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Quotations #27:
African American Expression

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Selected Biographical Notes

    - O -


  1. I don't believe that I personally have been changed by the money. The bad thing is people assume you've changed because now you have money.
    --Shaquille O'Neal, 1994


  2. For a time, at least, I was the most famous person in the entire world.
    --Jesse Owens, Jesse: The Man Who Outran Hitler, 1978


  3. The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.
    --Jesse Owens, Blackthink, 1970


  4. The road to the Olympics, leads to no city, no country. It goes far beyond New York or Moscow, ancient Greece or Nazi Germany. The road to the Olympics leads — in the end — to the best within us.
    --Jesse Owens


  5. When I came back to my native country, after all the stories about Hitler, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, but I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either. --Jesse Owens


  6. After I came home from the 1936 Olympics with my four medals, it became increasingly apparent that everyone was going to slap me on the back, want to shake my hand or have me up to their suite. But no one was going to offer me a job. --Jesse Owens


  7. - P -


  8. Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.
    --Satchel Paige


  9. Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter.
    --Satchel Paige


  10. Ain't no man can avoid being average, but there ain't no man got to be common.
    --Satchel Paige


  11. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?.
    --Satchel Paige, 1984


  12. Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you.
    --Charlie Parker


  13. Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.
    --Charlie Parker


  14. You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
    --Charlie Parker


  15. If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn.
    --Charlie Parker


  16. In the course of a career that has thrust me into contact with virtually every kind of person and has taken me several times around the world, I have come to relize the universality of man.
    --Gordon Parks, "What their Cry Means to Me," 1963


  17. America is me. It gave me the only life I know, so I must share in its survival.
    --Gordon Parks, "Born Black," 1971


  18. I'm still happy to be here, and I'm clever enough to know that my date of departure remain's time's secret. I trust time. It has been my friend for a long while, and we have been through a lot together.
    --Gordon ParksVoices in the Mirror," 1990


  19. I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free so other people would be also free.
    --Rosa Parks


  20. I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
    --Rosa Parks


  21. Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
    --Rosa Parks


  22. Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.
    --Rosa Parks


  23. Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again?
    --Rosa Parks


  24. Each person must live their life as a model for others.
    --Rosa Parks


  25. Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
    --Rosa Parks


  26. Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.
    --Rosa Parks


  27. Most important thought, if you love someone, tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.
    --Walter Payton


  28. Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one.
    --Walter Payton


  29. I want to be remembered as the guy who gave his all whenever he was on the field.
    --Walter Payton


  30. Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone - there were many others who felt the same way.
    --Rosa Parks


  31. Even when I was little, I was big.
    --William "Refrigerator" Perry, 1987


  32. Those who quote providence are almost without exception the Negro's most active enemies.
    --William Pickens


  33. An insignificant right becomes important when it is assailed.
    --William Pickens


  34. We are an element of strength and wealth too powerful to be ignored by the American people. All we need is a just appreciation of our own power, and our own manhood.
    --P.B.S. (Pinkney Benton Stewart) Pinchback, 1875


  35. We suffer pain, we hang tight to hope, we nurture expectations, we are plagued occasionally by fears, we are haunted by defeats and unrealized hopes. The hoplessness of which I speak is not limited. It's in everything. There is not racial or ethnic domination of hopelessness. It's everywhere.
    --Sydney Poitier


  36. I will not be a silent congressman. I shall be vocal.
    --Adam Clayton Powell


  37. No one can say Christianity has failed. It has never been tried.
    --Adam Clayton Powell, 1945


  38. Once a man walked this earth and spoke with such uncommon power that He separated history into B.C. and A.D.. The teachings he proclaimed become newer and more challenging as the centuries roll.
    --Adam Clayton Powell, "Adam by Adam," 1971


  39. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
    --Colin Powell


  40. Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.
    --Colin Powell


  41. Experts often possess more data than judgment.
    --Colin Powell


  42. Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission.
    --Colin Powell


  43. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
    --Colin Powell


  44. I was born in Harlem, raised in the South Bronx, went to public school, got out of public college, went into the Army, and then I just stuck with it.
    --Colin Powell


  45. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.
    --Colin Powell


  46. Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
    --Colin Powell


  47. No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.
    --Colin Powell


  48. Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.
    --Colin Powell


  49. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
    --Colin Powell


  50. Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
    --Colin Powell


  51. The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.
    --Colin Powell


  52. War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.
    --Colin Powell


  53. When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I'll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.
    --Colin Powell


  54. You don't know what you can get away with until you try.
    --Colin Powell


  55. There are no secrets to success: Don't waste time lookin for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.
    --Colin Powell, 1989


  56. Many interviewers when they come to talk to me, think they're being progressive by not mentioning in their stories any longer that I'm black. I tell them, 'Don't stop now. If I shot somebody you'd mention it.'
    --Colin Powell, 1991


  57. The ultimate of being successful is the luxury of giving yourself the time to do what you want to do.
    --Leontyne Price, 1976


  58. For most entertainers, there is a single experience, one defining moment, when confidence replaces the self-doubt that most of us wrestle with.
    --Charley Pride


  59. Fans will praise you, scold you, and offer helpful advice. Fans will also defend you. A fan will grab you and hug you and will not let go. When that happens, you wish it could be that way all over the world.
    --Charley Pride


  60. I loved Mississippi and do to this day. The rainbows that stretch from horizon to horizon after a summer rain are the most spectacular I have ever seen.
    --Charley Pride


  61. Any entertainer who tells you that the adoration of fans is not a heady experience probably never had the experience.
    --Charley Pride


  62. No one had ever told me that whites were supposed to sing one kind of music and blacks another-I sang what I liked in the only voice I had.
    --Charley Pride


  63. Performing is an experience, for me, that is as humbling as it is energizing.
    --Charley Pride


  64. There are worse things than being thought a Republican.
    --Charley Pride


  65. I was sometimes jeered by black soldiers who wanted me to sing something besides country music.
    --Charley Pride


  66. It was unlikely that anyone had ever heard a black person sing country music.
    --Charley Pride


  67. There's a thin line between to laugh with and to laugh at.
    --Richard Pryor


  68. When you ain't got no money, you gotta get an attitude.
    --Richard Pryor


  69. Everyone carries around his own monsters.
    --Richard Pryor


  70. Marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings -- and lawyers.
    --Richard Pryor


  71. I believe in the institution of marriage, and I intend to keep trying till I get it right.
    --Richard Pryor


  72. There's nothing worse than being an aging young person.
    --Richard Pryor


  73. I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, I wanna grow up and be a critic.
    --Richard Pryor


  74. I'd like to make you laugh for about ten minutes though I'm gonna be on for an hour.
    --Richard Pryor



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