"I wanted to be able to come here and speak with you on this occasion because you are young, gifted, and black…"
"I sit at this desk for hours and hours and sharpen pencils and smoke cigarettes and switch from play to play—Sidney, Touissant, Les Blancs and—nothing happens."
"And as of today, if I am asked abroad if I am a free citizen of the United States of America, I must only say what is true…"
"We’ve been trying very hard. . .in America to pretend that this greatest conflict didn’t even have at its base the only thing it has at its base. . .Person after person will write a book today and insist that slavery was not the issue."
“…All art is ultimately social; that which agitates and that which prepares the mind for slumber. The writer is deceived who thinks that he has some other choice."
". . .It grows out of a thought of mine, as I study history, that virtually all of us are what circumstances allow us to be and that it really doesn’t matter whether you are talking about the oppressed or the oppressor."
"I think that imagination has no bounds in realism—you can do anything which is permissible in terms of the truths of the characters. That’s all you have to care about."