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Oprah Winfrey at Essence Empowerment Experience

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Black women have always had a way with words. It’s engrained in us, as culturally, across time and space, we have used our words to survive, preserve and thrive.

If you’re in a place where you need a little inspiration, what better place than from our sisters from both past and present. Check out these 10 quotes sure to inspire you.

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34th Annual AWRT Gracie Awards Gala - Show

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1. “What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.” – Maya Angelou

Atlantic Center for the Arts

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2. “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

Girls Write Now Awards

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3. “I am a person who believes in asking questions, in not conforming for the sake of conforming. I am deeply dissatisfied – about so many things, about injustice, about the way the world works – and in some ways, my dissatisfaction drives my storytelling”. – Chimamanda Adichie

Alice Walker

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4. “For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.” – Alice Walker

Author Toni Morrison

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5. “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” – Toni Morrison

01/20/99 Black feminist Bell Hooks during interview for her new book. Said the feminist writer who a

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6. “I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” – bell hooks

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 25, 2012

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7. “You will be wounded many times in your life. You’ll make mistakes. Some people will call them failures but I have learned that failure is really God’s way of saying, “Excuse me, you’re moving in the wrong direction.” It’s just an experience, just an experience.” – Oprah Winfrey

Rosa Parks On Bus

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8. “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.” – Rosa Parks


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9. “You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.” – Marian Wright Edelman

2016 Democratic National Convention - Day 1

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10. “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.” – Michelle Obama


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10 Quotes From Famous Black Women To Keep You Going When Things Get Tough  was originally published on