There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.
The way I figured it, I was even with baseball and baseball with me. The game had done much for me, and I had done much for it.
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead.
Not being able to fight back is a form of severe punishment.
A black man, even after he has proven himself on and off the playing field, will still be denied his rights.
I'm grateful for all the breaks and honors and opportunities I've had, but I always believe I won't have it made until the humblest black kid in the most remote backwoods of America has it made.
I had learned that I was in two wars, one against the foreign enemy, the other against prejudice at home.
I want to thank all of the people throughout this country who were just so wonderful during those trying days.
I like friends just as much as other people. But if it comes down to the question of having a choice between the friendship of some of these writers and their respect, I'll take their respect.
I'm going to be tremendously pleased and more proud when I look at the third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball.
Black America has asked so little, but if you can't see the anger that comes from rejection, you are treading a dangerous course.
If I had to choose tomorrow between the Baseball Hall of Fame and full citizenship for my people I would choose full citizenship time and again.
Back in the days when integration wasn’t fashionable, he underwent the trauma and the humiliation and the loneliness which comes with being a pilgrim walking the lonesome byways toward the high road of freedom. He was a sit-inner before the sit-ins, a freedom rider before the freedom rides.
The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.
Above anything else, I hate to lose.