"Education remains one of the black community's most enduring values.
It is sustained by the belief that freedom and education go hand in
hand, that learning and training are essential to economic quality and
independence." (Marian Wright Edleman in "Black America," 1989)
"The reason that most people don't recognize opportunity is that it generally looks like work."
"We're all fools until we know that in the common plan, nothing is worth the building if it does not build the man. Why build these temples glorious, if man unbuilded goes? We build our world in vain, unless the builders also grow." (Edwin Markham)
"It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach." (Benjamin E. Mays)
"A sparrow flying through the air heard a clap of thunder. He fell to the ground with his two little legs sticking straight up in the air. An eagle flying nearby saw the sparrow and asked, 'What's happening?' Replied the sparrow, 'The sky is falling down.' Mocked the eagle, 'And what are you going to do, hold it up with those little legs of yours?' Replied the sparrow, 'One does what one can with what one has.'" (African Parable)
"Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty, we're free at last." (Negro Spiritual)
"A mule cannot kick when he is pulling, and he cannot pull when he is kicking."
"It is the best of times and the worst of times." (Charles Dickens)
"Ships sail east and ships sail west by the self-same breezes blow. It's the set of the sail and not the gale that determines where they go."
"Man knows so little of man." (W.E.B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folks)
"An old man traveling a long highway
Came the evening cold and gray
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a solemn tide
The old man full of vigor and vim
Crossing eased in the twilight dim
But he turned and, safe on the other side,
Built a bridge to span the tide."
"The student is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lit, and a good fire needs fresh air."
"We fly through the air like birds; we swim through the water like fish; let us walk on the earth like men and women."
"Well, Son, I tell you, life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's been hard and bare and rough places on the floor,
But all the while I'se been climbing, and going forth
In the dark, cause there ain't been no light.
So don't you sit down cause it's kind a hard,
Don't you quit because its rough
Cause you see, I'se still climbing
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair."
("Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes)
"We have miles and miles to go before we sleep."
"If it is to be, it is up to me."
"No wind is favorable to a sailor who does not know to what port he or she is sailing."
"Somebody said that it couldn't be done, but he with a
That maybe it couldn't, but he'd be one, who wouldn't
say so until he tried.
So he took off his coat with a bit of a grin, and he
started to sing,
As he tackled the thing that couldn't be done, and
he did it."
"If you think you are beaten, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself,
before you can ever win the prize.
Life's battles don't always go
to the stronger or swifter man.
But sooner or later, the one who wins
Is the one who thinks he can."
"A different world will not be built by indifferent people."
"I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as the days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun, and hate myself
For the things I've done."
Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence © 2005 - 2011
( Updated 07/04/2011 )