“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of ”The Element of Style”. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”
― Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker
Be in love with your life. Every detail of it.
JACK KEROUAC, writer
GOT TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK…
Musician and singer, Nat King Cole
THE INTELLECTUAL DRUMMER…
Max Roach, jazz master
GOD OF THE BLUES SAVE THE QUEEN!!
Dinah Washington, superb singer
THE PROVOCATIVE, SOMETIMES ACERBIC, RAZOR SHARP TEXTS OF AMIRI BARAKA MEAN BUSINESS. HE WILL ALWAYS RAIN ON THE PARTY BUT BRING ANOTHER KIND OF UNFORGETTABLE SUNSHINE.
NIKKI GIOVANNI, THE POET WITH INSIGHTFUL AND PLAYFUL VERSES. SHE CAN SIMPLY AND AMPLIFY AND END UP WITH A MEMORABLE LINE.
SHOULD WE NEED AN INTRODUCTION?
BEN WEBSTER, A MASTER OF HIS CRAFT.
AS BOLD AS THEY COME.”THE BRUTE”
COULD BE EXTREMELY TENDER IN BALLADS.
THE CHICAGO BOY WHO MADE IT BIG…
SAM COOKE sang his way to the top, from remote gospel churches, he arrived to the summit with his unique rendering and a command of his silky voice unmatched and unparalleled. Gifted with a perfect pitch, his legacy is still unfolding.
THE OUTSIDER WHO COME FROM KANSAS CITY…
Shunned for a while,
CHARLIE PARKER became a household name.
A complete original, fast as lightning, out of his genius
he made rough notes harmonious and soft tempo
unpredictable and anew.
I think a lot of my characters wish race didn’t matter as much as it does, but it does. When you are either in the minority as is that case for blacks in the US, or the oppressed majority as was formerly the case in South Africa, you don’t have the luxury of being able to decide whether or not to pay attention to race, because if you don’t, someone else will, and the surprise repercussions are far worse
than preparing for the worst and being pleasantly surprised if the worst never occurs.
ZZ PACKER, writer of Drinking coffee elsewher
(Zora Neale) Hurston is important to me in a way that’s hard to talk about…I feel similarly about someone like Baldwin.
I can’t rhapsodize in very academic ways about their work or how it’s affected me. They are family; I have a reverence and appreciation for them that is similar to how you’d feel about a beloved great-aunt or great-uncle. They gave me a sense of what is possible…
Shafira Rhodes-Pitts, author of Harlem is nowhere
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, BROTHER JAMES!
Writer James Baldwin, 1962
Clifford Brown, phenomenal jazz player