Friday, December 28, 2012

Josephine Baker Quotes

1. The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains.

2. I believe in prayer. It's the best way we have to draw strength from heaven.

3. I wasn't really naked. I simply didn't have any clothes on.

4. I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.

5. Beautiful? It's all a question of luck. I was born with good legs. As for the rest... beautiful, no. Amusing, yes.

6. He was my cream, and I was his coffee - And when you poured us together, it was something.

7. I'm not intimidated by anyone. Everyone is made with two arms, two legs, a stomach and a head. Just think about that.

8. (once she had seen the Eiffel Tower) 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.

9. 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.

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

11. Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?

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

13. Art is an elastic sort of love.

14. I improvised, crazed by the music...Even my teeth and eyes burned with fever. Each time I leaped I seemed to touch the sky and when I regained earth it seemed to be mine alone.

15. One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left. I had been suffocating in the United States…A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn't stand it anymore…I felt liberated in Paris.

16. 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?

17. The secret to the fountain of youth is to think youthful thoughts.

18. 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.

19. Since I personified the savage on the stage, I tried to be as civilized as possible in daily life. 

20. I love performing. I shall perform until the day I die.

21. (speaking at the '63 March on Washington) You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can't go wrong. The world is behind you.

22. I was learning the importance of names - having them, making them - but at the same time I sensed the dangers. Recognition was followed by oblivion, a yawning maw whose victims disappeared without a trace. 

23. I did take the blows (of life), but I took them with my chin up, in dignity, because I so profoundly love and respect humanity. 

24. The white imagination is sure something when it comes to blacks.

25. I am tired of that artificial life. The work of being a star disgusts me now. All the intrigues which surround the star disgust me...I want to work three or four more years and then quit the stage. I'll go live in Italy or the South of France. I will get married, as simply as possible. I will have children, and many animals. I love them. I want to live in peace surrounded by children and animals. But if one of my children wanted to go onstage in the music hall, I would strangle it with my own two hands.

26. The old Catholic parties hounded me with a Christian hatred from station to station, city to city, one stage to another.

27. (looking over the crowd at the 1963 March ) Salt and pepper. Just what it should be.

28. Until the March on Washington, I always had this little feeling in my stomach. I was always afraid. I couldn't meet white American people. I didn't want to be around them. But now that little gnawing feeling is gone. For the first time in my life I feel free. I know that everything is right now.

29. (after being told she must use the hotel's back entrance) Now I know I'm home. 

30. Stop that man! You stop! You called me a nigger! You said you didn't want to sit alongside a nigger! Well, I don't know if you know it, but there are laws against that! Call the police and tell them I am making a citizen's arrest now!

31. What am I most ashamed of in my life? Not keeping my promise to my sister and being too scared of America to attend her funeral

32. (after Josephine is exiled from America) Let's get one thing straight from the get-go: I ain't learning no French.

33. One dance had made me the most famous colored woman in the world.

34. No one's ever been able to tell that girl anything...least of all me. 

What do you think of Josephine Baker's quotes?

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