Maya Angelou quote

9 Quotes from Black Poets That Will Keep You Empowered All Year Long

Black History Month may be coming to a close, but it’s essential that we continue to highlight the contributions of Black poets. For many of us, writing or reading poetry is a way to inspire, uplift, and motivate ourselves and one another—and Black poets have played a significant role in this art form for centuries. For instance, Phillis Wheatley, the first woman of color to publish a book of poems, forged a legacy in the late 1700s that lives on today. Other trailblazing poets, like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Audre Lorde, are cultural icons for both their impact on American literature and their work as activists.


Here are nine short yet powerful quotes from inspiring Black poets who have contributed both captivating art and vital cultural perspectives to the poetry community:


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Maya Angelou, world-renowned author of numerous poetry collections:

“Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”




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Valerie June Hockett, author of Maps for the Modern World:

“I’ve been busy and need to slow my little tail down and sit and meditate somewhere. I do my walking meditations every day, but just to sit still. Just to be in one place and just to be quiet.”




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Amanda Gorman, youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history and the author of The Hill We Climb:

“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”




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Reyna Biddy, author of A Psalm for Us and I Love My Love:

“You’re allowed to miss the people who were bullets to you, but you’re not allowed to let them shoot you again.”



Saeed Jones



Saeed Jones, author of How We Fight for Our Lives:

“Tears don’t always just fall; sometimes they rip through you, like storm-painted gusts instead of mere raindrops.”




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Upile Chisala, author of soft magic.

“I am dripping melanin and honey. I am black without apology.”



Robert Hayden


Robert Hayden, the first black writer to hold the office:

“Art is not escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a way of confronting life.”



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Langston Hughes, one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry:

“Perhaps the mission of an artist is to interpret beauty to people – the beauty within themselves.”




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Renaada Williams, author of becoming.:

“trust the voice your gut is pulling from

– instincts”



 Who is your favorite black poet? Share your thoughts with us!