Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.
If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition
The voice I have now, I got the first time I sang in a movement meeting, after I got out of jail . . . and I'd never heard it before in my life.
There is nowhere you can go and only be with people who are like you. Give it up.
Today whenever women gather together it is not necessarily nurturing. It is coalition building. And if you feel the strain, you may be doing some good work.
I learned that if you bring black people together, you bring them together with a song. To this day, I don't understand how people think they can bring anybody together without a song.
I came out of the Civil Rights Movement, and I had a different kind of focus than most people who have just the academic background as their primary training experience.
In fact when Sweet Honey was ten years old it was too big for me to run, and I knew it, but I ran it for another thirteen years because I couldn't convince other people to really do it. And this year, I'm not running it.
It makes sense that whatever the topic is, it's more compelling if you can provide the audience with a range of perspectives, and you can cross disciplines. And you don't have to control what people take out of it.
Most people come out of their Ph.D. experience trying to prove themselves, trying to get ahead, trying to get published. You're scared everybody else is going to do your research and get your topic.
Well, the first time I ran into the term religion, people were asking whether you had any. You know, some people had religion and some people didn't have religion.
I was at the Smithsonian for twenty years, and I'm still at the Smithsonian as a curator emeritus, and I still plan to figure out what that means for me at this point in my life.
At the same time all this was happening, there was a folk song revival movement goingon, so the commercial music industry was actually changed by the Civil Rights Movement.
I started graduate school in 1971, I started working at the Smithsonian in the festival in 1972. I went full-time at the Smithsonian in 1974. And I got my doctorate in 1975.
One of the biggest things I understood in a program like that was that it allowed more young African American scholars to do field research in the Caribbean and in Africa than had ever happened before in the history of the country and since.