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30+ Inspirational Juneteenth Quotes

Inspirational Juneteenth Quotes

Juneteenth takes place each year on June 19th. Together with your team, you can honor and celebration this time to demonstrate your commitment to inclusivity and the Black community.

On Juneteenth, consider sharing some of the quotes below on your company’s social media or e-mail marketing. In doing so, you’ll inspire and enlighten your stakeholders, embrace your Black community, and spark meaningful conversations.

As you share these Juneteenth quotes, remember to also take meaningful action to support and empower the Black community. Actions speak louder than words. Sharing quotes is just one part of a meaningful DEI initiative!

Juneteenth: Emancipation Virtual Team Building Event

Our Juneteenth virtual team building experience was created for teams just like yours to learn about and celebrate this occasion!

The Juneteenth virtual event is an engaging way to discover America’s untold stories. Your team will learn about Emancipation Day and stories of leaders and allies. In addition, explore topics such as why barbecue has been a celebration food.

Plus, this experience includes incredible two live-streaming visits to historic sites. Specifically, your team will be inspired by virtual visits to Hampton, Virginia, and Austin, Texas.

This is NOT a lecture. Instead, the interactive experience honors the history and traditions of Juneteenth in an engaging way.

Learn more and book your Juneteenth Virtual Team Building Experience and discover what Lonely Planet featured as one of the best ways to honor Juneteenth!

Juneteenth Quotes

In this list, you’ll find:

  • Meaningful quotes for Juneteenth
  • Juneteenth quotes to share on social media and in e-newsletters
  • Inspirational quotes to add to your Juneteenth celebration
  • Juneteenth quotes from historical figures, authors, celebrities, and influential figures
  • Quotes about Black history and the emancipation proclamation providing freedom for enslaved people
  • Frequently asked questions about Juneteenth

Quotes on Black Joy and Pride

Black Lives Matter sign

1. “Say it loud. I’m Black and I’m proud!”

– James Brown | Singer & Producer

2. “Every Black person you meet is a MIRACLE. We are descended of lineages meant to be destroyed by slavery or colonization. Our lives are hard-fought and hard-earned.

We are priceless. We are valuable because of our humanity – and declared valuable because our ancestors declared our worth when they fought for us to live.”

– Brittany Packnett Cunningham | Social Activist

3. “There’s no other race, to me, that has such a tough history for hundreds and hundreds of years, and only the strong survive, so we were the strongest and the most mentally tough, and I’m really proud to wear this color every single day of my life.”

– Serena Williams | Professional Tennis Player

4. “The 4th of July was never about Black people. Juneteenth is just for us. As Black people, we are told we don’t deserve our own holidays rooted in our own history. Everything is whitewashed.

Juneteenth is for us…Juneteenth symbolizes the hope that my children and grandchildren will be free. It’s Black Joy and Black tenacity to survive.”

– Tanesha Grant | Grassroots Activist

Quotes on Perseverance 

Rosa Parks

Pictured: Rosa Parks

5. “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.”

– Rosa Parks | Civil Rights Activist

6. “You may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

– Maya Angelou | Author & Activist

7. “We are not ready to fight because we love fighting. We are ready to fight because we are worth fighting for.”

– Zoé Samudzi | Author & Activist

8. “Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.”

– Al Edwards | Politician, Leader of the Juneteenth Texas State Holiday

9. “Juneteenth was a promise that was broken. Reconstruction failed and this country has continued to wage war on the Black body. Juneteenth also embodies the resilience of Black people. Even in the face of a broken system, we choose to find joy in resistance and celebrate in community.”

– Obrian Rosario | Community Organizer

Quotes on Fighting For Freedom

FIght Today for a Better Tomorrow sign

10. “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

– Fannie Lou Hamer | Social Activist

11. “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”

– Coretta Scott King | Civil Rights Leader

12. “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

– Frederick Douglass | Social Reformer & Writer

13. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. | Civil Rights Activist

14. “What I love about Juneteenth is that even in that extended wait, we still find something to celebrate. Even though the story has never been tidy, and Black folks have had to march and fight for every inch of our freedom, our story is nonetheless one of progress.”

– Michelle Obama | Lawyer, Writer, & Former First Lady of the United States

Quotes About Making an Impact in the World

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pictured: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

15. “If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. | Civil Rights Activist

16. “It’s an opportunity to both look back but to look ahead to make sure that that notion of freedom and the fragility of it is always protected and celebrated.”

– Lonnie Bunch | Educator & Historian

17. “We are going to get out here, I am going to get out here and get something done… We have to make America uncomfortable like we’ve been uncomfortable for 400 years.”

– Gwen Carr | Activist & Author

18. “You must never, ever give out. We must keep the faith because we are one people; we are brothers and sisters. We all live in the same house: the American house.”

– John Lewis | Politician & Civil Rights Activist

Quotes on Honoring and Remembering Ancestors 

Malcom X

Pictured: Malcolm X

19. “You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”

– Malcolm X | Civil Rights Activist

20. “If there is just about anything to rejoice it can be my ancestors, African People who survived the atrocity and stain of slavery… I honor them these days with a guarantee that I will keep on to combat for your unexplored desires and hopes.”

– Viola Davis | Producer & Actor

21. “Juneteenth means so much to me. It represents the freedom that my ancestors fought so tirelessly for. But rather than focusing on the brutalization of my people then and now. I choose to focus on hope.

June 19th reminds me that I am the force of power to change this world and to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors to work towards liberation.”

– Mariah Cooley | Social Activist

22. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

– Toni Morrison | Novelist

Quotes on Liberation and Civil Rights

Angela Davis Quote

Pictured: Angela Davis

23. “…Juneteenth, the day we celebrate the end of slavery, the day we memorialize those who offered us hope for the future and the day when we renew our commitment to the struggle for freedom.”

– Angela Davis | Author & Political Activist

24. “We all require and want respect, man or woman, Black or white. It’s our basic human right.”

– Aretha Franklin | Musician

25. “We black folk, our history, and our present being are a mirror of all the manifold experiences of America. What we want, what we represent, what we endure is what America is. If we black folk perish, America will perish.”

– Richard Wright | Author

26. “We have suffered discrimination. We have suffered isolation and undermining. But we stand up for America, oftentimes when others who think they are more patriotic, who say they are more patriotic, do not.”

– Maxine Waters | Politician

27. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu | Human Rights Activist

Quotes on Taking Opportunities 

John Lewis

Pictured: John Lewis

28. “My fellow Americans, this is a special moment in our history. Just as people of all faiths and no faiths, and all backgrounds, creeds, and colors banded together decades ago to fight for equality and justice in a peaceful, orderly, nonviolent fashion, we must do so again.”

– John Lewis | Politician & Civil Rights Activist

29. “Every June 19th is an opportunity for us to continue the momentum of memory, and the parade and the self-determination movements.”

– Dr. Greg Carr | Howard University Professor

30. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”

– Colin Kaepernick | Civil Rights Activist & Football Quarterback

31. “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”

– Frederick Douglass | Social Reformer & Writer

32. “Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.”

– Barack Obama | 44th President of the United States

Frequently Asked Questions About Juneteenth


What is Juneteenth?

Also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. In the U.S. and beyond, Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th each year. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. But, the new law was not widely enforced in Texas.

Two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger and his federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas. He told the enslaved people of the confederate state that they were now free. He also shared the news that the Civil War was over. As a result, slavery in the United States was to end.

The celebration of Juneteenth as a holiday began in Galveston, Texas in the 1860s. Now, many Americans honor this day throughout the country. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act”. As a result, Juneteenth was official designated a national, public holiday.

For groups that have more than a basic understanding of Juneteenth, we recommend booking the Juneteenth: Rise Virtual Tour. 

When is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 each year. During years when June 19 falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the Friday prior. When Juneteenth falls on a Sunday, it is typically observed on the Monday afterward.

Looking for more Juneteenth activities and ideas? If so, explore our guide, Juneteenth Ideas for Work.