African people worldwide are known to be welcoming and open-minded.

I'm not interested in being commodified. I'm not into being sold. I'm not a slave.

I think all any artist or person wants to do is grow spiritually, emotionally, professionally and mentally.

I'm going to be a strict mum. I know that love is the most important thing - you've got to have lots of kisses and cuddles - but you also need to mix it with discipline or you'll be in a heap of trouble.

I'm sorry that 'Fringe' is gone. I really wanted to do more on that show. It was great!

I think human beings will always still really enjoy using our imaginations, and 'Fringe' allows you to do that. It's slightly scary and believable. There just might be an alternate universe. There just might be people on the other side that are like us, living a different life.

I would say for every successful black woman in America or in the world, really, it's difficult to be the head of the household, financially. It is for the man in your life. It can be very hard for them. And there's a delicate balance. I'm not quite sure I know what that balance is just yet.

I'm looking for someone who works as hard as I do. Who loves their work as much as I do, so at the end of the night we have something real to talk about, something exciting that makes our blood flow and boil.

For a writer it's a dream to sit and watch people as close as possible.

I just think fashion is about enjoying yourself and being comfortable in your skin and allowing you to be you - all the way live.

One day, I just got up to read a poem and started singing. I looked around - the reaction was great. And I said, 'Oh, boy. I like this.'

I do want love. Genuine love.

I've been enjoying playing with fashion - gold grills and diamond grills have just become a part of that.

At my aunt's funeral, I promised myself that I wouldn't be bound by the belief that I'm supposed to stay in anything - whether it's a relationship, a job, a house, or a circumstance - if it makes me miserable. She gave me the courage to find my own happiness.

'True Blood' excites me. It scares me, but it excites me.

I don't necessarily think of myself as a feminist, but I'm a whole person.

Most of the time, particularly with this record, 'The Light of the Sun,' I really just been standing in front of a microphone and blacking out musically, you know. I'd come back a couple hours later and there's six songs from beginning to end, you know? I don't know what I'm going to say. I don't know how I'm going to say it.

For me, hair is an accoutrement. Hair is jewelry. It's an accessory.

I'm a girl who enjoys a great meal with great friends, so I'm not really that concerned about weight loss.

Heartbreak was the impetus to me writing poems and music in the first place. Over the years, I had my heart broken so badly that if I didn't find a way to get all the pain out, I was going to lose my mind. I was crazy! Like, wanting to slash tires and smash car windows. Crazy! I was so hurt that I had to write.

My son has godmothers, godfathers, grandparents and so many others in his life who love him as much as I do. They're there for both of us. I may not have a mate or husband, but I'm definitely not a single parent.

I have been training since 8th grade, but it has to do with listening, more than practice.

Back in my mid-20s I was told I'd never be able to have children as I wasn't having periods. Doctors tried to start up my monthly cycles, but when nothing worked, they actually offered me a hysterectomy. Without it, they said I might get ovarian cancer in the future. I chose not to have the operation, and am so glad I didn't.

Anytime you share life stories with other people, you know, you are acknowledging their humanity and kind of accessing some things about yourself, and other people start to expect things about themselves. It's kind of like a fellowship.

Common is one of the nicest people I've ever met, and to describe him as a vile rapper because he has an opinion... just says a lot about the state of America. You are allowed to have an opinion in the United States - he's never harmed anybody, he just has an opinion about a president that wasn't good for our country.

When I write a song, I tap into the emotion and the feeling and then I use the emotion to write the words. It's the opposite when I act. I use the words and tap into the emotion.

I need my man to be my homie.

I just want to continue to grow, as an actor, and dig. Hopefully, one day, I'll lose myself in a role. My only worry about that is that I just want to be able to come back home. I don't want to get lost forever. That scares me.

A nutritionist has told me to have very little butter and very little spices, but I can't live like that.

We all get angry and jealous sometimes, none of us is perfect, but we should not try to be different.

I need to find creative diversity because if I get stuck, I get unhappy.

I just think it's silly to be stingy with compliments. If you see someone and they strike you as beautiful in any way, why not let them know?

Everything starts with writing. I heard Nikki Giovanni and was blown away. I just thought 'wow'; she was writing from a black girl's perspective, and the imagery was so vivid that I started doing spoken word.

For anyone who feels they are overwhelmed by their job, or maybe they take their job too seriously or are working too hard, I say go to a safari, particularly the Okavango Delta, and just be humbled.

I like a man who smells good. Puts on cologne; lotions his body. It keeps me wanting. I like feeling that way.

I did an internship at the Ardent theatre company in Philly after dropping out of college. I was earning $165 a week building sets and cleaning the toilets. Cleaning toilets is a good way of getting in touch with your creativity. That's when you find out if you got anything going on in your head.

Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options.

When I was 12, I wrote a list of things to do before I died. 'Own a Picasso' was one of those things.

I panicked when my son, Jett, stopped eating baby food. He's only two, but his food vocabulary is fantastic. He likes my baked tilapia and string beans with chopped garlic. But he really likes pizza. Sometimes every inanimate object to him is pizza.

There's something really magical about having a child - it's like permission to begin again, start over, reevaluate some things, check yourself. Recognize yourself. And that's kind of what happened with me - I realized, in a few places, I was going down the wrong path.

I've been around the world and I've had bras made in different places, and each time I'm experiencing the same troubles: the painful shoulders, the underwire cutting into my flesh.

A woman is more than the sum of her parts.

Singing and acting suit me. I made a vow to myself to do everything that I can do with this life that I have, and I have to find the time to do this. Sometimes I need to be an actress. Sometimes I don't need to be Jill. However, everyone is always looking for the Jill in everything.

I love foods that start in my cheeks and then vibrate up.

When Jett puts my face in his hands and tells me, 'Mommy you're so pretty' or smells me, it's so wonderful.

Everybody's looking for love, and you want to love somebody and be loved in return.

You have to be humble when you're dealing with God.

I'm going to keep it real gully with you; the first two months, I wanted to give him back. I expected someone to come and save me because after you have the baby, nobody cares about you anymore. Nobody cares if you sleep, nobody cares if you eat. It's just you and this all-consuming thingy!

When I was growing up, my mother would take me to plays and museums, and we'd talk about life. Those times helped shape who I became.