Inspirational and Thought-Provoking Quotes From 14 Influential Black Leaders


black leaders patrice 1Patrice Lumumba

-African nationalist leader, First Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo-
“We are neither Communists, Catholics nor socialists. We are African nationalists. We reserve the right to choose our friends in accordance with the principle of positive neutrality.”

Interview to a “France-Soir” correspondent on July 22, 1960

“With deep emotion I bow in memory of these courageous patriots, these fighters for African freedom.

The time is not far distant when large numbers of young men and women were driven out of schools by their white teachers and instructors on the suspicion of having nationalist ideas. Many brilliantly gifted young people turned down the opportunity to receive a higher education for the simple reason that they no longer wished to be indoctrinated by the colonialists, who wanted to turn our young men and women into eternal servants of the colonial regime.

Their only dream was national liberation. Their sole aim was immediate independence. Their only resolve was to wage an implacable struggle against the puppets and emissaries of the colonialists.”

Speech: Address to Congolese Youth August, 1960

black leaders arturoArturo Alfonso Schomburg

-Intellectual Figure in the Harlem Renaissance-

“The American Negro must rebuild his past in order to make his future. Though it is orthodox to think of America as the one country where it is unnecessary to have a past, what is a luxury for the nation as a whole becomes a prime social necessity for the Negro. For him, a group tradition must supply compensation for persecution, and pride of race the antidote for prejudice. History must restore what slavery took away, for it is the social damage of slavery that the present generation must repair and offset.”

Essay “The Negro Digs Up His Past,” (1925)

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