The mantra “Black is beautiful” was widely popular in the 1960s. It grew out of the Civil Rights Movement of the time. The statement and its accompanying ideas encouraged Black people to embrace their natural features and to stop trying to “eliminate” their African-identified traits.
Today, these same ideas are expressed in hashtags such as #blackgirlmagic, #darkskingirls, and #melaninmagic where Black people, especially young Black people, continue to celebrate their looks.
While the mantras and movements of tomorrow might change, the principle that black skin is beautiful will remain the same.
See below 10 timeless quotes that celebrate black skin and be sure to add your own.
“Your deep Mahogany skin may not resemble that of the others in your family, but it’s just as gorgeous, and you’re just as worthy … One day you’ll appreciate how much your brown skin shines in the moonlight, glistens in the sun and ages ever so slowly.” – Gabrielle Union
“The Black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” –Marcus Garvey
“I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. . . . Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” – Zora Neale Hurston
“I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.” – Frank Fanon
“I didn’t really understand them until finally, I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.” –Lupita Nyong’o
“Dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enameled with grace, toasted with beauty. My lord, she’s a black woman.” – Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan
“Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots” – Tupac Shakur
“We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.” – Langston Hughes
“I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within.”- India Arie
“…I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.” – Maya Angelou