • Shonda Rhimes

    45
    shonda rhimes
    Jen Lowery/Splash News

    "Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change."

  • Condoleezza Rice

    46
    Condoleezza Rice
    ST/Splash News
    "What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow. But what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday."
  • Zora Neale Hurston

    47
    Zora Neale Hurston
    Historical/Getty Images
    "Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me."
  • Misty Copeland

    48
    misty copeland
    Photo Image Press/Splash News
    "Speak up for yourself and what you believe in. You can still be an elegant woman and be strong and powerful."

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  • Toni Morrison

    49
    toni morrison
    Derek Storm/Splash News
    "You wanna fly, you got to give up the sh*t that weighs you down."
  • Coretta Scott King

    50
    coretta scott king
    Annette Brown/Getty Images
    "Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated."
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