These Black History Month quotes make powerful conversation starters for February and beyond. Download them, print them, and display them on the walls of your classroom or school.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” —Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass quote

Born into slavery in Maryland in the early 1800s, Frederick Douglass would escape, with the help of his first wife, Anna, and become one of the greatest abolitionist leaders and orators in the United States. During his lifetime, he wrote three autobiographies and edited an anti-slavery newspaper, The North Star.

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“When you get, give. When you learn, teach.” —Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quote

Maya Angelou was a poet, dancer, teacher, and activist. During her life, she published numerous books and received countless awards and honorary degrees. She wrote and recited a poem for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. Her inspirational writing offers great insight and lessons for students.

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“The time is always right to do what is right.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr Quote

The most recognizable figure of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. was a proponent of nonviolent resistance and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work. He became a national figure during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It lasted more than a year and resulted in the desegregation of the city’s buses.

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“Freedom is never given; it is won.” —A. Philip Randolph

Philip Randolph Quote

A. Philip Randolph was a civil rights and labor activist who helped establish the first majority-black labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. He was also an important figure during the Civil Rights Movement. He helped organize the March on Washington, held in 1963.

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“Truth is powerful and it prevails.” —Sojourner Truth

Truth is powerful by Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, is best known for her 1851 speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” first delivered in 1851 in Akron, Ohio, at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention.

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Posters designed by Charity Expo.

What Black History Month quotes do you use in the classroom? Share in the comments below!