january 30, 2015

February is the month when the US celebrates Black History Month.

It's a movement that began in the 1920s around the mid-February birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abe Lincoln. It didn't become official until the nation celebrated its 200th birthday in 1976.

Since then, the event has helped spotlight often-overlooked stories of African Americans...and create a more inclusive history and culture.

Black History Month is as much about our future as it is about our past. It's about empowering generations of history makers.

Here are some gems worth sharing online and out in the world ~ from classrooms to boardrooms.

Because often, looking back is the best way to move forward.


"Love builds."

Mary McLeod Bethune
the First Lady of Struggle


{unforgettable | She teaches}

Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the most widely loved {and cited} women we've come across. But few know about the famous First Lady's friendship with a remarkable woman dubbed "the First Lady of Struggle."

It was an apt nickname for Mary McLeod Bethune. The first child born free in a family of former slaves, she fought tirelessly to improve the lives of African Americans through education. She had already founded her own school, become a college president, and been elected head of the National Association of Colored Women when she met Eleanor in 1927.

The two were an unlikely pair. Eleanor came from money; Mary came from none. Eleanor from the far North; Mary the deep South. But they became fast friends and political allies, working together to make their own history. As they spoke out for women's rights, they quietly challenged racist policies by insisting upon sitting together even in the segregated South.

When Eleanor took up residence in the White House, she saw that Mary had a home there, too ~ with an appointment as FDR's Director of Negro Affairs for the National Youth Administration. By the time Mary retired, she had advised 4 presidents. After her death, Eleanor penned many a tribute to help keep Mary's legacy alive.

Mary left behind her own legacy of wise words to match her good deeds. Some were even set in stone...such as those adorning the main entryway at Cookman-Bethune College ~ "Enter to learn; Depart to serve."

See more of her quotes...

"Divide and conquer must become define and empower."

Audre Lorde
the poet with a purpose


{remarkable | She writes}

Author + activist Audre Lorde was not afraid of being different. "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet" was her bold self-description. Often seen as an outsider, she figured out how to make it a position of strength.

While our differences often lead to silence, fear and oppression, Audre celebrated their potential to inspire creativity and communication, connection and growth.

It was a transformation she had experienced first-hand. Born in New York to Caribbean immigrants, Audre grew up legally blind and practically mute before making history as a major voice of black feminism. In 1984, she took her education + advocacy abroad to Berlin where she inspired black German women to "show their colors" by speaking out.

She also practiced what she preached on the personal level. Audre was diagnosed with cancer in 1978 and spent 14 years living with it. After losing a breast to a mastectomy, she went without a prosthesis. She wanted her difference to be visible. Sometimes, it made people uncomfortable. But sometimes, it created life-affirming understanding.

Wherever she went, Audre built sisterhood + community through embracing diversity and complexity. Her pioneering work proved a point ~ "We do not need to become each other in order to work together."

Hear more of her story...

"The great economic equalizer of this generation, the revolution of this generation is technology."

Kimberly Bryant
the change agent of tech


{notable | She pioneers}

Born in Memphis at the height of the Civil Rights movement, biotech engineer Kimberly Bryant was raised during a cultural revolution. Today, she's stepping up to lead another with her nonprofit Black Girls Code. And this time, The revolution will be mobilized.

Kimberly was inspired to found Black Girls Code when her 12-year-old daughter came home from computer camp feeling overlooked and unenthusiastic. To make a difference for her daughter, Kimberly decided it was time to transform the whole tech industry ~ where women of color account for a tiny percentage of employees.

Improved access to technology may provide opportunity, but it doesn't guarantee success or equality. Black Girls Code helps the nation's next gen reach their potential. First and foremost, by becoming creators, not just consumers.

As part of her pitch, Kimberly turns to history. She introduces girls to women who've had a hand in shaping today's tech...computer science pioneers like Ada Lovelace + Grace Hopper. With the aim of reaching a million kids by 2040, Kimberly's revolution is well underway. While her work changes lives + communities, she's also driving innovation ~ by making sure the nation taps all the skill sets available!

Discover more of her ideas...

Fixing the
quote supply problem.
theme: history


We're looking for {sourced} quotes by women & girls that speak to history.

Will you help uncover all the smart, funny, thought-provoking things she has said on the subject? And, fix the quote supply problem?

It's easy to pitch in. Simply ~

  • Register as a Quotabelle member.

  • Submit a sourced quote by a female that relates to the theme.

  • If your quote is picked for the collection, you'll be entered to win a Quotabelle gift

  • Within a week: we'll add a selection of the pithiest things she's said on the subject to the site. And, mail the gift.

We recently asked for quotes about business and economics. Among our favorites:




Sharing quotes is a great way to inspire your team or community ~ browse by business...

What's she saying now?

"Thank you to all the people who love me exactly how god made me."

~ Viola Davis
actor | in her SAG acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Drama Series

"Whenever you don't feel like doing your homework, I need you to remember that you're helping tell the story of Brownsville to people all over the world."

~ Nadia Lopez
beloved principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn | in a speech to her students after a post featuring one of them went viral on photoblog Humans of New York...launching an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $1 million in scholarship funds for the underserved district in less than 5 days

~ ~ ~

We help you discover the ideas + stories of real women & girls. And, easily share them.

To spark innovation. To create connections.
To bring balance to the world.

Quote fans...start your collection.

History-lovers... discover more stories worth sharing.

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Beautifully said.

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