These Freedom Writers quotes will inspire you to create a positive impact on the lives of others.
Freedom Writers is a drama film based on the 1999 book The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell, which is a collection of compiled real-life journals of students about their lives and the world they live in.
Erin Gruwell made her students write down their experiences as part of her English class at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in California.
In a gang violence-ridden town that shadowed the lives of young people, Erin was able to create a sense of unity among her students.
Hopefully, you will enjoy reading these brave and thought-provoking Freedom Writers quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out these Legally Blonde quotes from your favorite fashionable law student.
Freedom Writers quotes from Erin Gruwell
1. “But to get respect you have to give it.” — Erin Gruwell
2. “Oh really? You know what this is? This is a F*** You to me and everyone in this class. I don’t want excuses. I know what you’re up against. We’re all of us up against something. So you better make up your mind, because until you have the balls to look me straight in the eye and tell me this is all you deserve, I am not letting you fail. Even if that means coming to your house every night until you finish the work. I see who you are. Do you understand me? I can see you. And you are not failing.” — Erin Gruwell
3. “Maybe we should talk about art. Tito’s got real talent, don’t you think? You know something? I saw a picture just like this once, in a museum. Only it wasn’t a black man, it was a jewish man. And instead of the big lips he had a really big nose, like a rat’s nose. But he wasn’t just one particular jewish man. This was a drawing of all jews. And these drawings were put in the newspapers by the most famous gang in history.” — Erin Gruwell
4. “This gang will put you all to shame. And they started out poor and angry and everybody looked down on them. Until one man decided to give them some pride, an identity… and somebody to blame.” — Erin Gruwell
5. “They wiped out everybody they didn’t like and everybody they blamed for their life being hard. And one of the ways they did it was by doing this: see, they print pictures like this in the newspapers, jewish people with big, long noses… blacks with big, fat lips. They’d also published scientific evidence that proved that jews and blacks were the lowest form of human species. Jews and blacks were more like animals. And because they were just like animals it didn’t matter if they lived or died.” — Erin Gruwell
6. “I’m a teacher, it doesn’t matter what color I am.” — Erin Gruwell
7. “So when you’re dead, you’ll get respect, that what you think? You know what’s gonna happen when you die? You’re gonna rot in the ground, and people are going to go on living, and they’re going to forget all about you. And when you ROT, do you think it’s gonna matter whether you were an original gangsta? You’re dead, and nobody, NOBODY, is gonna want to remember you, because all you left in the world is this.” — Erin Gruwell
8. “Life would be a whole lot better if they were all dead. That’s how a holocaust happens. And that’s what you all think of each other.” — Erin Gruwell
Freedom Writers quotes from Andre
9. “It’s the dumb class cuz. It means you too dumb.” — Andre
10. “Why should I give my respect to you? Because you’re a teacher? I don’t know you. How do I know you’re not a liar standing up there. How do I know you’re not a bad person standing up there? I’m not just gonna give you my respect because you’re called a teacher.” — Andre
11. “Justice doesn’t mean the bad guy goes to jail, it just means that someone pays for the crime.” — Andre
12. “My brother taught me what the life is for a young black man. Pimp, deal, whatever. Learn what colors to wear. Gang banners. You can sell to one corner, but you can’t sell another. Learn to be quiet. The wrong word can get you popped.” — Andre
Freedom Writers quotes from Eva
13. “White people wanting their respect like its for free.” — Eva
14. “So when’s Anne Frank gonna smoke Hitler?” — Eva
15. “I don’t even know how this war started. It’s just two sides that tripped each other way back. Who cares about the history behind it? I am my father’s daughter, and when they call me to testify, I will protect my own, no matter what.” — Eva
16. “In America, a girl can be crowned a princess for her beauty, and her grace. But an Aztec princess is chosen for her blood. To fight for her people as Papi and his father fought, against those who say we are less than they are, against those who say that we are not equal in beauty or blessings.” — Eva
17. “It’s all about color, it’s about people deciding what you deserve, about people wanting what they don’t deserve. About whites thinking they own this world no matter what, you see, I hate white people.” — Eva
18. “My PO doesn’t understand that schools are like the city and the city is jut like a prison.” — Eva
Freedom Writers quotes from Marcus
19. “That Miep Gies lady, the one that help hide her, I like her. I got all these other books about her from the library.” — Marcus
20. “Yeh yeh, we all drive around on a bus, only this time they try and bust us up we bust a few of them board member’s heads.” — Marcus
21. “I’ve never had a hero before. But you are my hero.” — Marcus
22. “Clive was my boy. He had my back plenty of times. Me and him was like one fist. One army.” — Marcus
23. “But when they come, all they see is a dead body, a gun, and a n*gger. They took me to juvenile hall. First night was the scariest. Inmates banging on the walls, throwing up gang signs, yelling out who they were and where they from.” — Marcus
24. “Lady I’m lucky if I make it to 18, we in a war! We graduating every day we live because we ain’t afraid to die, protecting our own. At least when you die for your own, you die with respect, you die a warrior.” — Marcus
Freedom Writers quotes from conversations between Erin and the students
25. Marcus: “No, that don’t fly Ma.”
Erin Gruwell: “First of all I’m not anybody’s mother.”
Andre: “No, that’s not what it means.”
26. Erin Gruwell: “Does anyone know Homer’s the Odyssey?”
Andre: “I know Homer the Simpson.”
27. Erin Gruwell: “The evaluation assignment was to grade yourself on the work you’re doing. You gave yourself an F. What’s that about?”
Andre: “It’s what I feel I deserve, that’s all.”
28. Erin Gruwell: “You hate me? You don’t even know me.”
Eva: “I know what you can do. I saw white cops shoot my friend in the back for reaching into his pocket, his pocket! I saw white cops come into my house and take my father away for no REASON except they feel like it! Except because they can! And they can, because they’re white. So I HATE white people on sight!”
29. Marcus: “Lady, stop acting like you tryin’ to understand our situation, and just do your little babysitting up there.”
Erin Gruwell: “That’s what you think this is?”
Marcus: “It ain’t nothing else. When I look out in the world I don’t see nobody that looks like me with their pockets full unless they’re rapping a lyrics or dribbling a ball, so what else you got in here for me?”
30. Erin Gruwell: “And you all think you’re gonna make it to graduation like this?”
Andre: “I made it to HIGH school ain’t nobody stop me.”
Which of these Freedom Writers quotes is your favorite?
The film is about breaking the boundaries set by society based on race and socioeconomic differences.
In the film, Erin struggles to build bonds and form connections between her students due to rivalry between gangs and brewing racial tensions across the state.
This film reflects how young lives are wasted in senseless violence and division. It also portrays the impact of racism and lack of acceptance for people outside conceptualized groups.
Through Erin’s work and compassion, she was able to create a positive impact on the lives of her students and change their ways. This shows someone can influence the lives of other people simply by caring.
Let these Freedom Writers quotes and sayings remind us to show a little more compassion for people around us.
November 12, 2021 7:00 AM EST