- If you can provide a precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to James Baldwin.
- Americans suffer from an ignorance that is not only colossal, but sacred.
- Americans, unhappily, have the most remarkable ability to alchemize all bitter truths into an innocuous but piquant confection and to transform their moral contradictions, or public discussion of such contradictions, into a proud decoration, such as are given for heroism on the battle field.
- Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
- In Boston, when they shit on you, they hand you a towel — so that you can can wipe their ass.
- Life is more important than art, that's what makes art important.
- This resembles a statement Baldwin made in the 1961 interview with Studs Terkel above.
- Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is battle, love is a war; love is growing up.
- Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.
- Rage cannot be hidden, it can only be dissembled. This dissembling deludes the thoughtless, and strengthens rage and adds, to rage, contempt.
- We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.
- When the book comes out it may hurt you -- but in order for me to do it, it had to hurt me first. I can only tell you about yourself as much as I can face about myself.