If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
Just as hope rings through laughter, it can also shine through tears.
My life has been one great big joke, a dance that's walked a song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
Anyone of us can be a rainbow in somebody's clouds. I want the University of Cincinnati to be a rainbow in the clouds. The University of Cincinnati is really a possibility of hope it is a rainbow.
I said, 'Don't worry about it -- I know our culture.'
The need for change bulldozed road down the center of my mind.
The white American man makes the white American woman maybe not superfluous but just a little kind of decoration. Not really important to turning around the wheels of the state. Well the black American woman has never been able to feel that way. No black American man at any time in our history in the United States has been able to feel that he didn't need that black woman right against him, shoulder to shoulder -- in that cotton field, on the auction block, in the ghetto, wherever.
Achievement brings its own anticlimax.
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men, values and dislikes, are first encountered and labeled in that early environment.
I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people.
Effective action is always unjust.
Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God.
I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman that is your grandmother, that is your mother, that is your sister, that is you and that is me.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.
Black women have not historically stood in the pulpit, but that doesn't undermine the fact that they built the churches and maintain the pulpits.
Life loves the liver of it.
I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.
Lift up your eyes upon. This day breaking for you. Give birth again. To the dream.
I made the decision to quit show business. Give up the skintight dresses and manicured smiles. The false concern over sentimental lyrics. I would never again work to make people smile inanely and would take on the responsibility of making them think.
It is the worst thing you can do, women, is whine, ... I mean the worst. Don't complain, protest.
A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications.... Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, 'I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.'
As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
John Keats - Edgar Allan Poe - Thomas Middleton - Robert Burns - Ovid - Max Jacob - Hesiod - Elizabeth Bishop - Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Edmund Spenser