the world according to my heroes – Josephine Baker

For those not familiar with this series: I extrapolate quotations from those who influence me strongly to apply to playwrighting and theater.  And life.

[On the truth]  I wasn’t really naked. I simply didn’t have any clothes on.

[On fidelity]  The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains.

[On faith]  Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.

[On society]  We must change the system of education and instruction. Unfortunately, history has shown us that brotherhood must be learned, when it should be natural.

[On politics]  It looked very different from the Statue of Liberty, but what did that matter? What was the good of having the statue without the liberty, the freedom to go where one chose if one was held back by one’s color? No, I preferred the Eiffel Tower, which made no promises.

[On work]  Art is an elastic sort of love.

[On hypocrisy]  We’ve got to show that blacks and whites are treated equally in the army. Otherwise, what’s the point of waging war on Hitler?

[On what I’d like to practice]  I’m not intimidated by anyone. Everyone is made with two arms, two legs, a stomach and a head. Just think about that.

[On equality]  I think they must mix blood, otherwise the human race is bound to degenerate. Mixing blood is marvelous. It makes strong and intelligent men. It takes away tired spirits.

[On artistry]  A violinist had a violin, a painter his palette. All I had was myself. I was the instrument that I must care for.

[On relationship]  He was my cream, and I was his coffee – And when you poured us together, it was something.

And my personal favorite, because I always act 12: The secret to the fountain of youth is to think youthful thoughts.

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