"... the histories of Blacks and Jews in bondage and out of bondage, have been blood histories pursued through our kindred searchings for self-determination. Let this blood be a stain of honor that we share. Let us not now become enemies to ourselves and to each other."
"And the first till last alshemist wrote over every square inch of the only foolscap available, his own body, till by its corrosive sublimation one continuous present tense integument slowly unfolded all marryvoising moodmoulded cyclewheeling history...."
"First, in the history of words there is much that indicates the history of men, and in comparing the speech of to-day with that of years ago, we have a useful illustration of the effect of external influences on the very words of a race."
"Anyone who renounces the world must love all men, for he renounces their world too. He thus begins to have some inkling of the true nature of man, which cannot but be loved, always assuming that one is its peer."
"We have a responsibility to "make a difference" in the legal system and the administration of justice. My hope is that when historians assess the impact of this early wave of successful women entering all corners of the legal profession, they will not find us wanting."
"I've never cared that much for cementing my place in history. Sports is so transitory, so ephemeral. It just seems like so much nonsense comparing me to Helen Wills Moody or Suzanne Lenglen or anybody else from some other time. One lesson you learn from sports is that life goes on without you."
"The only history is a mere question of one's struggle inside oneself. But that is the joy of it. One need neither discover Americas nor conquer nations, and yet one has as great a work as Columbus or Alexander, to do."
"What lies behind facts like these: that so recently one could not have said Scott was not perfect without earning at least sorrowful disapproval; that a year after the Gang of Four were perfect, they were villains; that in the fifties in the United States a nothing-man called McCarthy was able to intimidate and terrorise sane and sensible people, but that in the sixties young people summoned before similar committees simply laughed."
"If in time, as in place, there were degrees of high and low, I verily believe that the highest of time would be that which passed between the years of 1640 and 1660. For he that thence, as from the Devil's Mountain, should have looked upon the world and observed the actions of men, especially in England, might have had a prospect of all kinds of injustice, and of all kinds of folly, that the world could afford, and how they were produced by their dams hypocrisy and self-conceit, whereof the one is double iniquity, and the other double folly."
"For if I should not believe all that is written by Historians, of the glorious acts of Alexander, or Caesar; I do not think the Ghost of Alexander, or Caesar, had any just cause to be offended; or any body else, but the Historian. If Livy say the Gods made once a Cow speak, and we believe it not; we distrust not God therein, but Livy. So that it is evident, that whatsoever we believe, upon no other reason, then what is drawn from authority of men only, and their writings; whether they be sent from God or not, is Faith in men only."
"It was the world of Southern, rural, black growing up, of folks sitting on porches day and night, of folks calling your mama, 'cause you walked by and didn't speak, and of the switch waiting when you got home so that you could be taught some manners. It was a world of single black older women schoolteachers, dedicated, tough; they had taught your mama, her sisters, and her friends. They knew your people in ways that you never would and shared their insight, keeping us in touch with generations. It was a world where we had a history."
"Primitive times are lyrical, ancient times epical, modern times dramatic. The ode sings of eternity, the epic imparts solemnity to history, the drama depicts life. The characteristic of the first poetry is ingeniousness, of the second, simplicity, of the third, truth."
"If, then, this civilization is to be saved, if it is not to be submerged by centuries of barbarism, but to secure the treasures of its inheritance on new and more stable foundations, there is indeed need for those now living fully to realize how far the decay has already progressed."