In an ideal world, there would be no racism, no cruelty, and no injustice. There would be neither gruesome headlines nor stories of the oppressor and the oppressed. But if history has taught us something, it is that fairness and righteousness have to be fought for.
Racism is a plague that has been hampering the true values of humanity for centuries now. We’ve read about revolutions aiming to end systemic racism and violence towards black people. We’ve seen social movements championing freedom and equality. All these brought about changes that upheld justice and goodness, but not entirely.
Seeing the headlines today, we know the fight for human rights regardless of race is far from over. On May 25, 2020, 46-year-old African-American George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota during an arrest for allegedly using fake money. He died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, despite him pleading for his life. His death further sparked the heated embers of the Black Lives Matter movement.
With the Black Lives Matter protests quickly spreading across the globe, there’s hope that maybe this time, those who need to see will see and those who need to understand will really understand. Black lives matter, all lives matter, and we should know better.
Here are 30 Black Lives Matter quotes that all yearn for equality and justice.
I’ve sat listening at the feet of enough Black women to know they all deserve to tell their own stories. But here we are, mourning. – Darnell Lamont Walker
The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing – because George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered and Tamir Rice’s life mattered… and so many other people’s, whose names we know and whose names we do not know. Stephon Clark, his life mattered. – Meghan Markle
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The job of a policeman or woman is not more sacred than the humanity of a black person. Period. Police are not paid executioners, but when you advocate for their right to kill, that is what you are advocating for. Killing is not their job. Ask yourself why you’re ok with that. – Munroe Bergdorf
Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned —everywhere is war. – Bob Marley
Racism has been rampant for hundreds of years, it’s just that in this century people have camera phones to video it. It’s absolutely disgusting that you get mistreated because of the colour of your skin. You would think that those that are there to protect us, would protect. – Niall Horan
The Constitution gives you the right, as a white man, to have a rifle in your home. The Constitution gives you the right to protect yourself. Why is it ‘ominous’ when black people even talk of having rifles? Why don’t we have the right to self-defense? Is it because maybe you know we’re going to have to defend ourselves against you?
Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting. – John Boyega
I can’t bring myself to watch yet another video, not because I don’t care, but because we’re all just a few videos away from becoming completely desensitized. The public execution of Black folks will never be normal.
When white people make up the majority of decision making power, people of colour are the ones that aren’t given a fair shot at life. Racism is built into every level of our society. Now it’s time for EVERYONE to use their voice to shout about it and expose it for what it is. – Leigh-Anne Pinnock
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. – Desmond Tutu
Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of colour to deal with it. It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. – Michelle Obama
We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted, we cannot normalise this pain. No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of colour as less than human. We can no longer look away. – Beyoncé
It is never too late to give up your prejudices. – Henry David Thoreau
America has always been the home of the brave, but it has never been the land of the free. – A.K. Kuykendall
Our unity shocked them and we should continue to shock the white man by working together. – Malcolm X
You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. – Malcolm X
It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability. – Barack Obama
The fear of offense is a really small price to pray for freedom. – Andrena Sawyer
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Every generation has its inhumanity, so every generation must have its revolution. – Abhijit Naskar
At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being. – Friedrich Otto Hertz
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. – James Baldwin
No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. And we got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America. – LeBron James
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. – Nelson Mandela
Our hearts are not black or white. Nor are they fat or thin. Our hearts are all the same. Our hearts only beat for love! – Avijeet Das
The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward. – Ijeoma Oluo
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. – Harper Lee
People don’t realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for: freedom, liberty and justice for all. – Colin Kaepernick
As long as people can be judged by the color of their skin, the problem is not solved. – Oprah Winfrey
Share these 30 Black Lives Matter quotes as one of your ways to joining the movement.