As I write, eight books of quotations sit handily on a shelf at my side, a ready reference for the countless occasions when someone else's words say better than I can what I want said. But none of the eight contains as many quotes from as many sources as does this volume.
My own favorite quotation is Frederick Douglass "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." But choosing a favorite is like choosing among one's children--each is precious.
This collection of over 2,500 quotations will contain many of your favorites and will help provide the exact quotation to fit the right occasion. More importantly, this collection will acquaint the reader with a multitude of adages, aphorisms, maxims, mottoes, proverbs, and sayings from a large number of African Americans. Some of those who are quoted are well known. Others will be introduced to the reader for the first time and should inspire further inquiry into the lives and times of the women and men who so eloquently, and frequently so simply, summed up a thought or reflection in a few words.
Here a multitude speaks on a multitude of subjects, sharing opinions and framing ideas. Here the famous and the lesser known bring the values they learned from living black to the written and spoken word. Here the reader has an opportunity to learn of the great diversity of black opinion and thought.
As Ralph Ellison says in these pages, "Words are your business, boy. Not the Word. Words are everything. The key to the Rock, the answer to the Question."
This collection will be invaluable to the scholar, writer, or curious reader. You can quote me.
Julian Bond NAACP Chairperson