From Oprah Winfrey to Maya Angelou to Booker T. Washington, African American leaders and entrepreneurs past and present have made great strides toward creating a better world. These black leaders and entrepreneurs have long battled, and continue to, many obstacles with odds stacked against them.
Throughout a history of oppression, these individuals have shown resilience and achieved success during times of adversity. That's why February, Black History Month, is dedicated to identifying and praising these leaders who have created positive change and impact.
To learn more, here are 21 inspiring quotes from some of the most successful African American entrepreneurs and leaders throughout history and today.
Jason LaVeris | Getty Images
"You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."
Paul Morigi | Getty Images
"You can't base your life on other people's expectations."
FPG | Getty Images
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Gregory Shamus | Getty Images
"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
"You can't just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You've got to get out there and make it happen for yourself."
Paras Griffin | Getty Images
"I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect."
Robert F. Smith
Marcus Ingram | Getty Images
Robert F. Smith, billionaire investor and founder of Vista Equity Partners, addressed Morehouse College's graduating class on Sunday and included a shocking announcement -- that his family would start a grant to eliminate their student loans, which could reportedly total upwards of $10 million.
“Let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward, because we are enough to take care of our own community,” Smith said. “We are enough to ensure we have all of the opportunities of the American dream, and we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.”
More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor