I wrote poetry off and on in high school, when I could manage to get out of gym classes and sports – using my allergies as an excuse – and climb the hill behind school till I found a nice place to settle down with a notebook and look at Spokane spread out below.
The white man made the mistake of letting me read his history books. He made the mistake of teaching me that Patrick Henry was a patriot and George Washington – wasn’t nothing non-violent about old Pat or George Washington.
In the past, the greatest weapon the white man has had has been his ability to divide and conquer. If I take my hand and slap you, you don’t even feel it. It might sting you because these digits are separated. But all I have to do to put you back in your place is bring those digits together.
It’s enormously cheering to get a good review by someone who seems to understand your work.
Writing is my salvation. If I didn’t write, what would I do?
You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.
What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.
I’ve been enormously fortunate. People say, ‘How do you feel about your reputation?’ My real belief is that I have exactly the reputation I deserve… on the whole, I feel comfortable with myself.
The Negro revolution is controlled by foxy white liberals, by the Government itself. But the Black Revolution is controlled only by God.
We belong to talking, not what talking is about… Stop talking – and you are out. Silence equals exclusion.