We are all gifted. That is our inheritance.
I am somebody cause God don't make no junk
Many people know how to criticize, but few know how to praise.
Whenever I write for hotel reservations, I always enclose a set of rules I have made for the hotels.
Today or any day that phone may ring and bring good news.
All the men in my life have been two things: an epic and an epidemic.
Only those who are being burned know what fire is like.
We never had a bathtub. Mom would bathe me in the wooden or tin washtub in the kitchen, or in a big lard can.
Mom never quit on me. My only regret is that she didn't live long enough to share some of the money and comforts my work in show business has brought me.
There was one emotional outlet my people always had when they had the blues. That was singing.
My aunts lived on liquor and seldom felt like eating much. I don't know what's wrong about a kid stealing when he's hungry.
Negroes are human beings with exactly the same faults and virtues as members of the other races.
You are a person of the greatest importance when you are a mother of the family.
The greatest acts in colored show business had long made Harlem their home and favorite stamping ground.
When I act I try to express the suffering or joy I've known during my lifetime.
I never felt I belonged. I was always an outsider.
When you dominate other people's emotions, the time has to come when you will have to pay, and heavily, for that privilege.
I found that a couple of bottles of beer would give me a lift, but the third bottle would sober me up.
I dressed plain, but my partners were always spending more money on clothes than I could afford.
Basically there is no difference between whites and blacks, browns and yellows. I decided to think no more of people as Northerners and Southerners.
Nothing can beat the smell of dew and flowers and the odor that comes out of the earth when the sun goes down.
I wanted to be with the kind of people I'd grown up with, but you can't go back to them and be one of them again, no matter how hard you try.
We miss a lot in life because we don't know when to quit, what to leave out.
Among Negroes it is a bad omen when someone knocks on the door of a house where a person has died.
I am an isolationist.
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