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14 Celebrities On The Power Of Being Black & Proud

Happy Black History Month!

By now, you should know that February is dedicated to Black History Month (though we should celebrate blackness and all diversity all year long TBH). With critical issues of racism and injustice still plaguing African-Americans across the country, just existing as a black person in America can feel like an act of defiance. In the spirit of embracing a month of celebration--aka the most LIT time of the year--we selected 14 empowering quotes about black pride from some of our favorite celebrities. Scroll down and raise those fists high in the air!

  • Janelle Monae

    "As a Black woman, I think that when Black women are in the room, in whatever industry, it's always better. It's going to be great when our ideas, our values, things that matter to us are considered. I think we continue to show that we have so much to offer the world. I look forward to creating and collaborating with other Black women, and not just Black women, but women all around the world that want to change this future, and change it to be more inclusive for all of us."

  • Solange

    "I am a proud black feminist and womanist and I'm extremely proud of the work that's being done. I'm a feminist who wants not only to hear the term intersectionality, but actually feel it, and see the evolution of what intersectional feminism can actually achieve. I want women's rights to be equally honored, and uplifted, and heard…but I want to see us fighting the fight for all women — women of color, our LGBTQ sisters, our Muslim sisters. I want to see millions of us marching out there for our rights, and I want to see us out there marching for the rights of women like Dajerria Becton, who was body slammed by a cop while she was in her swimsuit for simply existing as a young, vocal, black girl. I think we are inching closer and closer there, and for that, I am very proud."

  • Yara Shahidi

    "Being a part of this reemergence of a movement both pro-diversity and pro-woman is the best part of being a Black girl. It's more than, ‘I stand for this because I should.’ I stand for this because this is part of who I am as a human being."

  • Rihanna

    "I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle. Just be yourself, it's the easiest thing to be. Black girls, we just on another level."

  • Beyoncé

    "It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, andthe Grammys, and see themselves….This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it's vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes."

  • Kelela

    "I think black women—especially singers—have helped so many people in the world get in touch with that vulnerability. Black people in general have, but I think that tenderness and approach that is soft and strong—strong because it's soft, and particularly strong because we're being soft and tender in a world that fucking hates us and doesn't want us to thrive. In the face of so much passive attack and trying to operate in a world that's built for white men—and now more and more built for black men—it is one of the most difficult things to be vulnerable when you are coming from that place."

  • SZA

    "I don’t feel ashamed to be loud, which is an argument I’ve had with lots of men, who thought I was too sassy and unladylike. A lot of black women get that rap, ‘You’re loud, and unsavory, or crass or abrasive.’ But I feel like that is beautiful as hell."

  • Kendrick Lamar

    "I learned, when I look in the mirror and tell my story, that I should be myself and not peep whatever everybody is doing."

  • Nicki Minaj

    “Whenever a black woman speaks on anything she’s labeled as mad, angry or biter… I’m blessed and highly favored thanks to my amazing fans, but I’ll speak on whatever the f*ck I want to whenever the f*ck I want to."

  • Chance The Rapper

    "I think, as a black man, I have a responsibility to have knowledge and have an opinion."

  • Junglepussy

    "I don’t think it is my responsibility to teach people how to treat black people. I will definitely, definitely speak my mind about things when I want to, but I never wanted it to be my responsibility to be that. I just want my existence to be the response."

  • Vic Mensa

    “I think that everybody has their own interpretations of what it means to be American. But from my vantage point, being black and successful in the United States of America is the epitome of being American. It’s the epitome of the American Dream.”

  • Normani Kordei

    “All I need to do is love myself despite the hate I get, and not allow others’ hatred toward me to change the way I feel and view the world, and what I have to offer.”

  • Chloe Bailey

    "I feel like I’m so happy to be alive right now because there are so many amazing young, especially black, girls, who are on the rise who you see and you’re just looking at each other like, 'Wow, keep going.' We’re really doing something great, we’re making a footprint in the world. Years from now, it’ll be like, “Oh these were the cool kids at the time.” I’m just really happy to be considered a part of that whole thing."