20 Liberating Juneteenth Quotes That Pay Tribute To Our Historical Legacy

20 Liberating Juneteenth Quotes That Pay Tribute To Our Historical Legacy

Juneteenth Freedom Day. June 19 African American Liberation Day. Black, red and green. 2022. Vector

With Juneteenth around the corner, world-wide celebrations are underway as the spirit of the “freedom day” blooms with the spring flowers.

June 19, which was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, marks the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The historical legacy of Juneteenth represents the value of deep hope and urgent organizing in uncertain times, while the festivities come in a variety of forms.

Today is June 19 but the official observance is June 20. From backyard barbecues to the neighborhood block party and from festivals to city-wide parades, Juneteenth weekend is all about paying tribute to a story of pride, resilience and determination.

BLACK ENTERPRISE collected a list of inspirational quotes by a range of champions, including the late civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., activist Angela Davis, and Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“We have simply got to make people aware that none of us are free until we’re all free, and we aren’t free yet.”— Opal Lee

“You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms.” — Michelle Obama

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” — Oprah Winfrey

“We are fighting for a different world, and we are building new muscles to do so.” ― Alicia Garza, “The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart”

“I always tell young people to hold on to their dreams. And sometimes you have to stand up for what you think is right even if you have to stand alone.” — Claudette Colvin

“Black liberation has never just been about Black people. It’s been about a fight for our humanity, for our dignity.” — Patrisse Cullors

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

“Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” — John Lewis, “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change”

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” ― Angela Davis

“The pursuit of justice is all I have ever known.” — Harry Belafonte

“I am standing on the shoulders of my own role models, generations of Americans who never had anything close to this kind of opportunity but who got up every day and went to work believing in the promise of America, showing others through their determination and, yes, their perseverance that good, good things can be done in this great country.” — Ketanji Brown Jackson

“Where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.” — Barack Obama

“You may shoot my with your words / You may cut me with your eyes / You may kill me with your hatefulness / But still, like air, I’ll rise.” — Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”

“Let no voice but your own speak to you from the depths. Let no influence but your own raise you in time of peace and time of war.” — Marcus Garvey

“I got to fight on till I leave here, and I hope I leave some footprints.” — Mattie Jones

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”  — Booker T. Washington

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” — Ida B. Wells-Barnett

“Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth.” — Malcolm X

“To the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.” — Kamala Harris

“When day comes we step out of the shade / Aflame and unafraid / The new dawn blooms as we free it / For there is always light / If only we’re brave enough to see it / If only we’re brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman