Benjamin E. Mays

Quotes: Benjamin E. Mays

Quotes 1 till 14 of 14.

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    ... the circumference of life cannot be rightly drawn until the center is set.
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    Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.
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    For nearly a century, the South made itself believe that Negroes and white people were really communicating. So convinced of this were the white Southerners that they almost made the nation believe that they, and only they, knew the mind of the Southern Negro.
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    Honest communication is built on truth and integrity and upon respect of the one for the other.
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    However hard the road, however difficult today, tomorrow things will be better. Tomorrow may not be better, but we must believe that it will be.
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    I have only just a minute. Only sixty seconds in it. Forced upon me, can't refuse it. Didn't seek it, didn't choose it. But it's up to me to use it. I must suffer if I lose it. Give account if I abuse it, Just a tiny little minute but eternity is in it.
    Source: As quoted in "Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography", Mays constantly recited to his students this anonymous poem.
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    It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.
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    It isn't a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.
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    It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.
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    Many well-meaning intelligent people have argued since the May 17, 1954, decision of the United States Supreme Court outlawing segregation in the public schools that communication between the races has broken down.
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    The creation of the spiritual was no accident. It was a creation born of necessity, so that the slave might more adequately adjust himself to the conditions of the New World.
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    The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
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    The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities.
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    We, today, stand on the shoulders of our predecessors who have gone before us. We, as their successors, must catch the torch of freedom and liberty passed on to us by our ancestors. We cannot lose in this battle.
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