Marian Wright Edelman

Image of Marian Wright Edelman
Be grateful for good breaks and kind favors but don't count on them.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Grateful
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We are not going to deal with the violence in our communities, our homes, and our nation, until we learn to deal with the basic ethic of how we resolve our disputes and to place an emphasis on peace in the way we relate to one another.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Peace
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I think it is important that people who are perceived as liberals not be afraid of talking about moral and community values.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Thinking
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Just because a child's parents are poor or uneducated is no reason to deprive the child of basic human rights to health care, education and proper nutrition.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Education
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I try to be a person of faith.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Trying
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Hope is the best contraceptive.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Birth Control
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The poor have been sent to the front lines of a federal budget deficit reduction war that few other groups were drafted to fight.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: War
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It's the new slavery. It came out of the drug laws and it really is something we're going to have to confront, but I don't see enough people up in arms about that. We need to be.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Law
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I have always believed that I could help change the world, because I have been lucky to have adults around me who did.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Adults
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People want to pick the leader, and we are obsessed with celebrity and whoever is on the cover of this or that.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: People
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As [Martin Luther] King said, it never cost anybody a dime to integrate the lunch counters. When you start talking about trying to deal with jobs and hunger and things that require investment, then that's really the tough stuff, because everybody wants to do right if it doesn't cost them anything.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Kings
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The crisis of children having children has been eclipsed by the greater crisis of children killing children.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Much of what I do now stems from my rage at segregation and discrimination. I can't stand to see children not able to do anything, anybody not able to do what they can do. The daily lessons of exclusion, having hand-me-down books in schools, of seeing ambulances turn away and not give health care for people lying in the streets who are migrant workers. Everything I do today stems from that segregated existence.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Justice is not cheap. Justice is not quick. It is not ever finally achieved.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Justice
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I also grew up with community co-parents who looked out for each other. They looked out for children and tried to be the hands of God. They tried to live their faith.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Ordinary women of grace are, in a sense, my real role models.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Real
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God did not create two classes of children or human beings-only one.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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As I contemplate the kind of future I want for children-my own and other people's-I believe we must look inward to God for guidance and strength and backward to draw on the values and legacies of our families, ancestors, and communities.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Children cannot lobby and cannot vote. We must speak for them.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Inspirational
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It is time for every one of us to roll up our sleeves and put ourselves at the top of our commitment list.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Commitment
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Don't be afraid of hard work.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Hard Work
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Each American must remember and help America remember that the fellowship of human beings is more important than the fellowship of race and class and gender in a democratic society.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Race
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Every day I wear my Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth medallions around my neck. When I think I'm having a bad day, I try to think about their day, and I get up.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Bad Day
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Every child’s life is sacred and it is long past time that we protect it.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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[Rosa Louise] Parks used to say, "Everybody looks at me because I sat down once in Montgomery, but the real hero is a woman named Septima Clark."She created the Citizenship Schools [where civil-rights activists taught basic literacy and political education classes].
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Real
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So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Depression
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Democracy cannot breathe, indeed will die, if those enjoined to protect it and uphold the laws snuff it out - with no consequences.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Law
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Luckily, I had incredible parents who, when they saw a problem, didn't say, "Why doesn't somebody do something?" They would say, "Why don't we do something?".
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Parent
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Children don't vote but adults who do must stand up and vote for them.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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I'm doing what I think I was put on this earth to do. And I'm really grateful to have something that I'm passionate about and that I think is profoundly important.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Work
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When I fight about what is going on in the neighborhood, or when I fight about what is happening to other people’s children, I’m doing that because I want to leave a community and a world that is better than the one I found.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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Whoever said anyone has the right to give up.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Giving Up
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I hope that people of all faiths will start looking for our too-invisible children who are crying out for help.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Children
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God, please help us remember that all the darkness in the world cannot snuff out the light of one little candle. Help us to keep lighting our little candles until a mighty torch of justice sweeps our nation and the world.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Light
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In my generation, we learned how to be leaders by being exposed to and involved with adults who empowered us and gave us a sense that we could choose things. We've let down the generations coming behind us and we are trying to re- establish that connection.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Leader
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Don't count out Marian Wright Edelman, because there is talk that President Clinton may want to shock the nation by putting a real black on the Supreme Court.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Real
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Black women rock the cradle, and whoever rocks the cradle rocks the future.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Rocks
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Somehow we are going to have to develop a concept of enough for those at the top and at the bottom so that the necessities of the many are not sacrificed for the luxuries of the few.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Luxury
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None of the candidates are ever perfect, ok? Then you have to get them in there and you have to hold them accountable. You have to make noises.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Perfect
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People who don't vote have no call on political leaders!
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: People
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We all need to get out of our safety zones too. In addition to voting, we need to embarrass people who don't do the right thing. It's going to take citizen action.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Safety Zone
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That's not to say that some of the new media is not advantageous. You can reach lots of folks with what Black Lives Matter is doing, mobilizing people. God bless them.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Media
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I grew up in a very religious family and it is the motivating force to every thing I do. I am fortunate to have had adults all around me who really lived their faith, in helping other people and doing the best you can do. The world wasn't so wonderful back then, with segregated rule in the South. But we were never hopeless and we never despaired because we had adults out there struggling with us, being there for us, and buffering us.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Religious
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The core of the culture is racism and how black men are viewed. They've always been demonized and seen as threats in our culture. Another holdover from slavery. We've got to deal with that core root of racism and demonization of the upbringing of black men. Black women are not exempt by any means.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Mean
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It's deeply rooted in the American psyche. Black men have always been viewed as the other, which leads to a different application of the laws. The current laws are an obscenity. More black men are locked up for using pot than white folk are for far more serious crimes.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Men
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Our government has to be held accountable for enforcing the law. Tamir Rice, the fact that they could exonerate that police person [who killed him], and Tamir's family was charged for the ambulance to take him [to the hospital]. It's inhumane.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Government
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When I started out as an activist, the issues were much clearer. There's advantage to the new media, but on the other hand, you miss the ability to frame an issue that you had when there were just three TV networks: CBS, NBC, and ABC. So the whole world could see the same police dogs. The same Bull Connor and his white tank. Now you've got narrow-casting. The media is all fragmented. It's so hard to get people to focus in a sustained way.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Dog
Image of Marian Wright Edelman
So often we think we have got to make a difference and be a big dog. Let us just try to be little fleas biting. Enough fleas biting strategically can make a big dog very uncomfortable.
- Marian Wright Edelman
Collection: Dog