Read the complete collection below.

And don’t forget to check out these and .

1. “Black power is giving power to people who have not had power to determine their destiny.” 

2. “The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man. Unless he understands this, he does not grasp the essential meaning of his life.”

3. “The task is to transform society. Only the people can do that—not heroes, not celebrities, not stars.”

4. “Youths are passed through schools that don’t teach. Then forced to search for jobs that don’t exist and finally left stranded to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them.” 

5. “You can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution. You can run a freedom fighter around the country, but you can’t run freedom fighting around the country. You can murder a liberator, but you can’t murder liberation.” 

6. “My fear was not of death itself, but a death without meaning. I wanted my death to be something the people could relate to—a basis for further mobilization of the community.” 

7. “Power is the ability to define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner.” 

8. “Any unarmed people are slaves or are subject to slavery at any given moment.” 

9. “You can kill my body, and you can take my life, but you can never kill my soul. My soul will live forever!” 

10. “Laws should be made to serve the people. People should not be made to serve the laws.” 

11. “You can only die once, so do not die a thousand times worrying about it.” 

12. “Black men and women who refuse to live under oppression are dangerous to White society because they become symbols of hope to their brothers and sisters, inspiring them to follow their example.”

13. “Survival is not a simple matter or something to be taken for granted.” 

14. “Revolutionary suicide does not mean that I and my comrades have a death wish—it means just the opposite. We have such a strong desire to live with hope and human dignity that existence without them is impossible.”

15. “I wanted freedom, and possessions meant nonfreedom to me.” 

16. “I do not think that life will change for the better without an assault on the establishment, which goes on exploiting the wretched of the earth. This belief lies at the heart of the concept of revolutionary suicide.”

17. “To die for the racists is lighter than a feather, but to die for the people is heavier than any mountain and deeper than any sea.”

18. “The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.”

19. “We’ve never advocated violence. Violence is inflicted upon us. But we do believe in self-defense for ourselves and for Black people.”

20. “There will be no prison which can hold our movement down.”

21. “If you stop struggling, then you stop life.”

22. “I have the people behind me, and the people are my strength.”

23. “When reactionary forces crush us, we must move against these forces, even at the risk of death. We will have to be driven out with a stick.”

24. “It is better to oppose the forces that would drive me to self-murder than to endure them.” 

25. “You can tell the tree by the fruit it bears. You see it through what the organization is delivering as far as a concrete program. If the tree’s fruit sours or grows brackish, then the time has come to chop it down—bury it, and walk over it, and plant new seeds.”

26. “I think what motivates people is not great hate, but great love for other people.”

27. “I think it’s absurd to talk about—one time you were outside the system, now you are in the system—no, we fight, the cause of the fight is because the system is bad that we can’t get out of it.”

28. “When you deal with a man, deal with his most valuable possession, his life. There’s play, and there’s the deep flow. I like to take things to the deep flow of play because everything is a game, serious and non-serious at the same time. So play life like it’s a game.”

29. “We have two evils to fight—capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.”

30. “The people will win a new world. Yet, when I think of individuals in the revolution, I cannot predict their survival. Revolutionaries must accept this fact.”

31. “I do not expect the White media to create positive Black male images.” 

32. “I began to read. What I discovered in books led me to think to question, to explore, and finally redirect my life.”

33. “The racist dog policemen must withdraw immediately from our communities, cease their wanton murder, and brutality, and torture of Black people, or face the wrath of the armed people.”

34. “There is an old African saying, ‘I am we.’ If you met an African in ancient times and them who he was, he would reply, ‘I am we.'”

35. “These brothers had the sense of harmony and communion I needed to maintain that part of myself not totally crushed by the schools and other authorities.”

36. “Existence is violent, I exist, therefore, I’m violent in that way.”

37. “One of the first things any Black child must learn is how to fight well.”

38. “In the metaphysical sense, we based the expression, ‘All power to the people’ on the idea of man as god. I have no other God but man, and I finally believe that man is the highest or chief good.”

39. “I wanted most of all to before from the life of a servant forced to take those low-paying jobs and looked at with scorn by White bosses.”

40. “This country especially does not know what to do with its young Black men.”

41. “By surrendering my life to the revolution, I found eternal life.”

42. “Indeed, we are all—Black and White alike—ill in the same way, mortally ill. But before we die, how shall we live? I say with hope and dignity, and if premature death is the result, that death has a meaning reactionary suicide can never have. It is the price of self-respect.”

43. “The reactionary suicide is ‘wise,’ and the revolutionary suicide is a ‘fool.’ A fool for the revolution in the way Paul meant when he spoke of being a ‘fool for Christ.’ That foolishness can move mountains of oppression. It is our great leap and our commitment to the dead and the unborn.”

44. “Let us go on outdoing ourselves. A revolutionary man always transcends himself or otherwise he is not a revolutionary man, so we always do what we ask of ourselves or more than what we know we can do.”

45. “I think the basis—the foundation—has already been laid for a society where people will work together and enjoy the wealth of the whole nation together. I think this will be accomplished because this is the theme of the revolutionary government’s program.”

46. “In revolutionary love, we must make common cause with these oppressed communities.”

47. “We realized at a very early point in our development that revolution is a process. It is not a particular action, nor is it a conclusion. It is a process.”

48. “I have no doubt that the revolution will triumph. The people of the world will prevail, seize power, seize the means of production, wipe out racism, capitalism.”

49. “Too many so-called leaders of the movement have been made into celebrities and their revolutionary fervor destroyed by mass media. They become Hollywood objects and lose identification with the real issues.”

50. “Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women—and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups—we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.”

51. “The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishment’s hand. They make the racist secure in his racism.”

52. “Institutions work this way—a son is murdered by the police, and nothing is done. The institutions send the victim’s family on a merry-go-round, going from one agency to another until they wear out and give up. This is a very effective way to beat down poor and oppressed people, who do not have the time to prosecute their cases.”

53. “Sometimes, if you want to get rid of the gun, you have to pick the gun up.”

54. “Malcolm X was the first political person in this country that I really identified with. If he had lived and not been purged, I probably would have joined the Muslims.”

55. “Time is money to poor people. To go to Sacramento means loss of a day’s pay—often a loss of job. If this is a democracy, obviously, it is a bourgeois democracy limited to the middle and upper classes. Only they can afford to participate in it.”

56. “Some see our struggle as a symbol of the trend toward suicide among Blacks. Scholars and academics, in particular, have been quick to make this accusation. They fail to perceive differences.” 

57. “Rewriting unjust laws is a basic human right and fundamental obligation.”

58. “Although I risk the likelihood of death, there is at least the possibility, if not the probability, of changing intolerable conditions. This possibility is important because much in human existence is based upon hope without any real understanding of the odds.” 

59. “I’m not ruling. I never ruled. I have one vote, and I’m the leader of the Party. I’ve always had a vote on the central committee. I always had more influence than that one vote. I’ll admit that.”

60. “The laws and rules which officials inflict upon poor people prevent them from functioning harmoniously in society.” 

61. “The imperialistic or capitalistic system occupies areas. It occupies Vietnam now. They occupy them by sending soldiers there, by sending policeman there.”

62. “I didn’t get trained by the school system like other kids, and when I did concentrate on learning, my mind was cluttered and locked by the programming of the system.”

63. “The walls, the bars, the guns, and the guards can never encircle or hold down the idea of the people.”

64. “In their quest for freedom and in their attempts to prevent the oppressor from stripping them of all the things they need to exist, the people see things as moving from A to B to C. They do not see things as moving from A to Z.”

65. “We must gain security in ourselves and therefore, have respect and feelings for all oppressed people.”

66. “The nature of a panther is that he never attacks. But if anyone attacks or backs into a corner, the panther comes up to wipe that aggressor or that attacker out.”

67. “I dissuade Party members from putting down people who do not understand. Even people who are unenlightened and seemingly bourgeois should be answered in a polite way. Things should be explained to them as fully as possible.” 

68. “After the Black Panther Party was formed, I nearly fell into this error. I could not understand why people were blind to what I saw so clearly. Then, I realized that their understanding had to be developed.”

69. “I had a lot of time, and the first year I was in prison, I tried to get the Party to stop the shooting, to stop the talk about the gun thing.”

70. “I knew how to influence the people, but it’s really just one vote. But the Party is being handled in a very good way .”

71. “The FBI was most disturbed by the Panthers’ survival programs providing community service. The popular free breakfast program, in which the Party provided free hot breakfasts to children in Black communities throughout the United States, was, as already noted, a particular thorn in the side of J. Edgar Hoover. Finding little to criticize about the program objectively, the Bureau decided to destroy it.”

72. “Many community people could not believe at first that we had only their interest at heart. Nobody had ever given them any support or assistance when the police harassed them, but here we were, proud Black men, armed with guns and a knowledge of the law. Many citizens came right out of jail and into the Party, and the statistics of murder and brutality by policemen in our communities fell sharply.”

73. “I don’t want people to think he is so important—our Party is important because our Party works for the people, and no individual is important in our Party, including myself.”

74. “When I founded the Party in 1966, I had just turned 24, and each year, no, not each year, each day I live I’ve gained new experiences. Now, the criticism is not to say the Party did not play a positive part in those times, but, in order to be objective, we did not accomplish the things we set out to accomplish.”

75. “We have not said much about the homosexual at all, but we must relate to the homosexual movement because it is a real thing, and I know through reading and through my life experience and observations that homosexuals are not given freedom and liberty by anyone in the society. They might be the most oppressed people in the society.”

76. “The oppressor must be harassed until his doom. He must have no peace by day or by night. The slaves have always outnumbered the slavemasters. The power of the oppressor rests upon the submission of the people.”

77. “All my life, I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned, someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.” 

78. “We were trying to increase the conflict that was already happening. We felt that we would take the conflict to so high a level that some change had to come.”

79. “I know sociologically that words—the power of the word—words stigmatize people.”

80. “My foes have called me bum, hoodlum, criminal. Some have even called me nigger. I imagine now they’ll at least have to call me Dr. Nigger.”

81. “White America has seen to it that Black history has been suppressed in schools and in American history books. The bravery of hundreds of our ancestors who took part in slave rebellions has been lost in the mists of time since plantation owners did their best to prevent any written accounts of uprisings.”

82. “There’s no reason for the establishment to fear me. But it has every right to fear the people collectively—I am one with the people.”

83. “Many times the poorest White person is the most racist because he is afraid that he might lose something, or discover something he does not have.”

84. “No one can say, ‘I have dropped out—I am no longer in the system.’ When you’re in prison, you’re even closer to the system—you feel it more, and you might be in there for whatever reason. You don’t transform the system as an absolute thing.”

85. “We must ally ourselves with the oppressed communities of the world. We cannot make our stand as nationalists. We cannot even make our stand as internationalists. We must place our future hopes upon the philosophy of intercommunalism—philosophy which holds that the rise of imperialism in America transforms all other nations into oppressed communities.” 

86. “The blood, sweat, tears, and suffering of Black people are the foundations of the wealth and power of the United States of America. We were forced to build America, and if forced to, we will tear it down. The immediate result of this destruction will be suffering and bloodshed. But the end result will be the perpetual peace for all mankind.”

87. “No longer dependent on the things of the world, I felt really free for the first time in my life. In the past, I had been like my jailers. I had pursued the goals of capitalistic America. Now, I had a higher freedom.”

88. “While life will always be filled with sound and fury. It can be more than a tale signifying nothing.”

89. “What I’m really trying to say is that I believed an armed insurrection could work. After I was shot and went to prison, that ended that illusion. I had time to think.”

90. “I always said this, and the people think it’s a answer, but I say we have always been in the system, and that’s why we fight because we don’t like the system. We are trying to transform it.”

91. “IQ tests are routinely used as weapons against Black people in particular, and minority groups, and poor people generally. The tests are based on White middle-class standards, and when we score low on them, the results are used to justify the prejudice that we are inferior and unintelligent. Since we are taught to believe that the tests are infallible, they have become a self-fulfilling prophecy that cuts off our initiative and brainwashes us.”

92. “We have to realize our Black heritage in order to give us strength to move on and progress. But as far as returning to the old African culture, it’s unnecessary, and it’s not advantageous in many respects. We believe that culture itself will not liberate us. We’re going to need some stronger stuff.”

93. “The first book I ever really read was Plato’s ‘Republic,’ and then I had to go over that five times or something.”

94. “I try to be cordial because that way, you win people over. You cannot win them over by drawing the line of demarcation, saying you are on this side, and I am on the other—that shows a lack of consciousness.” 

95. “Marriage, family, and debt—in a sense, another kind of slavery.”

96. “The United States can hide behind a facade simply because it is sucking the blood of other people. The Third World people—Africa, Asia, and Latin America.”

97. “Bourgeois values define the family situation in America, give it certain goals. Oppressed and poor people who try to reach these goals fail because of the very conditions that the bourgeoisie has established.”

98. “Those in the community who defy authority and ‘break the law’ seem to enjoy the good life and have everything in the way of material possessions. On the other hand, people who work hard, and struggle, and suffer much are the and indifference, losers. This insane reversal of values presses heavily on the Black community. The causes originate from outside and are imposed by a system that ruthlessly seeks its own rewards, no matter what the cost in wrecked human lives.”

99. “I expected to die at no time before the trial did. I expect to escape with my life. Yet, being executed in the gas chamber did not necessarily mean defeat. It could be one more step to bring the community to a higher level of consciousness.”

100. “During those long years in Oakland public schools, I did not have one teacher who taught me anything relevant to my own life or experience. Not one instructor ever awoke in me a desire to learn more, or to question, or to explore the worlds of literature, science, and history. All they did was try to rob me of the sense of my own uniqueness and worth, and in the process nearly killed my urge to inquire.”

101. “Jumping off a bridge is not the same as moving to wipe out the overwhelming force of an oppressive army. When scholars call our actions suicidal, they should be logically consistent and describe all historical revolutionary movements in the same way.” 

102. “Richard had a theory about intimate human relations. He saw non-possessive love as pure love, the only love, and possessive love as a mockery of pure love. Non-possessive love did not enslave or constrain the love object.”

103. “We became temporarily alien to the Black community, while the White radicals were plunged deeper into their peculiar identity crisis. Cleaver’s genius for political and cultural schizophrenia infected us all, Black and White, and the opportunity was missed for youth of both races to express and make concrete their authentic underlying solidarity and love. This still remains to be done.”

104. “It is a fundamental assertion of this study that the majority society—in its fear-provoked zeal to maintain and assure its inequitable position in American society—flirted with and came dangerously close to total abandonment of the particular freedom upon which all others are ultimately dependent, the right to disagree. Moreover, it is an ancillary claim of this study that the danger has not yet passed.”

105. “Eldridge misunderstood the White radical movement. He exploited their alienation and encouraged young Whites to think of themselves as ‘bad’ Blacks, thus, driving them ever further away from their own community. At the same time, he seduced young Blacks into picturing themselves as bohemian expatriates from middle-class ‘Babylon,’ as he poetically but mistakenly analogized super industrial America.”

106. “There is no disagreement about this function of law in any circle—the disagreement arises from the question of which men’s laws are to serve. Such lawmakers ignore the fact that it is the duty of the poor and unrepresented to construct rules and laws that serve their interest better.”

107. “We always had a central committee. They were mesmerized by Eldridge Cleaver.”

108. “I say, ‘whatever your insecurities are’ because as we very well know, sometimes, our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual, and we want to hit the women, or shut her up because we are afraid that she might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start with.”

109. “I think the time is right for organizing and to give Blacks more political—the progressive Blacks, you have to make a distinction—participation, more Blacks in more authoritative positions, in more electoral political positions. But we want the right ones.”

110. “We love ourselves, our bodies, but we do not want to enslave any part of ourselves.”

111. “He turned me off with his arrogance. I had come searching for something, and he scorned me because I did not already know what I was seeking. I could not understand what he was saying about ‘Afro-Americans.’ The term was new to me. Dawson really put me down. ‘You know what an Afro-Cuban is?’ ‘Yes’ ‘You know what an Afro-Brazilian is?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Then why don’t you know what an Afro-American is?’ It may have been apparent to him, but not to me. But I was stilled interested.”

112. “I would like to add—I’m innocent. I am not guilty.”

113. “I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with—that I am nobody but myself.”

114. “My opinion is that the term ‘God’ belongs to the realm of concepts, that it is dependent upon man for its existence. If God does not exist unless man exists, then man must be here to produce God.”

115. “I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. My homemade education gave me, with every additional book I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness that was affecting the Black race in America.”

116. “My mother and my father have been married 50 years, and he’s just started to understand that something’s wrong with the system. He accepted the whole thing, you see. Yet, this industrious kind of engagement didn’t bring him the success, according to American terms, that he wanted. I was probably affected by this very much. In fact, I know I was.”

117. “When I was in the penitentiary after being accused of killing a policeman, I was more in the system in the penitentiary than ever.”

118. “There is a very strong socialist movement in Jamaica. I was in Jamaica years ago. All the talk, all day they talk politics. The literacy rate is very low. Everyone is so interested in politics, more than those who can read in the United States.”

119. “I don’t like to just talk of Africa and south of the Sahara in general. No, I’ll talk about the Third World in general. I’ll like to say this—we in the United States would never believe that another form of government—I don’t care even if it’s against the racism, etc. It is hard to get the masses of people to believe or accept that a socialist government will relieve them of most of the problems.”

120. “The rest of the Third World people are seeing that the country can really make a change. No changing or trading one master for another.”

121. “I would like to say that racial attitude and prejudice are probably here. It is very difficult to act this out—discrimination—discrimination is an act. After you have the prejudices, the discriminations come out, if there is an institution for it, but the Cubans have attempted to create institutions free of discrimination.”

122. “The Cuban Revolutionary Government has been generous and very considerate to me and my family. I lived in Santa Clara for a few months because I wanted to work in the countryside and get to know the country better.”

123. “A rather honored guest of the Cuban government, so I wouldn’t experience the problems. I think it would take a Black Cuban to really articulate this because I’m being treated in a very generous way.”

124. “I think, generally speaking, both people are trying to be free from the abuses of the White racist North American authorities. I think that’s the one common denominator. The Cubans found a way to liberate themselves, and we haven’t found the way yet. So that’s the difference.”

125. “The neighbors were more than neighbors on Cuba. They were like part of the family.”

126. “Cuba was neo-colony of the United States and still suffers a blockade. So, therefore, the consumer goods and so forth, we don’t have here, especially when you leave the city areas it’s a spartan life. But what is impressive about it is what is coming about. It’s the future that all these socialists look forward to.”

127. “Just before I left Cuba, I was about to transfer to the university. I had decided I had had enough experience in work in the manual areas. But then, I got word from the United States that I could return. That my Party had gathered enough information about the false charges that were against me for me to return to the United States.”

128. “The Cuban government wanted me to work in the university as a teacher in literature, but I declined because I wanted a more sense of the countryside.”

129. “I am very happy here in Cuba, but I feel I have work to do in the United States. It’s where I can identify with the total world struggle for socialism. But I think, as a North American, as a Black North American, I have certain understandings, certain contributions to make that are unique to the North American experience.”

130. “I wanted to leave high school in 1958 and join the Cuban revolution. So the only reason I did not come to join Castro was because my mother would not let me. I was only 16.”

131. “I began to think that Melvin’s approach through books was one way to examine these questions. His life required a certain amount of detachment from the community, and that was attractive to me.”

132. “Misfortune is a test of people’s fidelity. Those who protest at injustice are people of true merit.”

133. “Looking back, I see that my friends and I were all in the same boat—heading for hell on earth and trying to reach heaven in church.”

134. “Always, the rulers of an order, consistent with their own interests and solely of their own design, have employed what to them seemed to be the most optimal and efficient means of maintaining unquestioned social and economic advantage.” 

135. “We felt that the police needed a label, a label other than that fear image that they carried in the community.”

136. “Non-possessive love is based upon shared experiences and friendship. It is the kind of love we have for our bodies, for our thumb or foot.”

137. “He felt that people should not be like cars or houses. No man should own a wife, nor should a wife own a husband, because ownership is predicated upon control, fences, barriers, constraints, and psychological tyranny.” 

138. “Direct and unconcealed brute force and violence—although clearly persisting in many quarters of society—are today less acceptable to an increasingly sophisticated public, a public significantly remote from the methods of social and economic control common to early America.” 

139. “Clear-cut superiority in things social and economic—by whatever means—has been a scruples-free premise of American ruling class authority from the society’s inception to the present.”

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