The minute you got the Nobel Peace Prize, things that I said yesterday, with nobody paying too much attention, I say the same things after I got it – oh! It was quite crucial for people, and it helped our morale because apartheid did look invincible.
I will die like a true-blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning – organize.
I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.
A poem records emotions and moods that lie beyond normal language, that can only be patched together and hinted at metaphorically.
You can’t be an American without being related to other Americans.
I’ve always found it best to have a routine. I go to my study at the same time every day and climb into my bay window. I may not be inspired every day, but on the days I am, I need to be in place to write. If I’m not particularly inspired, I’ll revise or do research or correspondence.
In the winter, I enjoy cross-country skiing and raising orchids and amaryllises. If I could grow tropical flowers as perennials, I would, especially hibiscus and mandavilla.
Racism, xenophobia and unfair discrimination have spawned slavery, when human beings have bought and sold and owned and branded fellow human beings as if they were so many beasts of burden.
Jimmy Baldwin was not only a writer, an international literary figure: he was a man, spirit, voice – old and black and terrible as that first ancestor.
My mother always said I must be part Mongolian because of my lotus-pale complexion and squid-ink black hair.