Middle age is when you’ve met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else.
We Negro writers, just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives. Censorship for us begins at the color line.
I believe firmly that in making ethical decisions, man has the prerogative of true freedom of choice.
The cow is of the bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other milk.
There is a weapon we can fight with. That is the weapon of political action.
I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature.
Very early in life, it seemed to me that there was a relationship between the problems of the Negro people in America and the Jewish people in Russia, and that the Jewish people’s problems were worse than ours.
I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class, and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everybody knows – except us – that all Negroes have rhythms, so they elected me class poet.
It’s such a Bore Being always Poor.
Jazz, to me, is one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America: the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul – the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile.