5 Quotes From Civil Rights Activists We Can Still Learn From Today

by Jalysa King
Wikimedia Commons

If there's one thing I really love, it's a really good quote. I especially love the ones I can relate to. My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds are full of them, and I always hope they can resonate with at least one person reading them.

Some of my all-time favorite quotes are words by great civil rights leaders, who said them in hopes of creating better and equal futures for us all. These people were the ones fighting for the rights we have now, and for them, I am thankful.

Here are five quotes from civil rights leaders that I think are still relevant to us today:

1. “I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

We live in a melting pot of different cultures, races, religious beliefs, etc. It's a beautiful thing when we can look at the differences and similarities we share with one another. There is nothing more thrilling than the idea of meeting someone and learning from him or her.

Unfortunately, not all people are as accepting and open to that idea. This quote is one I think we can all learn from.

Taking the time to love and accept someone takes no effort, but hate? Hate takes so much more time, and it really gets us nowhere in the end. Dr. King was onto something when he said these words.

2. “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false and to incur my own abhorrence.” — Frederick Douglass

You know what's pretty awesome? Finally getting to the point of knowing exactly who you are, and being okay with it.

Love yourself unconditionally, and continue to become the best version of yourself that you can be. We will never be able to please everyone. It's impossible, but it is a great feeling when you can be proud of the person you are in any situation.

This quote teaches us to always be true to who we are. People will always talk and have things to — both positive and negative — but that's OK. Staying true to ourselves is a lifelong, but fulfilling journey.

3. “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” — Rosa Parks

We all know that saying, “Practice what you preach.” This quote is a great reminder of how important it is to lead by example. We never know who's watching us and who we are motivating on a day-to-day basis.

Parents are always told to be positive role models for their children, right? Well, what about everyone else?

Shouldn't we all strive to live our lives with compassion for others, setting good examples for upcoming generations? We might not always know it, but we each have an impact on everyone we meet. Let's make that impact long-lasting and positive.

4. “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” — Malcolm X

Man, was Malcom right with this quote. The media is such a powerful and influential entity for each and every generation, and I think we sometimes forget just how powerful it can be.

While many news outlets do strive to give out accurate information, we have to remember they are also businesses. They need to bring in profits.

How do they do that? By getting a large number of views and ratings.

So often, people believe everything they see on TV, despite knowing better. This is not to say all media is bad.

We should just always be aware of the information we are told. We should remember that good old saying, “There are two sides to each story, and then the truth.”

5. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman

This quote makes me so happy. We all have dreams and aspirations, both big and small.

Once that fire within us is sparked, we believe we can do anything. Well, we really can with some effort and hard work.

This quote reminds us to never give up on ourselves. Always strive for the things you want, even if you think you can't obtain them.

There are special and unique traits in each of us, and they can make an impact and change the world. This quote reminds me to always believe that I can accomplish anything.

Today, take the time to read one or two quotes you absolutely love. Print them out, share them on social media or make them your phone background.

Use them as inspiration for yourself and others. Remember how powerful, impactful and fulfilling a set of words can be.

In a world that can get so ugly and full of hate sometimes, all these quotes serve to remind us that we are all important and have something to offer.