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For Africa to me is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.
In order to be profoundly dishonest, a person must have one of two qualities either he is unscrupulously ambitious, or he is unswervingly egocentric.
The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.
We really are 15 countries, and it's really remarkable that each of us thinks we represent the real America. The Midwesterner in Kansas, the black American in Durham -- both are certain they are the real American.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications. Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.
I answer the heroic question 'Death, where is thy sting' with 'It is here in my heart and mind and memories.'
All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men, values and dislikes, are first encountered and labeled in that early environment. In later years they change faces, places and maybe races, tactics, intensities and goals, but beneath those penetrable masks they wear forever the stocking-capped faces of childhood.
I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.
I think I am the only serious writer who has chosen the autobiographical form to carry my work, my expression.
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning Good morning at total strangers.
Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
My life has been one great big joke A dance that's walked A song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke When I think about myself.
My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
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