There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.
We are selfish when we are exclusively or predominantly concerned with the good for ourselves. We are altruistic when we are exclusively or predominantly concerned with the good of others.
An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.
The act of willing this or that, of choosing among various courses of conduct, is central in the realm of ethics.
To my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering ‘I want to be white,’ hidden in the aspirations of his people, to ‘Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro – and beautiful!’
Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.
Is there something we have forgotten? Some precious thing we have lost, wandering in strange lands?
I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.
Without going outside his race, and even among the better classes with their ‘white’ culture and conscious American manners, but still Negro enough to be different, there is sufficient matter to furnish a black artist with a lifetime of creative work.
A gloss is a total system of perception and language.