21 Quotes From Books For Your 2018 Women's March Sign, Because Literature Is The Best Inspiration
Somehow, one year has passed since Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. In the past 12 months, Americans have come together to call their representatives, to donate their money, to volunteer their time, to run for office, and of course, to protest. Although taking up a sign and making your voice heard is just one small part of the fight for social equality, it's an important one: Nothing will ever get changed if people remain silent. As you prepare to hit the streets this Jan. 20, take a look at these quotes from books for your Women's March sign. All of them speak to the power of protest, the power of action, and the power of speaking out.
As Rebecca Solnit wrote in The Mother of All Questions, "Silence is what allows people to suffer without recourse." It is imperative that in times of inequality, of distress, of death, of deportation, that those with the privilege to do so make their voices heard and amplify the voices of those around them. Protest is one way to do so, but there are countless things you can do to contribute to the resistance. But as you prepare for this weekend's protests, take a look at these quotes and take your inspiration from these incredible authors:
1. "The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react"
— Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
2. "To acknowledge privilege is the first step in making it available for wider use."
— Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light and Other Essays
3. "The truer story is that even the most intense waves of backlash have rarely fully undone the progress made previously."
— Rebecca Traister, All The Single Ladies
4. "Decisions are best made by the people affected by them."
— Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road
5. "I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
— James Baldwin, Notes on a Native Son
6. "....emotion also has a place in public policy. We’re humans, not robots."
— Zadie Smith, "North West London Blues" from Feel Free
7. "People will selectively use 'tradition' to justify anything."
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
8. "When women respond negatively to misogynistic or rape humor, they are 'sensitive' and branded as 'feminist,' a word that has, as of late, become a catchall term for "woman who does not tolerate bullsh*t."
Or, simply: "Woman who does not tolerate bullsh*t."
— Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
9. "They say I’m a bitch. / Or witch. I’ve claimed / the same and never winced."
— Sandra Cisneros, "Loose Woman" from Loose Woman: Poems
10. "I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her."
— Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
11. "Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day."
— Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
12. "Silence is what allows people to suffer without recourse."
— Rebecca Solnit, The Mother of All Questions
13. "...I shut my ears, averted my eyes, turning instead to what I thought at the time was pain's antidote: silence. I was wrong."
— Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light: A Memoir
14. "Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad."
— Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
15. "You can destroy wood and brick, but you can't destroy a movement."
— Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
16. "....women, brave as stars at dawn."
— Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory
17. "I burn, and I hope."
— Jesmyn Ward, The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
18. "It's okay to not be a big man. It's enough to be a good one."
— Brit Bennett, The Mothers
19. "Living everyday in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage."
— Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
20. "Freedom was a community laboring for something lovely and rare."
— Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
21. "Because white men can't / police their imagination / black people are dying”
— Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric