Civil Rights Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old civil rights quotes, civil rights sayings, and civil rights proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Civil Rights opened the windows. When you open the windows, it does not mean that everybody will get through. We must create our own opportunities.     

Mary Frances Berry

There's no problem on the planet that can't be solved without violence. That's the lesson of the civil rights movement.     

Andrew Young

It is impossible to struggle for civil rights, equal rights for blacks, without including whites. Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.     

Maya Angelou

Civil rights was not an impossible dream. Thousands of brave African Americans stepped forward to make it happen.     

Martin O'Malley

The Cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at the end of one, or even one hundred defeats.     

Abraham Lincoln

From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.     

Carl Schurz

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry...     

Thomas Jefferson

Until civil rights are enjoyed by all of us, we're simply not civilized.     

Rupert Friend

The civil rights movement was devoid of grace; it was using some unfortunate people as means to a communistic end.     

Samuel Bowers

When you're fighting for civil rights, it's sometimes two steps forward and one step back. Civil rights are an evolution; and you have to bring people along.     

Gloria Allred

Civil rights used to be about treating everyone the same. But today some people are so used to special treatment that equal treatment is considered to be discrimination.     

Thomas Sowell

You could not be in the civil rights movement without having an appreciation for everybody's rights. That these rights are not divisible - not something men have and women don't and so on.     

Julian Bond

The civil rights of none, shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.     

James Madison

In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining"¦. We demand this fraud be stopped.     

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The civil rights situation is like a pregnancy. It will get worse, I believe, before it gets better. What the usual pregnancy comes to is a decent baby. That is what we all hope will be the end product of this stress. It is customary, at the end of a pregnancy, to have for your pains a decent baby.     

Gwendolyn Brooks

We must remember that a right lost to one is lost to all.     

William Reece Smith, Jr

One's right to life, liberty, and property depends on the outcome of no election.     

Robert H. Jackson

If you believe in the right to life, then you must believe in the right to have the means to defend that life.     

Charley Reese

The right to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign.     

Mother Teresa

As for civil liberties, any one who is not vigilant may one day find himself living, if not in a police state, at least in a police city.     

Gore Vidal

The civil rights movement didn't begin in Montgomery and it didn't end in the 1960s. It continues on to this very minute.     

Julian Bond

At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.     

Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Civil liberties victories never stay won, but must be fought for over and over again.     

Ira Glasser

There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites.     

Stokely Carmichael

The civil rights and antiwar movements taught Americans to question authority.     

Adam Cohen

With every civil right there has to be a corresponding civil obligation.     

Edison Haines

Civil rights are more important today than they ever have been in our country. There is so much divisiveness today.     

David Harris

In reality, civil rights are more important than national rights. They're the content, the day-to-day: work, life. But people are sensitive to national rights.     

Ayman Odeh

Civil rights are civil rights. There are no persons who are not entitled to their civil rights. We have to recognize that we have a long way to go, but we have to go that way together.     

Dorothy Height

While on the level of civil rights many things have changed decisively for the better, on the level of attitudes and mentality there's still a long way to go. On the other hand it's obvious that it's much easier to change a law than to change a way of thinking.     

Dacia Maraini