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“I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

Pablo Neruda

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“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.” – Nikki Giovanni

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“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. ” – Alice Walker

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From the 1962 essay titled “The Creative Process,” found in the anthology The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction.

“It goes without saying, I believe, that if we understood ourselves better, we would damage ourselves less. But the barrier between oneself and one’s knowledge of oneself is high indeed. There are so many things one would rather not know! We become social creatures because we cannot live any other way. But in order to become social, there are a great many other things that we must not become, and we are frightened, all of us, of these forces within us that perpetually menace our precarious security. Yet the forces are there: we cannot will them away. All we can do is learn to live with them. And we cannot learn this unless we are willing to tell the truth about ourselves, and the truth about us is always at variance with what we wish to be. The human effort is to bring these two realities into a relationship resembling reconciliation.”  James Baldwin

 

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“There is a problem in America. An Irish or Polish American can write a story and it’s an American story. When a Black American writes a story, it’s called a Black story. I take exception to that. Every artist has articulated to his own experience. The problem is that some people do not see Blacks as Americans.”
Gloria Naylor

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“My responsibility as a poet, as an artist, is to not look away.”
Nikky Finney

Two Quotes by Nikki Giovanni

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“Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.”  

“You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play.”

Nikki Giovanni

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