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  1. I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. -Oprah Winfrey
  2. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -Martin Luther King Jr.
  3. If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success. -Malcolm X
    Young person in a shirt that says \"I love my history, i love my people\"
    Photo by Clay Banks from Unsplash

  4. 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 and change the world. -Harriet Tubman
  5. If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up. -Booker T. Washington
  6. All great achievements require time. -Maya Angelou
  7. I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. The reason they knew who I was is because I told them. -Ursula Burns
  8. Women must become revolutionary. This cannot be evolution but revolution. -Shirley Chisholm
  9. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. -Frederick Douglass
  10. Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. -Ella Fitzgerald
  11. Progression is the attraction that moves humanity. -Marcus Garvey
  12. Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never knew. -Cicely Tyson
  13. I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom…. I want to be remembered as one who tried. -Dorothy Height
  14. We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead. -Beyonce
    Hair Flip

  15. We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. -Angela Davis
  16. The only tired I was, was tired of giving in. -Rosa Parks
  17. History has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own. -Michelle Obama
  18. Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get, you’ve got to make yourself. -Alice Walker
  19. Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul. -Coretta Scott King
  20. Failure to recognize possibilities is the most dangerous and common mistake one can make. -Mae Jemison
  21. Whether you think you’re worth $100 or $1,000— you’re right. -Danielle Leslie
  22. What I want young women and girls to know is that you are powerful and your voice matters. -Kamala Harris
  23. Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come, get up and make them. -Madam C.J. Walker
  24. Do not desire to fit in. Desire to oblige yourselves to lead. -Gwendolyn Brooks
  25. The success of every woman should the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind and above all be humble. -Serena Williams
  26. When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. -Audre Lorde
  27. It’s only when you risk failure that you discover things. When you play it safe, you’re not expressing the utmost of your human experience. -Lupita Nyong’o
  28. Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave it all you had. -Angela Bassett

These men and women were chosen as some of the most influential people in black history. Most of these people made history and have continued to influence and inspire others through their word, thought, and deed. For the others that I haven’t heard of up until today, their words had power and meaning, and I felt as though it needed to be shared. This past year has most definitely made history, and the people whose words I chose have and will continue to force people to make a change. 

Debbie Pollock

Valdosta '21

My name is Debbie, and I’m a senior at Valdosta State University. I love writing about things to help inspire and entertain women. Being a black woman in today's society comes with many challenges. I've learned to overcome what life has thrown at me and to be an inspiration to the people around me. I've learned how to be my own guide and paint my own picture. Capturing what life has to offer and becoming th woman that I've always dreamed of being, is what comes next.
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