- The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.
- Foreword to The Dreaded Comparison: Animal Slavery and Human Slavery (1996) by Marjorie Spiegel, p. 14.
- He has told me he likes men as well as he likes women, which seems only natural, he says, since he is the offspring of two sexes as well as two races. No one is surprised he is biracial; why should they be surprised he is bisexual? This is an explanation I have never heard and cannot entirely grasp; it seems too logical for my brain.
- Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992).
- I felt in Georgia and on the east coast generally very squeezed. People have so many hang-ups about how other people live their lives. People always want to keep you in a little box or they need to label you and fix you in time and location. I feel a greater fluidity here. People are much more willing to accept that nothing is permanent, everything is changeable so there is freedom and I do need to live where I can be free.
- On living in California, as quoted in "A long walk to freedom" in The Guardian (25 February 2001).
- The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
- As quoted in The Best Liberal Quotes Ever : Why the Left is Right (2004) by William P. Martin, p. 173.
- Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet.
- From the film poster for Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth.
- I want a grown-up attitude to Cuba, for instance, a country and people I love. I want an end to the war immediately, and I want the soldiers to be encouraged to destroy their weapons and drive themselves out of Iraq. I want the Israeli government to be made accountable for its behaviour to the Palestinians, and I want the people of the US to cease acting as if they don't understand what is going on. But most of all I want someone with the confidence to talk to anyone, "enemy" or "friend", and this Obama has shown he can do.
- The harm that you do to others is the harm that you do to yourself and you cannot think then that you can cause wars in other parts of the world and destroy people and drone them without this having a terrible impact on your own soul and your own consciousness.
- I think unless the people are given information about what is happening to them, they will die in ignorance. And i think that's the big sin. I mean if there is such a thing as a sin, that's it, to destroy people and not have them have a clue about how this is happening.
The Color Purple (1982)
- You better not never tell nobody but God.
- Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to get attention we do, except walk?
- They calls me yellow like yellow be my name. They calls me yellow like yellow be my name. But if yellow is a name Why aint black the same. Well, if I say Hey black girl Lord, she try to ruin my game.
- I don’t know nothing, I think. And glad of it.
- The little I knew about my own self wouldn’t have filled a thimble!
- Niggers going to Africa, he said to his wife. Now I have seen everything.
- We know a roofleaf is not Jesus Christ, but in its own humble way, is it not God?
- The world is changing, I said. It is no longer a world just for boys and men.
- I think Africans are very much like white people back home, in that they think they are the center of the universe and that everything that is done is done for them.
- I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.
- I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, he say, the more I love.
- But please remember, especially in these times of group-think and the right-on chorus, that no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended.