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17 Important Quotes About Love From Historical Black Figures

17 Important Quotes About Love From Historical Black Figures

So this is love…


Love is the one thing that makes life worthwhile. While, by definition, it is often associated with affection or intensity of feelings, for those of us who have loved, we know it’s deeper than that. You can often find us writing about the power of Black love, or love for your hair, or even an outpouring of love for one of our beloved ancestors. Whatever the kind, it’s deep, all-knowing, all-encompassing, and ever-present. Love is both duty and rest, liberation and obligation, mountain and valley. Although many have tried to define it, here's our attempt at putting a pulse on the one thing we all need via 17 important quotes from historical Black figures:

“I am grateful to have been loved, and to be loved now and to be able to love. Because love liberates.” - Maya Angelou,



“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” - James Baldwin,


“We choose love. Our love for our children. Our commitment to leaving them a better world. Our love for our country ... our love for our fellow citizens ... that’s what we choose.” - Michelle Obama,


“I found god in myself / and I loved her / I loved her fiercely.” - Ntozake Shange,


“Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even loving and loved.” - Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents,



“The leaves believe such letting go is love, such love is faith, such faith is grace, such grace is God. I agree with the leaves.” - Lucille Clifton, The Lesson of the Falling Leaves,


“To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients — care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.” - bell hooks, All About Love,


"Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Drum Major Instinct (1968),


“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” - Toni Morrison, Beloved,


“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, Assata: An Autobiography,


“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” ~ Malcolm X,


“We love because it's the only true adventure.” - Nikki Giovanni,


“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, Long Walk to Freedom,


“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald,


“You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting, and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” - Bob Marley,





“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” – Zora Neale Hurston,


“The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are.” – Oprah Winfrey,


As we gear up for our next season, may love find you in the best of places, and may you be receptive to its warmth.


17 important quotes about love from historical Black figures. Photo Courtesy of Anthony Barboza/Getty Images/Vanity Fair