22 Leadership Quotes by Women of Color

Are you looking for inspiring and thought-provoking quotes by revolutionary women of color?

Here are several quotes by women of color that I rely on to help me stay grounded in my values and get clear about my next steps:

  1. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. — Alice Walker
  2. Helped are those who are content to be themselves. They will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant. ―Alice Walker
  3. Without inner change, there can be no outer change, without collective change, no change matters. —Rev. angel Kyodo williams
  4. We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark. —Whoopi Goldberg
  5. I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples. —Mother Teresa
  6. You are your best thing. —Toni Morrison
  7. You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. —Maya Angelou
  8. I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. — Audre Lorde
  9. Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. —Audre Lorde
  10. Without community, there is no liberation. —Audre Lorde
  11. Once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of.

    Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives.And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe. —Audre Lorde,

  12. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. —Rosa Parks
  13. Giving is transformative for the helper… By not asking for help when you need it, you are blocking that flow. —Amoretta Morris
  14. Isn’t this the purpose of education, to learn the nature of your own gifts and how to use them for good in the world? —Robin Wall Kimmerer
  15. It is important to think of oneself as a medicine maker, because each one of us has a gift to offer the collective. —Michelle Cassandra Johnson
  16. Movements are born of critical connections rather than critical mass. —Grace Lee Boggs
  17. Our radical imagination is a tool for decolonization, for reclaiming our right to shape our lived reality. —adrienne maree brown
  18. White supremacy has used the suppression of feelings to hold down communities. If you block the pain, you’ll likely block the feelings needed to fight back against oppression. —Patrisse Cullors
  19. All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change —Octavia Butler
  20. It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains. —Assata Shakur
  21. We are all rather like tree rings and shell patterns in that what has happened to us leaves a permanent record. The goal of trauma work, therefore, as I see it, is not to erase or cure but rather to expand and include and grow larger than whatever has happened to us. —Francesca Mason Boring
  22. The experience of being willing to commit to something that cannot be fully known in advance, to be able to accept those mountains which are fixed and those fields which are open, is a path that we humans are designed for. —Francesca Mason Boring

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

If you have a favorite quote from a woman of color, would you please share it in the comments below? I’d love to receive the wisdom. Thank you!


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