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It's Black History Month and we're celebrating some of the most prolific examples of black excellence throughout history. These individuals have made their mark on a variety of industries: from activism to politics to music to sports. We've curated 50 incredible tattoos by talented artists around the world in the gallery below, take a peek and let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.

Martin Luther King Jr.—Civil Rights Leader

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Malcolm X—Civil Rights Leader

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."

Rosa Parks—Civil Rights Leader

"No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

Angela Davis—Civil Rights Leader

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

Nelson Mandela—Politician

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

Marsha P. Johnson—LGBT Activist

"History isn't something you look back at and say it was inevitable, it happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities."

Jackie Robinson—Baseball Player

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

Frederick Douglass—Abolitionist

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

Harriet Tubman—Abolitionist

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."

Barack Obama—Politician

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”


“Just start by creating your day. Then create your life.”

Michael Jackson—Musician

"If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, then make that change."

Michael Jordan—Basketball Player

"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter—Musician

"If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow."

Kobe Bryant—Basketball Player

"Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise."

LeBron James—Basketball Player

"You have to be able to accept failure to get better."


"We change people through conversation, not through censorship."


"Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared."

Biggie Smalls—Musician

"We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.”

Muhammad Ali—Boxer

"Don't count the days, make the days count."

Maya Angelou—Poet

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Ray Charles—Musician

"You better live every day like your last because one day you're going to be right."

Whoopi Goldberg—Actor

"Normal is in the eye of the beholder."

Oprah Winfrey—Talk Show Host

“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”

James Baldwin—Novelist

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."

Stevie Wonder—Musician

"Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision."

Whitney Houston—Musician

"I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."

Aretha Franklin—Musician

"Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well."

Billie Holiday—Musician

"I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.”

Ella Fitzgerald—Musician

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."

Jimi Hendrix—Musician

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

Nina Simone—Musician

"Life is short. People are not easy to know. They’re not easy to know, so if you don’t tell them how you feel, you’re not going to get anywhere, I feel."

Toni Morrison—Novelist

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

Josephine Baker—Performer

"Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul, when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood."

Diana Ross—Musician

“Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.”

Louis Armstrong—Musician

“My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn...”

Spike Lee—Director

"I think it is very important that films make people look at what they've forgotten."

Will Smith—Actor

"I don't know what my calling is, but I want to be here for a bigger reason. I strive to be like the greatest people who have ever lived."


"People think, because we're young, we aren't complex, but that's not true. We deal with life and love and broken hearts in the same way a woman a few years older might."

Denzel Washington—Actor

"You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That's a part of it."

Kendrick Lamar—Musician

“Live your life, live it right. Be different, do different things.”

Childish Gambino—Musician

“We put stereotypes on ourselves. Everybody does that. But I think it’s just a little harder for black kids to just be who they are."

Allen Iverson—Basketball Player

“This is like a tribute to them, the people who helped me to get here. The thing that makes me feel good about the whole thing is, the fans voted me here.”

Little Richard—Musician

"Gay people are the sweetest, kindest, most artistic, warmest and most thoughtful people in the world. And since the beginning of time all they've ever been is kicked."

RuPaul—Drag Queen

"If you can't love yourself how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Eddie Murphy—Comedian

“If you're an artist like a really, really long time, it stops being a performance. I'm not performing anymore. I reveal myself to the audience. I show you some of me. It's not a show no more.”

Mike Tyson—Boxer

"As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want."

Nipsey Hussle—Musician

“If you don’t know your full-throttle history, the whole story of how you come too where you are, it’s kind of hard to put things together.”


"You have to love what you do to want to do it everyday."

Morgan Freeman—Actor

"The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit."