Whatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish. Freedom is always wise.
The first step… shall be to lose the way.
Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.
I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
We Negro writers, just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives. Censorship for us begins at the color line.
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.
Never mind. The self is the least of it. Let our scars fall in love.
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.