Quotes and Sayings about Civil rights



"They don't have special rights because we have civil rights laws that protect them. The laws work both ways."
- Tom Allen
(Related: Work, Civil rights, Laws)

"We support President Truman's civil rights program."
- Eugenie Anderson
(Related: Civil rights, President, Support)

"I do not believe that defending traditional marriage between one man and one woman excludes anybody or usurps anybody's civil rights and denies anybody their civil rights."
- Alan Autry
(Related: Marriage, Civil rights, Man, Woman)

"It is an honor to be awarded with such a high rating from an organization as well respected as the NAACP. I am pleased that the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the nation, has recognized my voting record."
- Joe Baca
(Related: Civil rights, Honor, Nation, Voting)

"John Brown first swam into my vision in the 1960s when I was a political activist in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement at Chapel Hill, where I went to university."
- Russell Banks
(Related: Vision, Civil rights, First, University)

"Let me go over this again on the reclaiming the civil rights movement. People of faith that believe that you have an equal right to justice - that is the essence. And if it's not the essence, then we've been sold a pack of lies. The essence is everyone deserves a shot - the content of character, not the color of skin."
- Glenn Beck
(Related: Faith, People, Character, Civil rights, Content, Justice, Lies, Skin)

"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
(Related: Civil rights, Open, Will, Windows)

"Health care is not a privilege. It's a right. It's a right as fundamental as civil rights. It's a right as fundamental as giving every child a chance to get a public education."
- Rod Blagojevich
(Related: Education, Health, Care, Chance, Civil rights, Giving, Privilege, Public)

"A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills."
- W. E. B. Du Bois
(Related: Work, Civil rights, Complaint, Credit)

"The really important victory of the civil rights movement was that it made racism unpopular, whereas a generation ago at the turn of the last century, you had to embrace racism to get elected to anything."
- Carol Moseley Braun
(Related: Victory, Civil rights, Racism)

"I think the legacy of the civil rights movement is that now whites are more open to being represented by people of color or people who are women or, again, non-traditional candidates."
- Carol Moseley Braun
(Related: Women, People, Being, Civil rights, Now, Open)

"For the gay establishment, the death of right and wrong began when gaining civil rights ceased to be enough."
- Tammy Bruce
(Related: Death, Civil rights, Gay, Wrong)

"So that the failures to pass a civil rights bill isn't because of Black Power, isn't because of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; it's not because of the rebellions that are occurring in the major cities."
- Stokely Carmichael
(Related: Power, Cities, Civil rights, Committee)

"There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites."
- Stokely Carmichael
(Related: Civil rights, Liberal, Voice)

"I maintain that every civil rights bill in this country was passed for white people, not for black people."
- Stokely Carmichael
(Related: People, Civil rights, Country)

"Maya Angelou, the famous African American poet, historian, and civil rights activist who is hailed be many as one of the great voices of contemporary literature, believes a struggle only makes a person stronger."
- Michael N. Castle
(Related: African, American, Civil rights, Famous, Literature, Struggle)

"I had advocated the establishment of a Negro industrial commission. I had gestured against the growth of monopoly power. I had introduced a few civil rights bills."
- Emanuel Celler
(Related: Power, Growth, Civil rights)

"Somebody who was born in this country who visited China would later face difficulty getting back in to the USA. We have to keep in mind that the struggles of the Chinese against these exclusion laws really laid down the foundations of civil rights law."
- Iris Chang
(Related: Civil rights, Country, Difficulty, Law, Laws, Mind)

"The liberals in the House strongly resemble liberals I have known through the last two decades in the civil rights conflict. When it comes time to show on which side they will be counted, they excuse themselves."
- Shirley Chisholm
(Related: Time, Civil rights, Conflict, Liberals, Will)

"My friends in the Congress, I have known Coretta King since I went south during the civil rights movement as a lawyer. She was a vibrant, consistent, totally dedicated partner with her husband."
- John Conyers
(Related: HusbCivil rights, Congress, Friends)

"It is distressing to me that we live in an age in which we still must fight to protect our civil rights as Americans, in which a hate crime perpetrated against someone based their sexual orientation can go unpunished, and in which discrimination is being written into our laws."
- John Conyers
(Related: Age, Americans, Being, Civil rights, Crime, Discrimination, Fight, Hate, Laws)

"Rosa Parks will be remembered for her lasting contributions to society. Her legacy lives on in the continued struggle for civil rights around the world. She will be missed."
- Jim Costa
(Related: Society, Civil rights, Struggle, Will, World)

"The civil rights movement would experience many important victories, but Rosa Parks will always be remembered as its catalyst."
- Jim Costa
(Related: Experience, Civil rights, Will)

"Mrs. Parks was a shy, soft spoken woman who was uncomfortable being revered as a symbol of the civil rights movement. She only hoped to inspire young people to achieve great things."
- Jim Costa
(Related: People, Being, Civil rights, Symbol, Woman)

"It was to carry the American democratic journey beyond these failings that Black citizens and civil rights workers risked unemployment, violence and death."
- Elijah Cummings
(Related: Death, American, Civil rights, Journey, Unemployment, Violence, Workers)

"I believe public education is the new civil rights battle and I support charter schools."
- Andrew Cuomo
(Related: Education, Battle, Civil rights, Public, Schools, Support)

"The civil rights movement wasn't easy for anybody."
- Sammy Davis, Jr.
(Related: Civil rights)

"Rarely in my 45 years as a civil rights lawyer have I been so angry about an injustice as I am about what happened to Billy Ray Johnson."
- Morris Dees
(Related: Civil rights, Injustice, Years)

"I don't call myself a white supremacist. I'm a civil rights activist concerned about European-American rights."
- David Duke
(Related: Civil rights)

"In college, I got interested in news because the world was coming apart. The civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the women's right movement. That focused my radio ambitions toward news."
- Bob Edwards
(Related: Women, Civil rights, College, News, World)

"All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. King for his bravery and commitment to civil rights and nonviolence that changed this nation - and world - for the better."
- Eliot Engel
(Related: Gratitude, Americans, Bravery, Civil rights, Commitment, Debt, Nation, Nonviolence, World)

"The human rights community has focused very narrowly on political and civil rights for many decades, and with reason, but now we have to ask how can we broaden the view."
- Paul Farmer
(Related: Civil rights, Community, Human rights, Now, Reason)

"Anyone who said he wasn't afraid during the civil rights movement was either a liar or without imagination. I was scared all the time. My hands didn't shake but inside I was shaking."
- James L. Farmer, Jr.
(Related: Imagination, Time, Civil rights)

"Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as our prince of peace, of civil rights. We owe him something major that will keep his memory alive."
- Morgan Freeman
(Related: Peace, Civil rights, Martin, Memory, Will)

"If Willie Nelson had been Rosa Parks, there never would have been a civil rights movement in this country, because he refuses to leave the back of the bus."
- Kinky Friedman
(Related: Civil rights, Country)

"The tragedy of the civil rights movement is that just as it achieved the beginning of the end of racial segregation, white educated elites became swept up in the glamour of the sexual revolution."
- Maggie Gallagher
(Related: Beginning, Civil rights, End, Revolution, Glamour, Tragedy)

"Since the ousting and capture of Saddam Hussein by U.S. forces, civil rights and personal freedoms have been restored in Iraq, as well as equal rights to all, not just to Saddam's entourage of terrorists."
- Jim Gerlach
(Related: Civil rights, Iraq)

"I'm a child of the Civil Rights Movement."
- Danny Glover
(Related: Civil rights)

"I don't say that the supposed Civil Rights development is a myth, but it's a matter of dealing with reality. It's purely peripheral and, in many cases, it's just a facade."
- Norman Granz
(Related: Development, Civil rights, Myth, Reality)

"That's what he was saying, the civil rights movement - judge me for my character, not how black my skin is, not how yellow my skin is, how short I am, how tall or fat or thin; It's by my character."
- Pam Grier
(Related: Character, Civil rights, Saying, Skin)

"We grew up as kids watching those movies and we were exposed to themes of civil rights, unfairness, bigotry and fathers struggling against the kind of mob of the town, so you remember how you felt as a kid being taken seriously, that you are part of the human drama."
- Rachel Griffiths
(Related: Movies, Being, Bigotry, Civil rights, Drama, Fathers, Kids, Mob)

"Eyes is the attempt to tell the story of the Civil Rights movement and to create an emotional, intellectual constituency. But what do you do after that? The black community doesn't have institutions that pick up such moments and preserve them."
- Henry Hampton
(Related: Civil rights, Community, Eyes, Moments)

"The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved."
- John Marshall Harlan
(Related: Civil rights, Land, Law, Man)

"Civil rights are more important today than they ever have been in our country. There is so much divisiveness today."
- David Harris
(Related: Civil rights, Country, Today)

"When and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law?"
- Benjamin Harrison
(Related: Civil rights, Fact, Law, Man)

"The issue of civil rights was too much for the establishment to handle. One of the chapters of history that's least studied by historians is the 300 to 500 riots in the U.S. between 1965 and 1970."
- Tom Hayden
(Related: History, Civil rights, Historians)

"There is no contradiction between effective law enforcement and respect for civil and human rights. Dr. King did not stir us to move for our civil rights to have them taken away in these kinds of fashions."
- Dorothy Height
(Related: Civil rights, Contradiction, Human rights, Law, Respect)

"When I wrote the song, The Way It Is, I wanted to move people to take a stand on civil rights in this country."
- Bruce Hornsby
(Related: People, Civil rights, Country, Song)

"The civil rights movement in the United States was about the same thing, about equality of treatment for all sections of the people, and that is precisely what our movement was about."
- John Hume
(Related: Equality, People, Civil rights, states, Treatment, United)

"There are those who say to you - we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late."
- Hubert H. Humphrey
(Related: Civil rights, Years)

"You can't rise as a class. You have to rise individually. It's what many of the civil rights-era people don't understand."
- Alphonso Jackson
(Related: People, Civil rights, Class)

"I got out of the Army - in my world - I came to New York, for instance, when the civil rights movement was just beginning, and that created a certain energy, a certain rumble, a certain impetus for black actors."
- James Earl Jones
(Related: Actors, Army, Beginning, Civil rights, Energy, World)

"Race to race, the Republicans are putting up candidates that are quite far out of the mainstream in terms of should we have passed the Civil Rights Act or does Social Security need to exist."
- Tim Kaine
(Related: Act, Civil rights, Race, Republicans, Security)

"There are severe limitations on civil rights. In the international arena, Iran is turning into an isolated country, and the international community is becoming more hostile toward it."
- Moshe Katsav
(Related: Civil rights, Community, Country, Limitations)

"He didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. it had to be some silly little Communist."
- Jackie Kennedy
(Related: Being, Civil rights, Satisfaction, Silly)

"We could in fact transport a person, say a kid who didn't know what it was like to be in a civil rights march. We could actually take you into that experience, so that you could better appreciate what happened and why it happened."
- Dexter S. King
(Related: Experience, Civil rights, Fact, March)

"Marriage is sacred and protected and has nothing to do with violating our civil rights."
- Jack Kingston
(Related: Marriage, Civil rights, Nothing)

"One of the biggest issues that we face is that we have people who have their own particular concerns, whether it's on abortion, birth control, divorce and remarriage, civil rights or social justice."
- William P. Leahy
(Related: People, Control, Abortion, Birth control, Civil rights, Divorce, Justice)

"The arts and a belief in the values of the civil rights movement, in the overwhelming virtue of diversity, these were our religion. My parents worshipped those ideals."
- Jonathan Lethem
(Related: Religion, Belief, Values, Virtue, Civil rights, Diversity, Ideals, Parents)

"When the civil rights battle was won, all the Jews and hippies and artists were middle class white people and all the blacks were still poor. Materially, not much changed."
- Jonathan Lethem
(Related: People, Artists, Battle, Civil rights, Class, Hippies, Middle class, Poor)

"Mrs. Parks' act of brave defiance rocked the foundation of American society and inspired generations of civil rights leaders and created a sense of hope for every American facing legal discrimination in this country."
- Kendrick Meek
(Related: Legal, Society, Hope, Act, American, Civil rights, Country, Defiance, Discrimination, Generations, Leaders, Sense)

"Nothing could be more insulting to me than the concept of civil rights. It means perpetual second-class citizenship for me and my kind."
- James H. Meredith
(Related: Citizenship, Civil rights, Nothing)

"When it came to political power, blacks need not apply. Add to this steaming stew the growing tensions over the Vietnam War and the movement for civil rights, and you had plenty of elements to fire the imagination of a novice journalist."
- Andrea Mitchell
(Related: Imagination, War, Power, Civil rights, Fire, Vietnam)

"The photographs were never about me. They were always about the people who were laying their lives on the line for basic civil rights. I look back and I can't believe there was ever a time in this country when ANY citizen could not vote. The times were appalling."
- Charles Moore
(Related: Time, People, Civil rights, Country, Vote)

"By 1962, King had become, by the media's reckoning, the new civil rights leader."
- Constance Baker Motley
(Related: Leader, Civil rights, Media)

"We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not - nor will we ever - monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources."
- Janet Napolitano
(Related: People, American, Beliefs, Civil rights, Ideology, Responsibility, Will)

"Confirming John Roberts would endanger much of the progress made by the nation in civil rights over the past half century."
- Ralph Neas
(Related: Progress, Civil rights, Nation, Past)

"It was the best route to get folks to understand segregation fast. Civil rights and women's rights had a clear history. Making the transition to rights for people with disabilities became easier because we had the history of the other two."
- Major Owens
(Related: History, People, Women, Civil rights)

"Our government just won't enforce civil rights laws. The laws will be ignored."
- Major Owens
(Related: Government, Civil rights, Laws, Will)

"The nation's government has just handed me the bill that grants us our civil rights. I am receiving it before you, certain that I am accepting this on behalf of all Argentinean women, and I can feel my hands tremble with joy as they grasp the laurel proclaiming victory."
- Evita Peron
(Related: Government, Women, Victory, Civil rights, Joy, Nation)

"There's a very big gulf between the black civil rights leadership in America and the black middle class in America. The black middle class are conservative. Many of those minorities can be persuaded to be members of the Republican Party."
- Pete du Pont
(Related: Leadership, America, Civil rights, Class, Conservative, Middle class, Party, Republican)

"What drew me to both study and activism was the formative experience of the civil rights movement."
- David E. Price
(Related: Experience, Activism, Civil rights, Study)

"The Klan had used fear, intimidation and murder to brutally oppress over African-Americans who sought justice and equality and it sought to respond to the young workers of the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the same way."
- Charles Rangel
(Related: Equality, Fear, African, Civil rights, Justice, Murder, Workers)

"I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."
- Ronald Reagan
(Related: Act, Civil rights)

"When I started graduate school I was interested in the culture of the Civil Rights Movement."
- Bernice Johnson Reagon
(Related: Civil rights, Culture, School)

"At the same time all this was happening, there was a folk song revival movement goingon, so the commercial music industry was actually changed by the Civil Rights Movement."
- Bernice Johnson Reagon
(Related: Music, Time, Civil rights, Folk, Song)

"I think the Civil Rights Movement changed that trajectory for me. The first thing I did was leave school. I was suspended for my participation in Movement demonstrations in my hometown, December, 1961."
- Bernice Johnson Reagon
(Related: Civil rights, December, First, Participation, School)

"I came out of the Civil Rights Movement, and I had a different kind of focus than most people who have just the academic background as their primary training experience."
- Bernice Johnson Reagon
(Related: Experience, People, Civil rights, Focus, Training)

"The Court today completes the process of converting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from a guarantee that race or sex will not be the basis for often will."
- Antonin Scalia
(Related: Sex, Act, Civil rights, Court, Race, Today, Will)

"It is difficult to overstate the importance of the Civil Rights Act."
- Bobby Scott
(Related: Act, Civil rights, Importance)

"It was a particularly interesting and exciting time, and the European political and artistic establishment was turned on by the Civil Rights Movement and the artistic revolution that was becoming a part of jazz."
- Archie Shepp
(Related: Time, Civil rights, Revolution, Jazz)

"All civil rights and the right to hold office were to be extended to persons of any Christian denomination."
- Roger Sherman
(Related: Christian, Civil rights, Office)

"Rosa Parks was a woman of strength, conviction, and morality. Her action on December 1, 1955, to defy the law made her a leading figure in our nation's civil rights history."
- John Shimkus
(Related: History, Morality, Action, Strength, Civil rights, Conviction, December, Law, Leading, Nation, Woman)

"Well, it's the last step of the civil rights movement: You know, wrap your hands around some money, right?"
- Russell Simmons
(Related: Money, Civil rights)

"My image had always been very heterosexual, very straight. So it was a nice experience for me, a chance to clarify my own feelings about gay and lesbian civil rights."
- Bruce Springsteen
(Related: Experience, Feelings, Chance, Civil rights, Gay, Lesbian)

"Up until, really, Roosevelt, African-Americans largely voted ninety per cent Republican. That was the political origins, that's what their political voice was in the Republican party. During that history, that last sixty or seventy years of history, the Republican party effectively walked away from the community. They were afraid to really embrace civil rights even though they embraced civil rights legislation. And so it's not enough to just to put it on paper, you gotta actually show up and be in the community, and understand what that struggle was really about."
- Michael Steele
(Related: History, African, Civil rights, Community, Legislation, Party, Republican, Struggle, Voice, Years)

"If the evens of September 11, 2001, have proven anything, it's that the terrorists can attack us, but they can't take away what makes us American - our freedom, our liberty, our civil rights. No, only Attorney General John Ashcroft can do that."
- Jon Stewart
(Related: American, Civil rights, Freedom, Liberty)

"I, like many members of my generation, was concerned with segregation and the repeated violation of civil rights."
- Joseph E. Stiglitz
(Related: Civil rights)

"I came at age in the '60s, and initially my hopes and dreams were invested in politics and the movements of the time - the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement. I worked on Bobby Kennedy's campaign for president as a teenager in California and the night he was killed."
- David Talbot
(Related: Age, Dreams, Politics, Time, Civil rights, Night, President)

"We've talked more about civil rights after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than we talked about it before 1964."
- Clarence Thomas
(Related: Act, Civil rights)

"Each state, so that it does not abridge the great fundamental rights belonging, under the Constitution, to all citizens, may grant or withhold such civil rights as it pleases; all that is required is that, in this respect, its laws shall be impartial."
- Lyman Trumbull
(Related: Civil rights, Constitution, Laws, May, Respect, State)

"The bill neither confers nor abridges the rights of anyone but simply declares that in civil rights there shall be equality among all classes of citizens and that all alike shall be subject to the same punishment."
- Lyman Trumbull
(Related: Equality, Civil rights, Punishment)

"No one is immune from the larger events of his or her time - the Depression, World War II, civil rights, Vietnam, the spring of 1989 in China. These events intrude upon our lives and radically affect our directions."
- Paul Tsongas
(Related: Time, War, Civil rights, Depression, Events, Spring, Vietnam, World, World war)

"As a civil rights leader, Mrs. King's vision of racial peace and nonviolent social change was a fortifying staple in advancing the civil rights movement."
- James T. Walsh
(Related: Change, Peace, Leader, Vision, Civil rights)

"The South resented giving the Afro-American his freedom, the ballot box and the Civil Rights Law."
- Ida B. Wells
(Related: Civil rights, Freedom, Giving, Law)

"Civil rights leaders are involved in helping poor people. That's what I've been doing all my life."
- Andrew Young
(Related: Life, People, Civil rights, Leaders, Poor)

"This thing called Patriot Act, through which we abdicated a lot of our civil rights to defend the country against terrorism, it's a four-year story."
- Neil Young
(Related: Act, Civil rights, Country, Terrorism)