"The sensation of seeing extremely fine women, with superb forms, perfectly unconscious of undress, and yet evidently aware of their beauty and dignity, is worth a week's seasickness to experience.... To me the effect [of a Siva dance] was that of a dozen Rembrandts intensified into the most glowing beauty of life and motion."
"I should prefer a Woman that is agreeable in my own Eye, and not deformed in that of the World, to a celebrated Beauty. If you marry one remarkably beautiful, you must have a violent Passion for her, or you have not the proper Taste of her Charms; and if you have such a Passion for her, it is odds but it will be imbittered with Fears and Jealousies."
"Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry. No very small animal can be beautiful, for looking at it takes so small a portion of time that the impression of it will be confused. Nor can any very large one, for a whole view of it cannot be had at once, and so there will be no unity and completeness."
"A black boxer's career is the perfect metaphor for the career of a black male. Every day is like being in the gym, sparring with impersonal opponents as one faces the rudeness and hostility that a black male must confront in the United States, where he is the object of both fear and fascination."
"He touched the soil, caressing its grains between his fingers: "I am this: this earth here, and I have it in my blood. Look at mycolor; it seems as though the earth faded onto me and onto you too. This country belongs to the black man and each time others tried to take it away from us, we mowed down injustice with our machetes"."
"She sang a song that sounds like life; I mean it was sad. Délira knew no other types of songs. She didn't sing loud, and the songhad no words. It was sung with closed lips and it stayed down in one's throat.... Life is what taught them, these Negresses, to sing as if they were choking back sobs. It is a song that always ends with a beginning anew because this song is the picture of misery, and tell me, does misery ever end?"
"I thought that God put me on the earth without asking if I wanted to be a woman or what color I would prefer to be. I could not help it if he gave me skin so black it was blue, a face not exactly dripping with beauty. But I was content, and maybe if I had to choose right now, in this precise moment, I would choose this bluish skin and this face without dripping beauty."