30 Insightful Quotes on Racism and Racial Injustice From Activists

quotes about racism

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Sometimes all you need is a powerful quote to elevate your mind. At a time when it is evident that a change is needed to combat the racial injustice that currently prevails in America, it is fair to share some of our favorite quotes on the subject. Use these inspirational perspectives, including those of Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou and Oprah, to think about how to improve your own life to make the world a better place for generations to come.

1 out of 30

Maya Angelou

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and makes the present inaccessible.

2 out of 30

Rosa Parks

To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail.

3 out of 30

Alice Walker

Activism is my rent for living on the planet.

4 out of 30

Toni Morrison

Race does not exist. No. There is only one human race – scientifically, anthropologically.

5 out of 30

James Baldwin

Everything that is confronted cannot be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is confronted.

6 out of 30

Mahatma Gandhi

An eye for an eye makes the world blind.

7 out of 30

Oprah Winfrey

Excellence is the best deterrent against racism or sexism.

8 out of 30

Angela Davis

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.

9 out of 30

Oprah Winfrey

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you – always.

ten out of 30

Martin Luther King jr.

Darkness cannot come out of darkness; only light can do it. Hatred cannot chase hatred; only love can do it.

11 out of 30

Malcolm X

A man who represents nothing will fall for anything.

12 out of 30

Cornel West

Justice is what love looks like in public.

13 out of 30

Barack Obama

I see what is possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all of whom deserve equal treatment.

14 out of 30

Audre Lorde

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate these differences.

15 out of 30

Toni Morrison

The very serious function of racism is distraction. This prevents you from doing your job. This allows you to explain your reason for being again and again.

16 out of 30

Martin Luther King jr.

I refuse to accept the view that humanity is so tragically linked to the starless midnight of racism and warfare that the bright dawn of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality … I believe unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.

17 out of 30

Malcolm X

You cannot separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace without having their freedom.

18 out of 30

Cornel West

None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit to it.

19 out of 30

Elie Wiesel

Action is the only remedy for indifference: the most insidious danger of all.

20 out of 30

Mahatma Gandhi

Our ability to achieve unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.

21 out of 30

Robert F. Kennedy

Whenever we turn our heads the other way when we see the law broken, when we tolerate what we know is bad, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too scared, when we do not speak and speak, we deal with freedom, decency and justice.

22 out of 30

Barack Obama

… “Black Lives Matter” simply refers to the notion that there is a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. This does not mean that other lives do not matter. This is to suggest that other people are not aware of this particular vulnerability.

23 out of 30

Robin DiAngelo

Racism is a white problem. It was built and created by whites and the ultimate responsibility rests with whites. For too long, we have viewed it as someone else’s problem, as if it had been created out of thin air.

24 out of 30

Malcolm Gladwell

If you are a white person who would like to treat black people on an equal footing in all respects – who would like to have a set of associations with black people that are as positive as the ones you have with white people – this requires more than a simple commitment to equality. You have to change your life …

25 out of 30

Marian Anderson

None of us is responsible for the color of our skin. This fact of nature offers no indication of the character or quality of the person below.

26 out of 30

Kofi Annan

Tolerance, intercultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are more and more closely linked.

27 out of 30

Michelle Obama

Race and racism are a reality that many of us grow up learning to manage. But if we ever hope to overcome it, it’s not only people of color to take care of it. It’s up to all of us – black, white, everyone – no matter how well-intentioned we think we are, to do the honest and uncomfortable job of rooting it out.

28 out of 30

Nelson Mandela

No one is born hating another person because of their skin color, background or religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, because love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

29 out of 30

Ijeoma Oluo

The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including yourself. And this is the only way to go.

30 out of 30

Bill clinton

For too long, politicians have told most of us that what is wrong with America is the rest of us. Their. Them minorities. Them Liberals. Them, them, them. But there is none; it’s just us. A nation, under God, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all.

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Senior Editor-in-Chief, Good Housekeeping
Monique Valeris is the senior editor of Good Housekeeping, where she covers decorating ideas, home visits, gift guides and more.

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