Feed Your Soul| 15 Quotes by Women of the African Diaspora

The strength and resilience of black women around the world is a force to be reckoned with. From the favelas in Brazil to the streets of Philadelphia, my sisters are out here defying the odds: spinning straw into gold, finding freedom and carving out sacred spaces. I owe everything to my mother, mother’s mother and all of the mothers preceding.

Phyllis Wheatley. Harriet Tubman. Nana of the Maroons. Queen Nzinga. Maya Angelou. Oprah. Phyllis Hyman. Dorothy Dandridge. These are but a few of the sacred names I utter in gratitude for them loving me enough to pave a better path. They live through me and through them I am strengthened. Here are 15 quotes by women of the African Diaspora that inspire my work as a creative storyteller and seed of the African diaspora. I wish for them to water your spirit as they nourish mines.

“Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun’. We might not land on the sun, but at least we could get off the ground”- Zora Neale Hurston

“I’m a woman. That means I break hard. And mend like a motherfucker; all sexy and full of heartbreakingly beautiful scars” – Staceyann Chin

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me” – Zora Neale Hurston

“The beautiful faces of my black people are a parade of molasses in bloom”- Susana Baca

“Black Girl Magic is a rallying call of recognition. Embedded in the everyday is a magnificence that is so easy to miss because we’re so mired in the struggle and what society says we are”- Ava Duvernay

“When I dare to be powerful-to use my strength in the service of my vision- then it becomes less important whether I am afraid”- Audre Lorde

“Failure is an opportunity to learn and to do better next time. It’s part of the path to greatness, which was never meant to be smooth” – Khanyi Dhlomo

“We need to create an environment that will drive creativity. Do not be afraid to test new things. We must be creative, ensuring we are a step ahead of competition” – Kofo Akinkgube

“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we were taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t”- Audre Lorde

“Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power—not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and don’t want it to exist”- Janet Mock

“Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy” – Audre Lorde

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion; the potential for greatness lives within each of us”- Wilma Rudolph

“No person is your friend who demands your silence and denies your right to grow” – Alice Walker

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare”- Audre Lorde

“Get ready, mama, prepare for your freedom”- Sarafina, the musical

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