I also wanted to do something that I hadn't really seen in almost any black novels, which was a complex love story in which both people were extremely intelligent and talented and understood a lot of things and were still at odds getting it together.
Our job as writers and thinkers in the time is how to bring about the occasions that let people have that first-person experience - or the metaphoric experience that allows them to see human continuity as opposed to total threat, total willingness to do violence.
People don't really think other people are the same.
The discussion of ideas as opposed to the American narcissistic obsession with what's going on with the self, that's the general thing people are talking about.
When people conclude that all is futile, then the absurd becomes the norm.
You'd never know that listening to people in the UN but tribalism is the father of racism.
The high point of civilization is that you can hate me and I can hate you but we develop an etiquette that allows us to deal with each other because if we acted solely upon our impulse we'd probably go to war.
Big business, for all its lobbying, is often put in line by investigative reporting, public scandals and multi-million-dollar judgments in court against those who put products on the market that are dangerous to their buyers.
The grand irony, however, is that Southern segregation was not brought to an end, nor redneck violence dramatically reduced, by violence.
You can meet a young person who goes to school and is really enthusiastic, but if a sufficiently strong personality convinces them that this is a waste of time, that person might flunk out.
Our society has gotten to the point where we might soon become less and less shocked by any kind of violence.
I don't know any women who don't think about what they look like, and I don't know any men who don't think about what women look like.
Rap actually comes out of punk rock, not black music.
When you're artistic director of a program, you present the music you want to present.
As you know from reading many of these Negro writers, we don't deal too much with the discussion of democracy and what it means and how improvisation fits in all that.