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.

Violent anger makes me physically ill.

Books -where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas.

But was that why Negroes were poor, because they were dancers, jazzers, clowns? . . . The other way round would be better: dancers because of their poverty; singers because they suffered; laughing all the time because they must forget.... It's more like that, thought Sandy.

Good people are not that good. To tell the truth, if I were white, no matter how much I loved Negroes, I doubt that I would submit myself to Jim Crow living conditions just to prove my love. Neither would I, said Simple. Then you would not be very good, either. No, said Simple, but I would be white.

As much as they loved Negroes, Neroes didn't seem to love Michael and Anne.

Negroes - Sweet and docile, Meek, humble, and kind: Beware the day - They change their mind.

You see, books had been happening to me.

One of the great needs of Negro children is to have books about themselves and their lives that can help them be proud.

I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas.

What happens to a dream deferred?

An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.

In all my life, I have never been free. I have never been able to do anything with freedom, except in the field of my writing.

Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing the gorgeous buttocks of the ape or Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying.

Of course Covarrubias wasn't a negro, but how he caught the darky spirit!

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.

Writing is like travelling. It's wonderful to go somewhere, but you get tired of staying.

White folks sure is a case! She laid three slices of bread on top of the stove. So spoiled with colored folks waiting on 'em all their days! Don't know what they'll do in heaven, 'cause I'm gonna sit down up there myself.

I swear to the Lord,I still can't see,Why Democracy means,Everybody but me.

I live in Harlem, New York City. I am unmarried. I like 'Tristan,' goat's milk, short novels, lyric poems, heat, simple folk, boats and bullfights; I dislike 'Aida,' parsnips, long novels, narrative poems, cold, pretentious folk, buses and bridges.

Without going outside his race, and even among the better classes with their 'white' culture and conscious American manners, but still Negro enough to be different, there is sufficient matter to furnish a black artist with a lifetime of creative work.

The calm, Cool face of the river, Asked me for a kiss.

Go home and write / a page tonight. / And let that page come out of you - / Then, it will be true.

Good morning, Revolution: You're the very best friend I ever had. We gonna pal around together from now on.

No," said Oceola simply. "This is mine. . . . Listen! . . . How sad and gay it is. Blue and happy -- laughing and crying. . . . How white like you and black like me. . . . How much like a man. . . . And how much like a woman. . . . Warm as Pete's mouth. . . . These are the blues. . . . I'm playing.

When peoples cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.

I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.

Around the world-even in places where there is almost nothing, the rich, the beautiful, the talented, or the very clever can always get something; in fact, the best of whatever there is.

My chief literary influences have been Paul Laurence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman. My favorite public figures include Jimmy Durante, Marlene Dietrich, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, and Henry Armstrong.

I must never write when I do not want to write.

Well, son, I'll tell you: Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

I've been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me, Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!

The prerequisite for writing is having something to say.

I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face.

Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.

My personal experience has been that in my 25 years of writing, I have not been asked to do more than four or five commercial one-shot scripts. These were performed on major national hook-ups but produced for me no immediate additional jobs or requests. One script for BBC was done around the world with an all-star cast.

Life is a egg you have to be patient and carefull with it or it will brake.

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.

The only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you'll finish it,....

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death, The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies, We, the people, must redeem The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers. The mountains and the endless plain-- All, all the stretch of these great green states-- And make America again!

Even the 'Negro' shows like 'Amos and Andy' and 'Beulah' are written largely by white writers - the better to preserve the stereotypes, I imagine.

To my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering 'I want to be white,' hidden in the aspirations of his people, to 'Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro - and beautiful!'

Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

She worked for the Studevants, who treated her like a dog. She stood it. Had to stand it; or work for poorer white folks who would treat her worse; or go jobless.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

Gather up In the arms of your love—Those who expect No love from above.

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

Lawrence has a wonderful hill in it, with a university on top and the first time I ran away from home, I ran up the hill and looked across the world: Kansas wheat fields and the Kaw River, and I wanted to go some place, too. I got a whipping for it.