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Bernice Johnson Reagon Quotes

Please enjoy these encouraging quotes by Bernice Johnson Reagon.

I just don't think one person has that much to contribute to any subject.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

Most people come out of their Ph.D.
experience trying to prove themselves,
trying to get ahead, trying to get published.
You're scared everybody else is going to do your research and get your topic.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I started graduate school in 1971, I started working
at the Smithsonian in the festival in 1972.
I went full-time at the Smithsonian in 1974.
And I got my doctorate in 1975.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I learned that if you bring black people together,
you bring them together with a song.
To this day, I don't understand how people think they
can bring anybody together without a song.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

 

So one of the things that happened with integration
in the South is they found that the black teachers
were much more educated than the white teachers.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

It makes sense that whatever the topic is,
it's more compelling if you can provide the audience
with a range of perspectives,
and you can cross disciplines.
And you don't have to control what people take out of it.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you,
they're supposed to help you discover who you are.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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One of the biggest things I understood in a program
like that was that it allowed more young African American
scholars to do field research in the Caribbean and
in Africa than had ever happened before in the history
of the country and since.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

And I used to think that proof that I had religion
was whether I knew how to sing all of the songs.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

When I started graduate school I was interested in
the culture of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

Personally I discovered that you could go through the
academy as a young scholar,
come out, and almost immediately have an impact on
the academic environment.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

The Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife,
actually, was an effort to put something on the mall
in Washington so American tourists could walk through America,
and in their minds everything on the mall would be American.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

Well, the first time I ran into the term religion,
people were asking whether you had any.
You know, some people had religion and some people didn't have religion.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I think the Civil Rights Movement changed that trajectory for me.
The first thing I did was leave school.
I was suspended for my participation in Movement demonstrations in my hometown,
December, 1961.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I organized Sweet Honey In The Rock in 1973.
The music was sanity and balance.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I came out of the Civil Rights Movement,
and I had a different kind of focus than most people
who have just the academic background as their primary training experience.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

But I'm a historian.
I wasn't interested in just being a producer,
I was interested in doing research and presenting that
research to a general public.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

At the same time all this was happening,
there was a folk song revival movement goingon,
so the commercial music industry was actually changed
by the Civil Rights Movement.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

There is nowhere you can go and only be with people who are like you.
Give it up.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I went to a church where you could not sing out loud
in the service until you had been saved.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

If I had been at a University I don't think I would
have been able to have the experience I had in my Smithsonian work.
I don't think I have been as successful.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

The voice I have now, I got the first time I sang in a movement meeting,
after I got out of jail...
and I'd never heard it before in my life.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

In fact when Sweet Honey was ten years old it was too big for me to run,
and I knew it, but I ran it for another thirteen years
because I couldn't convince other people to really do it.
And this year, I'm not running it.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

The first job I had with the Smithsonian was as a field
researcher among African American communities in Southwest
Louisiana and Arkansas for the festival.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

I was at the Smithsonian for twenty years,
and I'm still at the Smithsonian as a curator emeritus,
and I still plan to figure out what that means for
me at this point in my life.
- Bernice Johnson Reagon

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Andersen

Just when the caterpillar thought
the world was over, it became a butterfly.
- Anonymous

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

Everything is a miracle,
not just the beautiful and lovely things.
- Anonymous

A friend is someone who knows all about you,
and loves you just the same.
- Elbert Hubbard

Know the power and the peace of saying,
"I love you just the way you are."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences.
No one can eliminate prejudices -
just recognize them.
- Edward R. Murrow

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain (attributed)

Hold on... Joyfully.
Holding-on does not have to be
a desperate teeth-gritting kind of holding-on.
Holding-on can be a joyful
"this is just the nature of Life,
so I may as well enjoy it"
kind of holding-on.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Just stop it. Seriously.
Whatever it is. Just stop it.
If only for an hour, a day, a week.
Stop doing it long enough to get a glimpse
of what the change would actually look like.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

The River of Life has no meaning,
no good, no bad, no better, no worse,
no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy.
The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

And just dance a little.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Is today a day to gather strength from the storm -
a day to to learn life lessons for the next battle?
Or is today a day to sit by the fire
and watch the storm rage outside?
Either way, the storm is just life.
Give thanks for all of Life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

One must know not just how to accept a gift,
but with what grace to share it.
- Maya Angelou

Just another cold, misty morning inviting,
"want to go again?"
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing,
of just going along,
listening to all the things you can't hear,
and not bothering.
- A. A. Milne (Winnie-The-Pooh)

Innocence isn't ever lost completely;
we just need to maintain our goodness to regain it.
- Jewel

Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Every time you hear a bell ring,
it means that some angel's just got his wings.
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946 movie)

You don't need a reason to be happy,
just a choice.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If you want to feel rich,
just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.
- Anonymous

I love you just the way you are.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We ourselves feel that what we are doing
is just a drop in the ocean.
But the ocean would be less
because of that missing drop.
- Mother Teresa

With every rising of the sun
Think of your life as just begun.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
- William James

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
- Lao Tzu

Don't bother just to be better than
your contemporaries or predecessors.
Try to be better than yourself.
- William Faulkner

The probability that we may fail
in the struggle ought not to deter us
from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
- Abraham Lincoln

Mind exists as a Principle in the universe,
just as electricity exists as a principle.
- Ernest Holmes

Our opportunity is to visualize a kinder world.
To sing glad songs of tomorrow -
imagining a world of love -
of the whole world filled with love.
To offer our hand... often.
To breathe deeply and honor ourselves.
To pause and contemplate... just because.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Love is like a beautiful flower
which I may not touch,
but whose fragrance makes the garden
a place of delight just the same.
- Helen Keller

Life is NOT "Supposed to be Fair."
Know that there is no single way that life is "supposed" to be.
Demanding that life meet our expectations
is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence.
Life is a game with no rules.
Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions.
Our only path to happiness lies in being open
to receiving whatever life throws at us -
with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Truth never damages a cause that is just.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Death is just life's next big adventure.
- J. K. Rowling

For a happy marriage,
love and accept your spouse just the way they are.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Happiness comes when I remember that others' opinions of me
are just their opinions - nothing more.
I find happiness in moving toward my goals
regardless of the applause or the jeers of others.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Holding-on does not have to be a desperate
teeth-gritting kind of holding-on.
Holding-on can be a joyful
"this is just the nature of Life,
so I may as well enjoy it"
kind of holding-on.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I never had a policy;
I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.
- Abraham Lincoln

You're just left with yourself all the time,
whatever you do anyway.
You've got to get down to your
own God in your own temple.
It's all down to you, mate.
- John Lennon

Without zest, what is life?
Just waiting for death?
- Osho

You just have to have a simple faith.
- Jimmy Carter

Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding
and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Grace isn't just a little prayer
you say before receiving a meal.
It's a way to live.
- Jackie Windspear

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire,
men cannot live without a spiritual life.
- The Buddha

Being part of the natural world reminds me
that innocence isn't ever lost completely;
we just need to maintain our goodness to regain it.
- Jewel

If you believe in forever,
then life is just a one night stand.
- The Righteous Brothers


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May the world be kind to you,
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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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