Quotes

A Non-Exhaustive List In No Particular Order…

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” ~Alice Walker

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” ~Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
~Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

“I do not weep for the world. I am too busy sharpening my oyster knives.” ~Zora Neale Hurston

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ~Arundhati Roy, 2003

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” ~Malcolm X

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” ~James Baldwin

“What age is a black boy when he learns he’s scary?” ~Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” ~Aldous Huxley

“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” -Andre Malraux

“If you want to assert a truth, first make sure it’s not just an opinion that you desperately want to be true.” ~Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~Albert Einstein

“Anni, amori e bicchieri di vino, nun se contano mai.” (“Years, lovers and glasses of wine; these things must not be counted.”) -Anthony Capella, The Food of Love

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.” ~Anaïs Nin

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” ~Zora Neale Hurston

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept.” ~Unknown

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” ~Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

“I decided to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity” ~Nadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” ~Madeleine Albright, Fmr. U.S. Secretary of State (and first woman to hold the position)

“It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor.” ~Nelson Mandela

“All I want is an education, and I am afraid of no one.” ~Malala Yousafzai

“Rape is a culturally fostered means of suppressing women. Legally we say we deplore it, but mythically we romanticize and perpetuate it, and privately we excuse and overlook it (because we always find a way to blame the woman for letting it happen). In other words, rape is awful— except in war, where the enemy’s women are part of the plunder; except in marriage, where a man is entitled by law to have sexual relations with his wife even if against her will; and except in extenuating circumstances where the mere presence of a woman is cause for a man to rape her.” ~Victoria Billings, The Womansbook (1974)

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob & degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” ~Frederick Douglass

“Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it, ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics. When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” ~Abraham Lincoln, Speeches and Writings, 1832-1858

“Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.” ~Benjamin Spock

“All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~Fannie Lou Hamer

“The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility while the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to a war.” ~Sydney J. Harris

“Had it not been for slavery, the death penalty would have likely been abolished in America. Slavery became a haven for the death penalty.” ~Angela Davis

“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

“but bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical/ dilemma/ i havent conquered yet / do you see the point
my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender
my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face
my love is too beautiful to have thrown back on my face
my love is too sanctified to have thrown back on my face
my love is too magic to have thrown back on my face
my love is too saturday nite to have thrown back on my face
my love is too complicated to have thrown back on my face
my love is too music to have thrown back on my face”
~ntozake shange, lady in yellow, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th U.S. President (1917–1963)

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” ~Malcolm X

​”​First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”​ ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“But there are some things in our social system to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I suggest that you too ought to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the evils of segregation and the crippling effects of discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic inequalities of an economic system which takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating method of physical violence. I call upon you to be maladjusted. Well you see, it may be that the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the maladjusted. The challenge to you this morning as I leave you is to be maladjusted.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (September 2, 1956)

“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” ~Bishop Desmond Tutu, quoted in You Said a Mouthful (edited by Ronald D. Fuchs)

“It’s not about supplication, it’s about power. It’s not about asking, it’s about demanding. It’s not about convincing those who are currently in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself.”  ~Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.” ~Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (1892-1975)

“If we can find enough money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.” ~Tony Benn

“If you want to understand any problem in America, you need to focus on who profits from that problem, not who suffers from the problem.”  ~Dr. Amos Wilson

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” ~Albert Einstein

“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable. ~Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

“My religious position: I think that God could do a lot better, and I’m willing to give Him the chance.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook (1966)

“Life without the courage for death is slavery.” ~Seneca

“But are not all Facts Dreams as soon as we put them behind us?” ~Emily Dickinson

Love is anterior to life,
Posterior to death,
Initial of creation, and
The exponent of breath
~Emily Dickinson

“It’s better to speak/ remembering/ we were never meant to survive.” ~Audre Lorde

“I am a mystery to myself.” ~Angelina Grimke

The breaking of so great a thing should make
A greater crack. The round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets
And citizens to their dens.
~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra → Act 5, Scene 1
(dedicated to my friend Sean “Seed” Schussler 05/08/1974 – 12/06/2010)

“I have said it before that I do not know what the most important lesson is that I will ever teach my children…I do know that when they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way—and it surely has not—she adjusted her sails.” ~Elizabeth Edwards (1949-2010)

“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” ~Sen. Edward “Ted” M. Kennedy, D-MA (1932-2009)

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

Je me souviens/ Que né sous le lys/ Je croîs sous la rose.
I remember/ That born under the lily/ I grow under the rose.
~Étienne-Paschal Taché, 1883

“War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people.” ~Ben Ferencz​

“The people who have taught me the most in my career are the ones who pointed out what I didn’t see.” ~Sheryl Sandberg

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” ​~Fmr. President Bill Clinton​

“Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.” ~Audre Lorde

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” ~Ann Landers

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

The love you gave me wasn’t fresh and young,
It didn’t melt the sun or set the town aflame.
But it was warm and wise as any street,
Where hope and sorrow meet in bars without a name.
I only know that one day was a drink
And then the next was you and nothing was the same.”
~Stuart MacGregor (from Nothing Was the Same by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison)

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acid stains you;
And drugs cause cramps
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful
You might as well live.
~Dorothy Parker

“Girls you’ve got to know when it’s time to turn the page and when you’re only wet because of the rain.” ~Tori Amos, “Northern Lad”

“Can somebody tell me now who is this terrorist? Those girls that smile kindly and rip your life to pieces.” ~Tori Amos, “Power or Orange Knickers” (feat. Damien Rice)

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” ~Sun Tzu

“Peace without justice is tyranny.” ~William Allen White

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ~Marilyn Monroe

“If you are absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present for my success!” ~Will Smith

One thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
I got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yours.
I don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back.
They dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars.
Cuz a sorry…
~ntozake shange, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

“Violence is a confession of ignorance.” ~Socrates

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963)

“When money is your God, greed will be your Sacrament and lack of Conscience your filthy Raiment.” ~Christopher Calkins

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.” ~Hafiz

“Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one’s self from enslavement by the earth.” ~Anaïs Nin

“I have never found anybody who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I give.” ​~Sylvia Plath​

“I’ve often thought it unfair that women are expected to stay at home when there’s a fight to be won. If a woman has the strength to bear a child, she can swing a sword as well as any man.” ~Karen Hawkins

On Dying…
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts
For the ocean.
I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says
“She is gone.”
Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her.
Just at the moment when someone says, “She is gone,” there are others who are watching her coming.
Other voices take up the glad shout, “Here she comes.”
And that is dying.
~Henry Scott Holland

“Destiny has two ways of crushing us…by refusing our wishes…and by fulfilling them.” ~Henri Frederic Amiel

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” ~Francis Chan

“Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” ~Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)

“The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance” ~Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” ~Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

“He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” ~Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” ~Clarence Darrow

“I don’t know…you’re either born simple or you’re born…me.” ~Cristina, Grey’s Anatomy

“Just ‘cause we drank a bitch together don’t make us Oprah and Gayle.” ~Pamela Swynford De Beaufort to Tara Thornton, True Blood (Season 5)

“I’d tell you to go to hell, but I don’t want to see you again.” ~Mad Men, Season 6, Disc 4

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away and know when to run
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.
~Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”

“Success is never on discount. Greatness is never on sale. Greatness is never half off! It’s all or nothing! It’s all day, every day! Greatness is never on discount!” ~Eric Thomas

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~Elie Wiesel

“There is no such thing as the voiceless, only the deliberately silenced or the preferably unheard” ~Arundhati Roy

“I can’t breathe!” ~Eric Garner, to NYPD prior to dying from a chokehold (November 17, 2014 @ approx 4:45 pm EST)

“If you are more outrage at poor black folks in Missouri looting stores than rich whites on Wall Street looting your future, you have been duped.” ~Pete Dominick

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