''How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers' names.''
''There are those who believe Black people possess the secret of joy and that it is this that will sustain them through any spiritual or moral or physical devastation.''
''It no longer bothers me that I may be constantly searching for father figures; by this time, I have found several and dearly enjoyed knowing them all.''
''If I could live as a tree, as a river, as the moon, as the sun, as a star, as the earth, as a rock, I would. ...Writing permits me to experience life as any number of strange creations.''
''The gift of loneliness is sometimes a radical vision of society or one's people that has not previously been taken into account.''
''Never be the only one, except, possibly, in your own home.''
''It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's "mature" critics often are.''
''Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.''
''The good news may be that Nature is phasing out the white man, but the bad news is that's who She thinks we all are.''
''The original "crime" of "niggers" and lesbians is that they prefer themselves.''
''It seems our fate to be incorrect (look where we live, for example), and in our incorrectness stand.''
''It seems our fate to be incorrect ... and in our incorrectness stand.''
''Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.''
''Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.''