When we arrived in London, my sadness at leaving Paris was turned into despair. After my long stay in the French capital, huge, ponderous, massive London seemed to me as ugly a thing as man could contrive to make.
The battle was first waged over the right of the Negro to be classed as a human being with a soul; later, as to whether he had sufficient intellect to master even the rudiments of learning; and today it is being fought out over his social recognition.
I had enjoyed life in Paris, and, taking all things into consideration, enjoyed it wholesomely.
Washington shows the Negro not only at his best, but also at his worst.
My appearance was always good and my ability to play on the piano, especially ragtime, which was then at the height of its vogue, made me a welcome guest.
You are young, gifted, and Black. We must begin to tell our young, There’s a world waiting for you, Yours is the quest that’s just begun.
Amsterdam was a great surprise to me. I had always thought of Venice as the city of canals; it had never entered my mind that I should find similar conditions in a Dutch town.
Any musical person who has never heard a Negro congregation under the spell of religious fervor sing these old songs has missed one of the most thrilling emotions which the human heart may experience.
I thought of Paris as a beauty spot on the face of the earth, and of London as a big freckle.
Shortly after this I was made a member of the boys’ choir, it being found that I possessed a clear, strong soprano voice. I enjoyed the singing very much.