10 Inspiring Mentoring Quotes From Prominent Black Figures
Although Black History Month just ended, we want to continue celebrating and recognizing the many achievements of Black Americans over the course of U.S. history. As an agency actively working with many families in predominantly Black communities, we also wanted to highlight the importance of mentoring in Black American culture.
Here’s a list of quotes from prominent African American figures, international and local alike, on the role mentoring has played in their lives. Enjoy!
1) “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey
2) “In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care. You must care. You don’t have to know how many square miles are in Idaho, you don’t need to know what is the chemical makeup of chemistry, or of blood or water. Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.” – Maya Angelou
3) “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” – Denzel Washington
4)”From the mentorship side of things, we tend to ignore what our parents say, but when someone outside the home takes a liking and starts to impart wisdom, we listen. Like a coach, youth worker, a minister, people that are healthy and positive. You build these relationships and they have a lasting impact on you. I know that whether it’s informal or formal, that mentors play a significant role, and really divide and support to help youth and young adults get on and stay on the right path.” – Chris Byner, Executive Director of BCYF & a Big Brother
5) “Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life.” – Michael Jordan
6) “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas
7) “All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them.” – Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson
8) “Chris and I are prospectors. We believe that there’s gold in communities like Roxbury. That’s why we keep prospecting. Because there’s gold in our neighborhoods, but a lot of folks don’t want to take the time to try and find it.” – Greg Davis, Boston Housing Authority
9) “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” – Whoopi Goldberg
10) “Building a life of significance, and creating a legacy of real value, means being willing to get your hands dirty. It means being willing to step out in your life and onto the platforms of influence you’ve been given and touch the lives of people in need. Whether it’s in your business, your school, your community, or your family, if you want to make a difference in the lives of the people you lead, you must be willing to walk alongside them, to lift and encourage them, to share moments of understanding with them, and to spend time with them, not just shout down at them from on high. Mentors build mentors. Leaders build leaders. When you look at it closely, it’s really one and the same thing.” – Tony Dungy