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Index: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Other Quote Indexes

A through C


Bella Abzug (U.S. politician, 1920- )
Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.

We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it.

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.

They used to give us a day--it was called International Women's Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn't behave and here we are.

Peter Abrahams (U.S. novelist, 1919- )

What do you get out of hating people, out of having this bitterness in your heart always?

Chinua Achebe (Nigerian writer, 1930- )

As long as one people sit on another and are deaf to their cry, so long will understanding and peace elude all of us.

Children are young, but they're not naive. And they're honest. They're not going to keep wide awake if the story is boring. When they get excited you can see it in their eyes.

John (Lord) Dalberg-Acton (English historian and theologian, 1834-1902)

The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.

Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.

By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes to be his duty against the influences of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.

Abigail Adams (U.S. first lady and feminist, 1744-1818)

If particular care is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, no representation.

I can not say that I think you are very generous to the Ladies, for whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to Men, Emancipating all Nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over Wives.

If much depends as is allowed upon the early education of youth and the first principles which are instilled take the deepest root, great benefit must arise from literary accomplishments of women.

Nay why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me, sir, if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this neglect arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealousy of rivals near the throne.

I regret the trifling narrow contracted education of the females of my own country.

Patriotism in the female sex is the most disinterested of all virtues. Excluded from honors and from offices, we cannot attach ourselves to the State or Government from having held a place of eminence. Even in the freest countries our property is subject to the control and disposal of our partners, to whom the laws have given a sovereign authority. Deprived of a voice in legislation, obliged to submit to those laws which are impressed upon us, is it not sufficient to make us indifferent to the public welfare? Yet all history and every age exhibit instances of patriotic virtue in the female sex; which considering our situation equals the most heroic of yours.

We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

Henry Adams (U.S. historian, 1838-1918)

A teacher influences eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

From cradle to grave this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through multiplicity, has always been, and must always be, the task of education, as it is the moral of religion, philosophy, science, art, politics, and economy; but a boy's will is his life, and he dies when it is broken, as the colt dies in harness, taking a new nature in becoming tame.

They know enough who know how to learn.

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

What you do speaks so loudly I can't hear what you are saying.

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

John Quincy Adams (U.S. politician, 1767-1848)

Who but shall learn that freedom is the prize
Man still is bound to rescue or maintain;
That nature's God commands the slave to rise,
And on the oppressor's head to break the chain.
Roll, years of promise, rapidly roll round,
Till not a slave shall on this earth by found.

Jane Addams (U.S. social worker, 1860-1935)

Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

The child becomes largely what it is taught; hence we must watch what we teach it, and how we live before it.

Action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics.

Private beneficence is totally inadequate to deal with the vast numbers of the city's disinherited.

The common stock of intellectual enjoyment should not be difficult of access because of the economic position of him who would approach it.

Old-fashioned ways which no longer apply to changed conditions are a snare in which the feet of women have always become readily entangled.

In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life.

Aesop (Greek fabulist, c. 620-560 B.C.)

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.

Afghan Proverb

To speak ill of anyone is to speak ill of yourself.

African Proverbs

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.

Don't ask me where I am going but where I have come from.

If it's not here and now, who cares about what and when?

The thrower of stones throws away the strength of his own arm.

Amos Bronson Alcott (U.S. teacher and reformer, 1799-1888)

To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.

Strengthen me by sympathizing with my strength, not my weakness.

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple.

Louisa May Alcott (U.S. teacher and writer, 1832-1888)

Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth's sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.

Muhammad Ali (U.S. boxer, 1942- )

I try to learn as much as I can because I know nothing compared to what I need to know.

Prejudice comes from being in the dark; sunlight disinfects it.

Tolerance and understanding won't 'trickle down' in our society any more than wealth does.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

I am America. I am the part you won't recognize, but get used to me. Black, confident, cocky -- my name, not yours. My religion, not yours. My goals, my own. Get used to me.

Saul Alinsky (U.S. political activist, 1902-1972)

Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.

Paula Gunn Allen (Dacotah writer and scholar, 1939- )

America does not seem to remember that it derived its wealth, its values, its food, much of its medicine, and a large part of its "dream" from Native Americans.

Indians think it is important to remember, while Americans believe it is important to forget.

Isabel Allende (Chilean author, 1942- )

How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak?

Gordon Allport (U.S. psychology professor, 1897-1967)

People who are aware of, and ashamed of, their prejudices are well on the road to eliminating them.

Henri Amiel (Swiss poet and philosopher, 1821-1881)

We are always making God our accomplice so that we may legalize our own inequities.

There is an illusion of central position, justifying onešs own purposes as right and everybody elsešs as wrong, and providing a proper degree of paranoia. Righteous ends, thus approved, absolve of guilt the most violent means.

Marian Anderson (U.S. contralto, 1897-1993)

No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger that its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.

Maya Angelou (U.S. writer and actor, 1928- )

We really are 15 countries, and it's remarkable that each of us thinks we represent the real America. The Midwesterner in Kansas, the black American in Durham - both are certain they are the real American.

We are all creative, but by the time we are three of four years old, someone has knocked the creativity out of us. Some people shut up the kids who start to tell stories. Kids dance in their cribs, but someone will insist they sit still. By the time the creative people are ten or twelve, they want to be like everyone else.

The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.

The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.

If I could give you one thought, it would be to lift someone up. Lift a stranger up--lift her up. I would ask you, mother and father, brother and sister, lovers, mother and daughter, father and son, lift someone. The very idea of lifting someone up will lift you, as well.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

The white American man makes the white American woman maybe not superfluous but just a little kind of decoration. Not really important to turning around the wheels of the state. Well the black American woman has never been able to feel that way. No black American man at any time in our history in the United States has been able to feel that he didn't need that black woman right against him, shoulder to shoulder--in that cotton field, on the auction block, in the ghetto, wherever.

Susan B. Anthony (U.S. suffragist, 1820-1906)

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; not yet we, the male citizens; but we the whole people who formed the Union.

The true Republic: men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.

Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.

The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God.

Gloria Anzaldua (Tejana Chicana poet, 1942- )

I am visible--see this Indian face--yet I am invisible. I both blind them with my beak nose and am their blind spot. But I exist, we exist. They'd like to think I have melted in the pot. But I haven't. We haven't.

I am playing with my Self, I am playing with the world's soul, I am the dialogue between my Self and el espiritu del mundo. I change myself, I change the world.

The struggle is inner: Chicano, indio, American Indian, mojado, mexicano, immigrant Latino, Anglo in power, working class Anglo, Black, Asian--our psyches resemble the bordertowns and are populated by the same people. The struggle has always been inner, and is played out in outer terrains. Awareness of our situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society. Nothing happens in the "real" world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.

Living on borders and in margins, keeping intact one's shifting and multiple identity and integrity, is like trying to swim in a new element, an "alien" element.

Corazon Aquino (Filipina politician, 1933- )

Reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, otherwise it will not last. While we all hope for peace it shouldn't be peace at any cost but peace based on principle, on justice.

Arabian Proverb

The benefits you get become the debts you owe to others.

Doubt is the key to all knowledge.

Ask me what are my virtues, not about the color of my skin.

Glenn Archer (U.S. jurist, 1929- )

The church must never become a government factory, carrying on a nationalized industry of religion with the people as the bolts and nuts; with God reduced to the role of cramped advocate of current national policy. Surely the pages of history are replete and the examples in many a foreign country convincing that this kind of church-state union--whatever the original motives, or however noble the original purposes--winds up with a state that is less than stable and a church that is less than sanctified, and with the poor still hungry.

Hannah Arendt (German-born U.S. political scientist, 1906-1975)

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token to save it from that ruin, which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable. An education, too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their choice of undertaking something new, something unforseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world.

Man's chief moral deficiency appears to be not his indiscretions but his reticence.

As citizens, we must prevent wrongdoing because the world in which we all live, wrong-doer, wrong sufferer and spectator, is at stake.

Aristotle (Greek philosopher, 384-322 B.C.)

They who are to be judges must also be performers.

It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions.

Teaching is the highest form of understanding.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.

Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.

One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.

Matthew Arnold (English essayist and poet, 1822-1888)

Choose equality.

Inequality has the natural and necessary effect, under the present circumstances, of materializing our upper class, vulgarizing our middle class, and brutalizing our lower class.

Arthur Ashe (U.S. tennis player, 1943-1993)

It's an abnormal world I live in. I don't belong anywhere. It's like I'm floating down the middle. I'm never quite sure where I am.

Mary Astell (English philosopher, 1668-1731)

Fetters of gold are still fetters, and the softest lining can never make them so easy as liberty.

Mary Astor (American actress, 1906-1987)

Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer - into selflessness which links us to all humanity.

Brooks Atkinson (U.S. dramatic critic, 1894-1984)

The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.

People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know.

I have no objections to churches so long as they do not interfere with God's work.


Françis Noël Babeuf (French political journalist, 1760-1797)
Let the revolting distinction of rich and poor disappear once and for all, the distinction of great and small, of masters and valets, of governors and governed. Let there be no other differences between human beings than those of age and sex. Since all have the same needs and the same faculties, let there be one education for all, one food for all.

Francis Bacon (English philosopher, 1561-1626)

Truth can never be reached by just listening to the voice of an authority.

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.

Joan Baez (U.S. singer and activist, 1941- )

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now.

Walter Bagehot (English economist, 1826-1877)

A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.

Pearl Bailey (U.S. singer, actor, author, 1918-1990)

We look into mirrors but we only see the effects of our times on us--not our effects on others.

Robert Baird (U.S. theologian and clergyman, 1798-1863)

The freedom allowed in the United States to all sorts of inquiry and discussion necessarily leads to a diversity of opinion, which is seen not only in their being different denominations, but different opinions also in the same denomination.

Mikhail A. Bakunin (Russian revolutionist and anarchist, 1814-1876)

If there be a human being who is freer than I, then I shall necessarily become his slave. If I am freer than any other, then he will become my slave. Therefore equality is an absolutely necessary condition of freedom.

It clearly follows that to make men moral it is necessary to make their social environment moral. And that can be done in only one way; by assuring the triumph of justice, that is, the complete liberty of everyone in the most perfect equality for all. Inequality of conditions and rights, and the resulting lack of liberty for all, is the great collective iniquity begetting all individual iniquities.

I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.

James Baldwin (U.S. writer, 1924-1987)

Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it.

I want American history taught. Unless I'm in that book, you're not in it either. History is not a procession of illustrious people. It's about what happens to a people. Millions of anonymous people is what history is about.

In order to have a conversation with someone you must reveal yourself.

A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.

The white man discovered the Cross by way of the Bible, but the black man discovered the Bible by way of the Cross.

Our dehumanization of the Negro then is indivisible from our dehumanization of ourselves; the loss of our own identity is the price we pay for our annulment of his.

Not only was I not born to be a slave; I was not born to hope to become the equal of the slave master.

If we--and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create the consciousness of others--do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.

People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land.

There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the movement, the time is always now.

Any honest examination of the national life proves how far we are from the standard of human freedom with which we began. The recovery of this standard demands of everyone who loves this country a hard look at himself, for the greatest achievements must begin somewhere, and they always begin with the person.

One had the choice, either of "acting just like a nigger" or of not acting just like a nigger--and only those who have tried it know how impossible it is to tell the difference.

Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated and this was an immutable law.

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.

The questions which one asks oneself begin, at last, to illuminate the world, and become one's key to the experience of others.

It is a very grave matter to be forced to imitate a people for whom you know--which is the price of your performance and survival--you do not exist. It is hard to imitate a people whose existence appears, mainly, to be made tolerable by their bottomless gratitude that they are not, thank heaven, you.

What passes for identity in America is a series of myths about one's heroic ancestors. It's astounding to me, for example, that so many people really appear to believe that the country was founded by a band of heroes who wanted to be free. That happens not to be true. What happened was that some people left Europe because they couldn't stay there any longer and had to go somewhere else to make it. That's all. They were hungry, they were poor, they were convicts. Those who were making it in England, for example, did not get on the Mayflower. That's how the country was settled.

If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving. And, after all, one can give freedom only be setting someone free.

To be born in a free society and not to be born free is to be born into a lie. To be told by co-citizens and co-Christians that you have no value, no history, have never done anything that is worthy of human respect destroys you because in the beginning you believe it.

The miracle is that some have stepped out of the rags of the Republic's definition to assume the great burden and glory of their humanity and their responsibility for one another. It is an extraordinary achievement to be trapped in the dungeon of color and to dare to shake down its walls and to step out of it leaving the jailkeeper in the rubble.

The real victim of bigotry is the white man who hides his weakness under his myth of superiority.

Hosea Ballou (U.S. Universalist clergyman, 1771-1852)

Hatred is self-punishment.

Those who commit injustice bear the greatest burden.

Bambara Proverb

God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed.

Toni Cade Bambara (U.S. writer and teacher, 1939- )

Revolution begins with the self, in the self.

The dream is real, my friends. The failure to make it work is the unreality.

Benjamin Banneker (U.S. astronomer, 1731-1806)

The color of the skin is in no way connected with strength of the mind or intellectual powers.

José Celso Barbosa (Puerto Rican politician, 1857-1921)

Black! Black! Black! I am proud of being a Negro. Nor have I ever tried to beg tolerance from anyone. Superiority is not proved by color, but by the brain, by education, by willpower, by moral courage.

Auguste Barthelemy (French writer, 1796-1867)

The absurd man is he who never changes.

Simone de Beauvoir (French existentialist and social essayist, 1908-1986)

This has always been a man's world, and none of the reasons hitherto brought forward in explanation of this fact has seemed adequate.

When women act like women, they are accused of being inferior. When women act like human beings, they are accused of behaving like men.

When we abolish the slavery of half of humanity, together with the whole system of hypocrisy it implies, then the "division" of humanity will reveal its genuine significance and the human couple will find its true form.

Woman is shut up in a kitchen or in a boudoir, and astonishment is expressed that her horizon is limited. Her wings are clipped, and it is found deplorable that she cannot fly.

A man would never get the notion of writing a book on the peculiar situation of the human male.

Henry Becque (French playwright, 1837-1899)

The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors.

Henry Ward Beecher (U.S. clergyman and writer, 1813-1887)

That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all.

Harry Belafonte (U.S. singer and actor, 1927- )

I am a man who perceives life in a certain way, a man who rejects things that defecate on humankind, who rejects anything that will not give people room for dissent.

Arthur Bell (Canadian journalist, 1933-1984)

Greatness meant strength. Strength meant masculinity. Masculinity meant heterosexuality. Heterosexuality meant facade. Maintain facade for the world to see. Cheat in the dark abyss of the soul.

Clive Bell (English art critic, 1881-1964)

Only reason can convince us of those three fundamental truths without a recognition of which there can be no effective liberty: that what we believe is not necessarily true; that what we like is not necessarily good; and that all questions are open.

Gita Bellin ( )

If one desires a change, one must be that change before that change can take place.

Saul Bellow (Canadian-born U.S. novelist, 1915- )

Everyone knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing you hold down the adjoining.

John Berger (English novelist and playwright, 1926- )

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.

Daniel Berrigan (Reverend, activist, and poet, 1921- )

Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even.

Mary McLeod Bethune (U.S. educator and activist, 1875-1955)

What does the Negro want? His answer is very simple. He wants only what all other Americans want. He wants opportunity to make real what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say, what the Four Freedoms establish. While he knows these ideals are open to no man completely, he wants only his equal chance to obtain them.

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything...that smacks of discrimination or slander.

The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.

Ambrose Bierce (U.S. writer, 1842-1914)

Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

Steve Biko (South African political activist, 1946-1977)

The myth of integration as propounded under the banner of the liberal ideology must be cracked because it makes people believe that something is being achieved when in reality the artificially integrated circles are a soporfic to the blacks while salving the consciences of the few guilt-stricken whites.

Victoria Billings (U.S. journalist, 1945- )

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.

Joan E. Biren (U.S. photographer and activist, 1944- )

Without a visual identity, we have no community, no support network, no movement. Making ourselves visible is a political act, making ourselves visible is a continual process.

Richard Birnie (British author, 1808-1888)

How large a share of vanity must spur the piety of the missionary. There is something melodramatic in landing on some Fiji island, in baptising, debauching and ultimately murdering the unsuspecting savage; then in taking his land in the name of the Most High.

Hugo La Fayette Black (U.S. lawyer and Supreme Court justice, 1886-1971)

No higher duty, or more solemn responsibility, rests upon this Court than that of translating into living law and maintaining this constitutional shield deliberately planned and inscribed for the benefit of every human being subject to our Constitution--of whatever race, creed or persuasion.

Black Elk (Oglala Sioux holy man, 1863-1950)

Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.

Hear me, four quarters of the world--a relative I am! Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is! Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you. With your power only can I face the winds.

I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.

Grown men can learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.

Black Hawk (Sauk leader, 1767-1838)

The path to glory is rough, and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on your path, so that you may never experience the humility that the power of the American government has reduced me to. This is the wish of a man who, in his native forests, was once as proud and bold as yourself.

Alice Stone Blackwell (U.S. suffragist and reformer, 1857-1950)

Justice is better than chivalry if we cannot have both.

Franz Boas (German anthropologist, 1858-1942)

The existence of any pure race with special endowments is a myth, as is the belief that there are races all of whose members are foredoomed to eternal inferiority.

No one has ever proved that a human being, through his descent from a certain group of people, must of necessity have certain mental characteristics.

Sigmund Boloz (U.S. poet and educator)

We must merge our traditional sense of schooling with the real world. What we do in school must not insult the child's past but must build upon his past and encourage future learning.

Julian Bond (U.S. assemblyman, writer, and teacher, 1940- )

Violence is black children going to school for 12 years and receiving 6 years' worth of education.

Kate Bornstein (U.S. writer and activist, 1948- )

I know I'm not a man--about that much I'm very clear, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not a woman either, at least not according to a lot of people's rules on this sort of thing. The trouble is, we're living in a world that insists we be one or the other--a world that doesn't bother to tell us exactly what one or the other is.

Subhas Chandra Bose (Indian nationalist leader, 1897-1945)

Forget not that the grossest crime is to compromise with injustice and wrong. Remember the eternal law: you must give, if you want to get.

Phyllis Bottome (British-born U.S. writer, 1884-1963)

That a Jew is despised or persecuted is bad for him, of course--but far worse for the Christian who does it--for although persecuted he can remain a good Jew--whereas no Christian who persecutes can possibly remain--if he ever was one--a good Christian.

Elizabeth Bowen (Irish novelist, 1899-1973)

If you look at life one way, there is always cause for alarm.

Ernest Boyer (American educator, 1928-1995)

A poor surgeon hurts one person at a time. A poor teacher hurts 130.

Sarah Patton Boyle (U.S. integration activist)

Our minorities alone are in a position to know what the fathers of our democracy were talking about.

Bill Bradley (U.S. Senator and basketball player, 1943- )

People tell me, "I'm glad you said that." But this is not a spectator sport. This is an activity that requires daily moral awakening as well as a commitment that leads to real change.

Joseph Brant (Mohawk war chief, c. 1742-1807)

No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthy action, but the consciousness of having served his nation.

Do you call yourselves Christians? Does then the religion of Him whom you call your Savior inspire your spirit, and guide your practices? Surely not. It is recorded of him that a bruised reed he never broke. Cease, then, to call yourselves Christians, lest you declare to the world your hypocrisy. Cease, too, to call other nations savage, when you are tenfold more the children of cruelty than they.

Mary Brave Bird (Lakota activist, 1956- )

After macrobiotics, Zen, and channeling, the "poor Vanishing Indian" is once more the subject of "deep and meaningful conversation" in the high rises.

Bertolt Brecht (German playwright and poet, 1898-1956)

Who struggles can fail. Who doesn't struggle has already failed!

Jacob Bronowski (English scientist and mathematician, 1908-1974)

The great poem and the deep theorem are new to every reader, and yet are his own experiences, because he himself recreates them.

Emily Brontë (English writer and poet, 1818-1848)

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.

Gwendolyn Brooks (U.S. poet, 1917- )

It is brave to be involved
To be not fearful to be unresolved.

Jerry Brown (U.S. politician, 1938- )

Inaction may be the biggest form of action.

John Brown (U.S. abolitionist, 1800-1859)

Had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends...every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children, and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit: so let it be done!

Rita Mae Brown (U.S. novelist, 1944- )

Lesbianism, politically organized, is the greatest threat that exists to male supremacy.

No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody.

Rosemary Brown (Canadian politician, 1920- )

To be black and female, in a society which is both racist and sexist, is to be in a unique position of having nowhere to go but up.

Sir Thomas Browne (English writer, 1605-1682)

Persecution is a bad and indirect way to plan religion.

I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judgment for not agreeing with me in that from which perhaps within a few days I should dissent myself.

Susan Brownmiller (U.S. writer, 1935- )

Rape is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.

Martin Buber (Austrian theologian, 1878-1961)

The real struggle is not between East and West, or capitalism and communism, but between education and propaganda.

Pearl S. Buck (U.S. novelist, 1892-1973)

It is not healthy when a nation lives within a nation, as colored Americans are living inside America. A nation cannot live confident of its tomorrow if its refugees are among its own citizens.

It is natural anywhere that people like their own kind, but it is not necessarily natural that their fondness for their own kind should lead them to the subjection of whole groups of other people not like them.

None who has always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.

Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored--it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on.

The mind that doggedly insists on prejudice often has not intelligence enough to change.

We need to restore the full meaning of that old word, duty. It is the other side of rights.

Buddha (c. 563-483 B.C.)

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings--that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.

Everything changes, nothing remains without change.

Charlotte Bunch (U.S. writer, 1944- )

We know that priorities are amiss in the world when a man gets a military medal of honor for killing another man and a dishonorable discharge for loving one.

Edmund Burke (British statesman and philosopher, 1729-1797)

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

Nannie Burroughs (U.S. educator, 1883-1961)

Anything that is as old as racism is in the blood line of the nation. It's not any superficial thing--that attitude is in the blood and we have to educate about it.


Dom Hélder Câmara (Brazilian priest, 1909-1999)
When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.

Albert Camus (French philosopher and writer, 1913-1960)

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.

Jane Welsh Carlyle (English writer, 1801-1866)

In spite of the honestest efforts to annihilate my I-ity, or merge it in what the world doubtless considers my better half, I still find myself a self-subsisting and alas! self-seeking me.

Instead of boiling up individuals into the species, I would draw a chalk circle round every individuality, and preach to it to keep within that, and preserve and cultivate its identity.

Jimmy Carter (U.S. President, 1924- )

We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.

The test of a government is not how popular it is with the powerful and privileged few but how honestly and fairly it deals with the many who must depend on it.

No poor, rural, weak, or black person should ever again have to bear the additional burden of being deprived of the opportunity for an education, a job, or simple justice.

Within the stable economy it's necessary to eliminate all forms of sexual discrimination, and to provide women for the first time in our history with economic opportunities equal to those of men.

George Washington Carver (U.S. agricultural chemist, c. 1860-1943)

How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.

Sir Roger Casement (Irish revolutionary, 1864-1916)

Where all your rights become only an accumulated wrong; where men must beg with bated breath for leave to subsist in their own land, to think their own thoughts, to sing their own songs, to garner the fruits of their own labors...then surely it is a braver, a saner and truer thing, to be a rebel in act and deed against such circumstances as these than tamely to accept it as the natural lot of men.

Carrie Chapman Catt (U.S. suffragist, 1859-1947)

Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in government.

Edith Cavell (Belgian nurse, 1865-1915)

I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.

Miguel de Cervantes (Spanish novelist and poet, 1547-1616)

There are only two families in the world, my old grandmother used to say, the Haves and the Have-nots.

Aimé Césaire (Martiniquais poet and playwright, 1913- )

In the whole world no poor devil is lynched, no wretch is tortured, in whom I too am not degraded and murdered.

When I turn on my radio, when I hear that Negroes have been lynched in America, I say that we have been lied to: Hitler is not dead; when I turn on my radio, when I hear that Jews have been insulted, mistreated, persecuted, I say that we have been lied to: Hitler is not dead; when, finally, I turn on my radio and hear that in Africa forced labor has been inaugurated and legalized, I say that we have certainly been lied to: Hitler is not dead.

Edwin Hubbel Chapin (U.S. clergyman and author, 1814-1880)

Bigotry dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth.

John Jay Chapman (U.S. writer, 1862-1923)

The gift of teaching is a peculiar talent, and implies a need and a craving in the teacher himself.

Alexander Chase (U.S. journalist, 1926- )

All generalizations are false, including this one.

Cesar Chavez (U.S. labor rights activist, 1927-1993)

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.

Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better books can there be than the book of humanity?

Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

It's ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves.

When the man who feeds the world by toiling in the fields is himself deprived of the basic rights of feeding, sheltering and caring for his own family, the whole community of man is sick.

Gilbert K. Chesterton (English author, 1874-1936)

The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things.

Real development is not leaving things behind, as on a road, but drawing life from them, as from a root.

Charles W. Chestnut (U.S. lawyer, 1858-1932)

Race prejudice is the devil unchained.

Lydia Maria Child (U.S. writer, 1802-1880)

We first crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate.

They [slaves] have stabbed themselves for freedom--jumped into the waves for freedom--starved for freedom--fought like very tigers for freedom! But they have been hung, and burned, and shot--and their tyrants have been their historians!

Woman stock is rising in the market. I shall not live to see women vote, but I'll come and rap on the ballot box.

Yours for the unshackled exercise of every faculty by every human being.

Chilean Proverb

He who divides and shares, always takes the best part.

Chinese Proverbs

Every book must be chewed to get out its juice.

The path of duty lies in what is nearby, but men look for it in things far off.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

He who asks a question may be a fool for five minutes; he who asks no questions stays a fool forever.

No one is more afraid of ghosts than those that don't believe in them.

To know and know that you know, not to know and know that you don't know, that is to know.

To learn about other people is science, to learn to know yourself is intelligence.

Being in the right does not depend on having a loud voice.

The real scholar is not afraid to ask questions of his pupil.

Before you plan to improve the world, look around your own house three times.

Harming others means you first harm yourself.

If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed for.

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

Shirley Chisholm (First black Congresswoman in the U.S., 1924- )

In the end antiblack, antifemale, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing--antihumanism.

I am not antiwhite, because I understand that white people, like black ones, are victims of a racist society. They are products of their time and place.

My God, what do we want? What does any human being want? Take away an accident of pigmentation of a thin layer of our outer skin and there is no difference between me and anyone else. All we want is for that trivial difference to make no difference.

Most Americans have never seen the ignorance, degradation, hunger, sickness, and futility in which many other Americans live. Until a problem reaches their doorsteps, they're not going to understand.

One distressing thing is the way men react to women who assert their equality: their ultimate weapon is to call them unfeminine. They think she is anti-male; they even whisper that she's probably a lesbian.

Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deepseated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.

Uno Chiyo (Japanese author, 1897-1996)

I don't wish to not be a woman, but I'd certainly like to be a woman whose sense of purpose comes from within.

Noam Chomsky (U.S. linguist and social theorist, 1928- )

What the public wants is called 'politically unrealistic.' Translated into English, that means power and privilege are opposed to it.

Winston Churchill (British prime minister, 1874-1965)

The miracle of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Kenneth B. Clark (U.S. psychologist and social scientist, 1914- )

Over and above the political, economic, sociological, and international implications of racial prejudices, their major significance is that they place unnecessary burdens upon human beings.

The recognized achievements of some Negroes, despite rigid racial barriers, indicate that society by its prejudices may be depriving itself of valuable contributions from many others. It is now doubtful whether America can afford the luxury of such a waste of human resources.

The dark ghettos are social, political, educational and--above all--economic colonies. Their inhabitants are subject peoples, victims of the greed, cruelty, insensitivity, guilt, and fear of their masters.

John Henrik Clarke (U.S. historian, 1915- )

It is too often forgotten that when the Europeans gained enough maritime skills and gunpowder to conquer most of the world, they not only colonized the bulk of the world's people but they colonized the interpretation of history itself. Human history was rewritten to favor them at the expense of other people. The roots of modern racism can be traced to this conquest and colonization.

Pearl Cleage (U.S.writer and performer, 1948- )

Feminism is to sexism what black nationalism is to racism; the most rational response to the problem.

Eldridge Cleaver (U.S. writer and Black Panther leader, 1935- )

The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.

You're either part of the problem or part of the solution.

You don't have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.

Lucille Clifton (U.S. poet, 1936- )

I do not feel inhibited or bound by what I am. That does not mean that I have never had bad scenes relating to being black and/or a woman, it means that other people's craziness has not managed to make me crazy.

I write from my knowledge not my lack, from my strength not my weakness. I am not interested if anyone knows whether or not I am familiar with big words, I am interested in trying to render big ideas in a simple way. I am interested in being understood not admired.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (U.S. lawyer and First Lady, 1947- )

(at her 1969 college graduation speech) ...but we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation--liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves.

Jean Cocteau (French writer and director, 1889-1963)

I'm not willing to be tolerated. That wounds my love of love and liberty.

Marva Collins (U.S. educator, 1936- )

None of you has ever failed. School may have failed you. Goodbye to failure, children. Welcome to success.

An error means a child needs help, not a reprimand or ridicule for doing something wrong.

The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed.

Lucy N. Colman (U.S. abolitionist, 1818-1906)

If your Bible is an argument for the degradation of women, and the abuse by whipping of little children, I advise you to put it away, and use your common sense instead.

Charles Caleb Colton (English writer and clergyman, 1780-1832)

He that knows himself, knows others; and he that is ignorant of himself, could not write a very profound lecture on other men's heads.

James Comer (U.S. psychiatrist, 1934- )

Being black in America is often like playing your home games on the opponent's court.

Confucius (Chinese philosopher, c. 551-479 B.C.)

A man of humanity is one who, in seeking to establish himself, finds a foothold for others and who, desiring attainment for himself, helps others to attain.

To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.

The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.

When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.

In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.

I hear and forget. I see and remember. I do and I understand.

John Conyers (U.S. senator, 1929- )

Custodial education does not have as its objective the education of youth but rather social control over them. It suppresses rather than stimulates their intellectual and physical energies.

Eliza Cook (English poet, 1818-1889)

Better build schoolrooms for "the boy"
Than cells and gibbets for "the man."

Ellis Cose (U.S. author and editor)

If we tell ourselves that the only problem is hate, we avoid facing the reality that it is mostly nice, nonhating people who perpetuate racial inequality.

Henry Cox (U.S. educator and writer, 1929- )

The real illness of the American city today, and especially of the deprived groups within it, is voicelessness.

The Negro revolt is not aimed at winning friends but at winning freedom, not interpersonal warmth but institutional justice.

Marcelene Cox (U.S. writer)

Children whose problems aren't recognized become problem children.

James Crawford (U.S. writer and lecturer)

With typical arrogance, the Anglos claimed to cherish freedom of speech but failed to recognize this right for anyone but themselves. Where did the Constitution say anything about English?

Crazy Horse (Oglala Sioux Chief, 1842-1877)

One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.

Harold Cruse (U.S. writer, 1916- )

America is a nation that lies to itself about who and what it is. It is a nation of minorities ruled by a minority of one--it thinks and acts as if it were a nation of white Anglo-Saxons and Protestants.

Cuban Proverbs

Every head is a world.

Marie Curie (Polish-born French chemist, 1867-1934)

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

Cypress Proverbs

We must convince by reason, not prescribe by tradition.

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